can write a book - but it takes something special
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It's been a while (well, almost 4 years) since these
questions were originally asked. The publishing history (and
even my marital status) have altered since 2001, but my author bio can tell you more
about me personally, if you're interested.
Updates will be added sporadically - when I remember - as
Update: January 4, 2004
newest ebook, "Write, Create & Promote a
Best Seller" has been named a finalist in the
Non-Fiction Category of the Epic Book Awards (or the
EPPIES, as they are more commonly known. Fingers crossed
that the judges will be kind to me when the winners are
announced in March 2004!
p.s. March 2004 - One of the judges won his own award.
More details about the book can be found by clicking here.
Update: November 2004
officially launched our newest ebook "Write Here,
Write Now" You can learn more about the book by
April 22, 2001
What first inspired you to write or who inspired you?
My first recollection of writing comes from when I was
about five or six years old. The school teacher told the
class to "write a book". Dutifully I penned a
little story about a cat who wanted to be human, drew the
appropriate pictures and asked my mom to help bind it
into a nice cover. The teacher placed it on display in
the school library, and from that point, I was determined
to see more of my work on those shelves!
what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I've always known that it's what I wanted. I begged my
mother to teach me to write when I was about four, and
have been writing little stories that just got longer and
more involved as I got older.
you take notes when reading or watching a good movie?
No. If a particular book or movie inspires me, I will
make the effort to watch it - or read it - again and
again until I can pinpoint the exact piece (or
compilation of pieces) that affected me so much. I like
to understand how a writer has used effects, emotions and
situations to bring about a prescribed response, and of
course, I try to emulate that style where I can in my own
writing always been a passion for you or did you discover
it years later?
Um.... passion?? More like an obsession, actually. A life-long
obsession that I can't ever see ending...
Have you ever been published before? If so, E-published
or published in the traditional manner? Explain.
Yes. In several different formats, I guess. I've had
articles published in such places as People Magazine,
Women's Weekly, New Idea, That's Life magazine, Take 5,
Picture Mag, and a few other magazines besides! I've
written for the Southern Times Messenger in Adelaide, and
the Advertiser Newspaper.
I've had short fiction stories featured in several
magazines also, again including That's Life, People
Magazine, Women's Weekly, Picture Mag and more besides
I currently have a science fiction novel awaiting yet
another editorial alteration in a publishing house in
I'm only relatively new to the online world, but my non-fiction
work can be found online in places like Fiction Factor ,
Writing-World.com, Author Network, Writers Manual, When
You Write, and a few more besides these, too.
What are you currently working on?
I am constantly working on new non-fiction material for
Fiction Factor, but I'm currently working simultaneously
on two novel-length fiction ideas. My second novel,
tentatively titled "Oasis" is in the final edit
phase, and my third novel "Haven" is being
slowly created in whatever spare time I can find.
you write, do you also have a day job? If so what do you
Yeah, I have a "day" job. I work in finance,
but I still freelance on the side. I write fiction in my
spare time, and I am working hard towards making my
writing pay me a full-time wage. I'll get there one day.
Name three writing tips to pass on to other writers.
1. - READ. Read a LOT! Read work that you love, and read
really bad work. Read outside of your preferred genre,
and read the junk on the backs of cereal boxes. You will
begin to learn what makes a good book great, and you will
learn to spot what makes a bad book a lemon at 500 paces.
2. - LEARN!!! Learn everything you can about the usage
and effect of the language you write in. Take the time to
refresh anything you learned about grammar and spelling.
Learn to edit properly. The biggest thing new writers
overlook is the need to edit. There is an odd belief
getting around that, just because the words are on paper
(or on disk), they are somehow permanent. The best works
are always heavily edited and re-written, and then edited
again. Never be afraid to cut words or scenes, or even
entire chapters, that are redundant. Learn what makes you
laugh or cry, or react in any way. Learn to put that
knowledge to good use.
3. - PERSIST. Never give up on your dreams and goals.
Never allow anyone to denigrate those ideals. Never tell
yourself you can't do it. Be positive, believe in
yourself and your vision of where you want your career to
go, and then persist. (I would love to add patience and
perseverance here, but they both fall under the "persistence"
banner, too, don't they?)
you let unimportant things get in the way of your
Never. It took me a long time to train family and friends
to realize that when I'm writing, I'm working, and if
they get in my way, the snarl they receive is more fierce
than if they were staring down my German shepherd dog in
a bad mood!
Have you ever written a query letter?
Of course! I even wrote an article on how I deal with query letters. You can
view it in Fiction Factor
Has your work ever been accepted through a query letter?
Yes. Most of everything I've sold was originally
generated from a query letter to a specifically targeted
publication or publisher, as the case may be. There have
been instances where editors have approached me directly,
but only after they have had some time to get to know me
and my work.
What hours do you write best?
Whenever I have free time. Because I still work full-time,
finding free time to write fiction is becoming more
difficult. Generally I work around things and try to
compromise with those around me. For example: I will sit
in the living room beside my husband in the evenings. He
will watch television, while I scribble madly into a
notepad. Quality time, huh??
Or I will go to bed early and sit up with a notepad
instead of a book. I talk to a mini-recorder in the car
on the way to wherever I'm going. I will happily sit
beside a tree with a notepad and pen while the guys go
water-skiing. I take my laptop on longer trips.
So there is no "best" time, only whatever time
I can create for myself around a marriage, a social life
and a busy work schedule.
How often do you write?
Every day. Without excuse - even if it's only a few
paragraphs. When I have a day where I don't feel like it,
I ask myself, "How much do you want this".
That's usually enough to get me motivated.
Are you an avid reader?
Yes. I always have been. I read anything and everything.
My particular favorites are science fiction or
supernatural horror, but that doesn't stop me from
reading fantasy or espionage stories or adventure tales,
or whatever else is available.
What are you reading now?
I finished Tom Clancy's "Rainbox Six" last
night - I'll begin Julian May's "Sagittarius Whorl"
tonight, I guess. I have four or five others sitting on
the bedstand waiting for some attention, though,
including Stephen King's "Dreamcatcher", and
Greg Bear's "Darwin's Radio".
Are your family or friends supportive of your writing?
They have no choice.
Has writing always been a passion for you or did you
discover it years later?
I think I answered this one earlier. Yes, it's always
been a passion/compulsion/obsession.
Well, that's it - I hope I didn't bore you too much with
that insight into me and my writing life, but it was a
fun challenge to respond to. Thanks again Brenda.
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