What’s your story? How did you get into writing?
I have always wanted to be a writer. I told my sibs stories when we were trying to get to sleep as a youngster. I wrote (bad, derivative) fantasy while I was in college. Most of my fairy tales were written as bedtime stories for my children when they were young. Others were ideas that I had percolating for seveal years before I actually wrote them down.
By profession, I’ve been a technical writer for over 25 years. I pretty much fell into that profession. When I had just graduated from College with a B.S, a recruiter sent me on a job interview, for the practice of it. It was a job as a technical witer: when asked what I had learned in college, I said that I learned how to do research, and I could pretty much write about anything with a little it of background research. No one was more surprised than I was that I actually got the job. One of the things I love about being a technical writer is that I get to learn about all sorts of astonishing and interesting things. The other thing is that I actually got paid a salary to write, rather than feeling at the mercy of the big publishing houses. When my kids were out of high school, I returned to college to earn a certificate in Technical Communication at Washtenaw Community College.
With the boom in indy publishing, I dusted off my fairy tales, finished writing some of the other ideas I’ve had for awhile, and am delighted that they’re finding a new audience.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Read. Read anything you can get your hands on, as widely and in as many genres as possible. And write, as much as you can. It doesn’t matter if what you write is any good at first, you’re just writing for the practice. And keep reading, and keep writing.
What are you working on now?
Dragons and Dreams: Bedtime Stories has just gone live at Amazon, and I’m expecting the print version to be available any day now (in fact, it might be available now, as your readers read this). I’ve also finished writing two longer fairy tales, that will be available as singles. I’m waiting for my artist to get covers to me, but he’s frantically busy, and I don’t want to impose too much on him.
I’m also working on a non-fiction look at the intersection of religion and mental health, but that’s a longer term project, and I have no idea when that will be publish-ready.
As a technical writer, I’ve been working with the (ISC)2 (International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium) and Norwich University Digital Forensics program on course work and a book on digital forensics.
What has been the most challenging part of publishing or marketing your book?
Probably getting the courage to actually push that button at Amazon.
What has been your favorite part?
Seeing the proof copy from CreateSpace, actually holding my book in my hands, was terrifically exciting, as was getting that first sale, and the first 5-star review from somebody who doesn’t know me.
Who are your favorite authors?
Lois McMaster Bujold; I aspire to be called the Lois Bujold of the fairy tale set. She writes wonderful books that are intricately plotted yet still strongly character driven. And Nora Roberts is just fun to read.
What gave you the idea for your current work?
Most of the stories I’ve published so far have been stories that I told my kids when they were of an age to enjoy fairy tales and bedtime stories.
If you could be any character in the book, which one would you be?
Cordelia Vorkosigan, from Lois McMaster Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan stories.
What other books have you written and/or are working on for the future?
Well, right now my main focus ins on the technical writing project for (ISC)2, but I’ve got some ideas for other fairy tales percolating.
What’s your favorite quote?
*laughs* I’ve got a whole book full of favorite quotes. Right now, the one I’m using in my sig file is “There’s no such thing as useless information, only information I haven’t used yet.”
What’s your favorite supernatural creature?
Right now? dragons. They’re far more interesting than unicorns. And I’m working on a story starring gargoyles.
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