My gray hair? Freedom and authenticity, baby!

 

What I believe

I believe in second chances. The theme has surprised me by prancing into every one of my books. So many people live out their lives without getting what they want or what they need. Instead, they settle for less, subsisting instead of making things happen.

What I want for you as my reader

As you get to know my characters, I want you imbued with a sense of hope and possibility–with the magic that can happen when someone first pokes a toe out of her comfort zone and decides to make things happen. I want you to relate to my discretely individual characters who, like most women, desire and deserve true love; authentic relationships, whether they be friends, mothers, grown children, lovers or partners; and work that is meaningful. I want you to care about the character’s emotional hurts, the misunderstandings that cause them to stumble and cheer them on as they make choices that ultimately lead them to create empowered and fulfilling lives.

But my chief purpose as a writer is to hook you from the very first sentence. To ignite your brain’s hardwired desire to learn what happens next. Then, as you reach that last page, I hope my work will have given you that “Aww-that-was-so-good” feeling that makes you want to hop up and share the story with your best friends.

What embodies my work?

As an evocative writer, I bring strong images, memories, or feelings to mind. You will find my work filled with vivid metaphors, original prose and detailed descriptions that make you feel part of the scene. Oh, and alliteration–I go gaga over alliteration. That’s the kind of novel I enjoy reading myself. My stories will always involve friendship and a love interest for my main character. You’ll find swoon-worthy love scenes, but the sex will be “behind closed doors.” You will find conflict at every turn, tension on most pages, and “cliffhangery” scene and chapter endings. I hope my overall style pleases and resonates with you and deepens your reading experience.

How I came to writing

After teaching school for twenty years, I was blessed to have a husband who supported me as I took early retirement to pursue my dream of writing my own fiction. I jumped off the cliff with no writing classes. Or parachute. But I joined the Women’s Fiction Writers Association and for three years served as Director of Craft Education Programs. In that capacity, I learned a great deal about the elements of strong storytelling. With my third book, I landed an outstanding literary agent Pamela Harty with the Knight Agency. But with the pandemic and tumult of traditional publishing, she was unable to find a home for it. Like so many other authors I know, I’ve gone indie! I started my own publishing company Evocative Publishing, LLC, under which I’ll publish subsequent books and “all things author branding related.” I’m totally stoked about making all decisions about my work, and of course retaining all of my royalties. It is an exciting and freeing venture!

What I’m working on now

Marketing my latest release TOPANGA CANYON! I hired the finest marketing coach, Dan Blank, who taught me to BE THE GATEWAY (title of his book) for my work. The genre of the novel is women’s fiction with elements of romance. It’s also a mother/daughter story. Its theme? There is no greater bond between that of mother and daughter. I wrote the story in first person–as I always end up doing!– from the view points of the mother (Dare) and her daughter (Caroline.) I love first person because it’s relatable, immediate, and there’s so much opportunity to get inside the character’s head.

How I fell in love with story

When I was five, growing up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, my mother took me to the old ivy-robed public library. The subterranean-level children’s section, had its own—and, I was convinced, secret—entrance via a moss-spackled flight of brick steps. I can still conjure the singular musk of fabric bindings and library paste, the sighs of the radiators when it was cold outside. Seated on a blue carpet before shelves packed with scruffy plastic-wrapped spines, I discovered my love for story.

The gateway book for me was Sugarplum by Johanna Johnston. But it wasn’t long before I became hooked on harder stuff like Curious George and the Little Bear series by Else Holmelund Minarik. Eventually, biographies of famous women and Charlotte’s Web captured my heart. By age ten, the Happy Hollisters and Nancy Drew were bffs.

When I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for the first time at thirteen, I developed the habit of reading myself to sleep at night. Still do. Only now, it’s Women’s Fiction. Some of my favorite authors include Anna Quindlen, Taylor Jenkins Reid, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Lori Lansens, Donna Tartt, Kristin Hannah, and the late, oh-so-greats Anne Rivers Siddons and Pat Conroy.

When I’m not writing

I enjoy working with developing writers through my side hustle Four Eyes Editorial. I live with my husband and two puppers in the beautiful green upstate of South Carolina–in a sweet spot between the Blue Ridge Mountains and some of the loveliest beaches in the country. I can be found reading on my screened porch, at a yoga class, at our indie bookstore with a latte in hand, at a farmer’s market in search of the perfect heirloom tomato, or sipping a glass of a yummy Oregon Pinot Gris. What is it about the soil out there?