Her Step Into the Wind is a Goldie finalist in the Dramatic/General Fiction category. I asked herthe 6 questions you posed on Facebook – and here are her replies.
1) Who/What is your favorite book/author? Why?
I definitely don’t have a single favorite author or book. Trying to choose one would be like trying to identify my absolute favorite flower or outdoor pursuit. I adore all flowers, period. And, some days, I’m in the mood to garden, kayak, bike, hike or maybe all four in a day. It depends on my mood. Notwithstanding, naming a collection of my favorite authors is pretty easy. Among them are Henry David Thoreau, E.B. White, J.K. Rowling, and Dr. Seuss. I love Thoreau because no author does a better job of using words to describe nature. White, Rowling and Seuss have all written books that bridge the gap between young and adult readers. There’s a message for everyone in the weave of their books. Books that can be read multiple times over in one’s life and always unpack something a little different based on how we grow intellectually and emotionally over the years. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, the Harry Potter series by Rowling, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss, and Walden by Thoreau are my favorite of their respective books.
2) What has been your most surprising or interesting inspiration for a book?
After the tragedy that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I read a book that was a compilation of research articles put together by the John’s Hopkins University titled, Reducing Gun Violence in America, Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis. I learned that American is not, based on the statistics, more violent than other industrialized countries. But, because of our access to guns, when we are violent, we are deadly violent. On average, in the U.S., 31,000 people die from firearms. What I didn’t know before reading the book was that 62% are suicides, 36% homicides and 2% accidents. I could not get these statistics out of my mind. Instead of hearing the facts from our news media, we get rhetoric from both sides of the gun debate. I wanted to write a story based on the facts. My next novel, Blowback, is that story. It’s due out within the next couple of months.
3) Writing is emotional and can be isolating. From where do you get your support?
Fortunately, I have a very supportive spouse who is respectful of my need and want to write. However, I’ve organized my schedule so that writing does not interfere too much with our play time together. I write in the early morning hours when she’s still sleeping, and on Fridays when she’s at work.
4) What does it mean to you to see your work in print and then up for an award?
It takes a really long time, for me at least, to finish writing a story. Between my day job, family and outdoor pursuits, I don’t have a lot of time to write. So, to see that story finally published is like “crossing the ‘T’ and dotting the ‘I’ on something that took many months to accomplish. I feel as though I’ve left something that might matter to someone along the way. That’s the most gratifying part of seeing a story in print. Having that story be up for an award is a message back from the universe that “yes” that story did matter to someone.
5) What is next on your personal bucket list to accomplish (literary or otherwise)?
I’d like to publish a cookbook at some point. It would be a compilation of recipes that are healthy, easy and affordable to make for people who don’t spend a lot of time cooking. Putting it together would be a real challenge. I rarely write my recipes down, so I’d have to spend some time figuring out amounts of ingredients and cooking times. The other challenge would be coming up with things that the typical fast food eater might enjoy. I think I’m up for the challenge.
6) What are you working on now and what’s next up for publication?
My next novel, Blowback, is in the editing stage. It will likely be out within the next month or two from Bedazzled Ink Publishing. I’m also working on a nonfiction book that is a compilation of essays and photographs from the adventure I recently went on to Antarctica. It will also be published by Bedazzled Ink Publishing, and likely out sometime toward the end of 2014.
Huge thanks to Bev for taking part.