Welcome to my blog Chloe. Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions about yourself and your books.
Q. Tell us about your latest work—title, genre, etc. — and why you wrote it?
A. This is my first fiction book. I wrote it primarily to let readers know what teachers go through – trying to balance their personal and professional lives. I actually trashed the novel which I wrote in 1991. A friend retrieved it telling me that I couldn’t do so. I shelved it and went on to other writing but pulled it out a couple of years ago when everything I discovered that everything I was reading was reading in the news about teachers was in my novel. The title is This Business of Children but it definitely isn’t kid stuff!
Q. What draws you to your genre(s)? Why is this type of story compelling to you?
A. As a retired teacher myself, I felt that I had much to share but I opted for fiction instead of non-fiction because it was a challenge to develop male characters and develop a realistic setting.
Q. What is your writing process like? Do you map the whole thing out or do you just let it unfold?
A. I definitely map things out, beginning with the characters I want to develop. A writer must be able to get into the heart and soul of each character. I actually write in longhand before I type anything.
Q. What kind of research was involved in writing your book?
A. Not much research was involved with this book. For my non-fiction books, a lot of research was done.
Q. How much of YOU makes it into your characters?
A. People have asked me if I’m Dee or Vera and I must admit that there is a little bit of me in both of them. I was a teacher activist for many years – just like Dee and I think my motherly concern shows up with Vera.
Q. How did you begin your writing career?
A. I have been writing for years and had various articles published in newspapers and magazines. However, I began writing seriously in the late 90’s and my first book was published in 2003.
Q. Could you share with our readers some of the major crossroads you have taken to achieve your goals in life?
A. There have been some major decisions I’ve had to make to achieve these goals. One important thing I’ve had to do is to disregard lack of support from some family members whom I thought would really be enthusiastic about my achievements. I actually have written about this in a blog post for the World Literary Café where I was invited to do a series of articles entitled Taking Care of You the Writer.
Q. How do you balance the need to have time to write with the needs of family, society, etc.?
A. I am at a stage of my life where my family obligations are behind me. I live alone (widowed with grown children) but I am involved with several volunteer duties which I love!
Q. What do you do for fun when not writing or volunteering?
A. Well, I’m a world traveler – all 7 continents and that has been the greatest source of fun and adventure for me. At home, I play with my wonderful cats, enjoy a game of Solitaire or Poker, listen to classical music, and read.
Q. Have there been any authors in particular, that inspired your writing?
A. To answer fully, I would have to list these authors as fiction or non-fiction and there are several but to be perfectly honest, the Gospel writers are my greatest inspiration.
Q. Is there a story you want to tell behind or about your work(s)?
A. You are speaking with a woman who, at one time, suffered from life-threatening depression. I managed to overcome it and you would be amazed at what I have managed to do since the age of 55!
Q: You have had a very interesting career and do much work with women, motherhood, and the aged. Could you tell us more?
A. It would take pages to describe everything! My 2 previous books have been very helpful to caregivers working with the aged and women facing midlife transition. As a mother, I am blessed in knowing that I have raised 2 fantastic, successful children – a son and a daughter and I do believe it is because I chose to be a stay-at-home mother until they began school.
Q. I love your ‘Elegant Tips’! Do you have more that you would like to share with our women readers please?
A. (Smile): If I give them all away now, no one will want to buy my book,”Entering the Age of Elegance”! However, it’s simply this: Don’t buy into what the media, Hollywood; pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies are trying to sell you. These guys are laughing all the way to the bank while women’s self-esteem goes down the tubes.
Q: What is the hardest part of writing for you?
A. The hardest part for me has been getting into the mind and heart of male characters in my novel. As for writing in general, I’ve had days when my creativity was practically non-existent but as I’m fond of saying…O let go…and let God.
Q: What is the most positive experience in your writing process?
A. The most positive experience is mentally envisioning the finished product and being determined to make it happen!
Q. What other projects are you currently working on or about to start?
A. My next book will be a children’s book about a little girl who hates her name because it sounds foreign and is lengthy to write and does everything imaginable to get it changed.
The screenplay for my novel has been written and the screen writer is now presenting it to various film producers. The latest message I received from Don MacNab is that it is now in the hands of a film producer.
Q. Could you share some of your marketing strategies? Which ones are the most effective in your opinion?
A. Social networking, though time-consuming, is effective. I also offer freebies on my web site. It is definitely important to have an author web site.
Q. What would be the top five, (or 3 or 1 or however many) things you would tell aspiring authors?
A. Simply this: Follow my COPD plan – engage consistency, optimism, persistence, and determination daily.
Again, thanks Chloe for taking the time to share your knowledge with us. We appreciate you and your work.Good luck with your current and future publications.
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