Live. I live in SW Florida with my partner Pam and our poodle Sabrina. In Florida we have two seasons – wet and dry. Or Season and Not Season. We trade busy restaurants and traffic for mosquitoes. It works out well – just when you think you can’t take the people any more, the mosquitoes scare them away. Then when you’ve had enough of the bugs, the season changes again.
Love. I love Pam and Sabrina. My family and friends. Birds and animals and books.
Write. I love writing. I don’t love all the other, necessary business stuff. Promotion is hard. Putting yourself out there is tough. But you do what you have to do. So, here’s a little about my writing. I have two novels published with Blue Feather Books. You can order them through Blue Feather’s website or Amazon. I also have a box in my car, in my writing room at home, and a handful in my desk drawer at work.
Confined Spaces was the third book I wrote but the first to be published. Andie Waters has two jobs, both of which I’ve worked before. I tended bar many, many years ago, and worked in a laboratory for eight and a half years. Xena is a Treeing Walker Hound in the book, but was modeled after our Great Dane, Keegan, who we lost in June. Andie’s love interest, Kara, was actually Carrie while I was writing the book. My editor didn’t like having both characters’ names end in ‘ie.’ Pam and I were at Okaloacoochee Slough (OK Slough for short) with some friends when I checked my email on my phone and got that message about wanting to change one of the names. I’d just spent the last several hours driving everyone crazy by alternating between singing out “here kitty, kitty” (wanting to see a panther) and “here cara, cara” (wanting to see a crested caracara). I asked everyone for suggestions and someone said, “How about Kara?” I hope my character didn’t mind being named after a scavenger often seen feasting on road-kill alongside vultures.
Flight was my second novel written, and second published. In this book, two sisters’ lives come crashing together. I’ve been asked if they are based on me and one of my sisters. You won’t find any part of either sister in either character. (I did use my sister Stacey’s Gran Torino though.) There is a big part of me in each of the characters, though I wasn’t as cool as April or as smart as Kate. Pick out the awkward in each of them, and there I am. This one wasn’t easy for me because it was set in 1983. My memory sucks big time, so I had to look up all the little things. For example, pay phones had been deregulated, so I had to figure out how much to make a call cost. I had to research cars and drugs and music. Joan Jett’s music was a big part of my life in the early 80s, so of course it was in the book. I had some of her music on CD but my characters listened to cassettes. Pam found a cassette online and ordered it for me so I could see how long you’d have to hold down the rewind button to listen to “Crimson and Clover” over and over.
Nesting was the first novel-length work I wrote. I submitted it to my publisher 5 days ago. Fingers crossed. It took me four years to write, longer than the other two combined. I’ll talk about this one in the next blog, when I’ll hopefully know what’s next for it.
I am currently working on a story set in Southwest Florida. If I follow the plan (and some other story doesn’t hijack my attention), after that I’ll see Andie and Kara again, then Officer Eliot from Flight gets to tell her story.