Where are you from
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
Serious coffeeholic Animal and nature lover
Tall in stature Not a morning person
Empathetic softy Determined writer
Proud mom of three Relaxed and casual
Have B.A. degree Arts, crafts, photography
Avid reader Sappy movie buff
No use for drama Sister, aunt, daughter
Inner child runs amok often Yellow’s my favorite color
Eh? I’m Canadian.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
The third book in my Home Series – Rhapsody in Red – was just released on January 20, 2015 at all major ebook retailers. I’m very excited to finally have it out there. It was so much fun to write! The fourth book (and last) is well underway. I can’t yet speculate on a release date, unfortunately, but if the universe cooperates, maybe before the year is done. After that, I’ve promised to return to writing the sequel to Noble Lies.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I write because I am. That’s the simplest answer for why I do what I do. If it’s not stories, then it’s been essays, reports, policies, emails, letters, lists… I’m my favorite me when I’m writing. I’ve always been a bookworm and a writer in some capacity.
I wrote my first book in elementary school as part of a future authors program offered to handful of us and run by the school. My children’s story was professionally bound, but not published. I am grateful that teacher saw something in me at that age that said I’d fit into this special program. It was an awesome experience, and one that has really stayed with me.
Since then, some drafts of stories have been constructed – hidden in private darkness because they’re truly horrible in their current form. (They may or may not ever be resurrected, overhauled, and allowed to escape out into the world.) Noble Lies, my fantasy romance set in a fictional historic time and place, was the first to actually see the light of day in 2012.
Writing is an opportunity for me to climb aboard a winged horse and fly off to another land in exploration. It makes me incredibly happy to be able to do so. It’s “me” time. Some people like to fish. Others like to shop or play video games. I prefer to play inside my writing bubble…unless you’re inviting me to go shopping for office supplies. I love shopping for office supplies!
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I love words and tend to use a lot of them, making my books longer than most. I like descriptions. I like details. I like painting a scene. I enjoy fat, hearty stories that grab you for days – give you real bang for your buck. I also prefer to write in third-person so that the narrative can lend insights into the story – things that the main character may not be aware of or understand but that benefit the reader to know.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’d love to. The Home Series is the project that has been filling my time over the past couple of years. It began with the writing of a paranormal romance short story, The White Peacock. Intended to be a short story, I found that once I reached the end, the story wasn’t yet finished with me. I had to know what happened to Juliette after that final scene. Just Live, Juliette! is the full-length novel arising from that initial tale. Basically, we have a woman who has died and crossed over to the other side. Facing a world that is very much the same, yet different, she has to learn how to exist “at Home”…and, of course, sort out matters of the heart. It’s a tale of death, afterlife, amnesia, friendships, and love.
Once Juliette’s story was released, I was urged to turn this tale into an entire series. The second book, Rocks Don’t Cry, was released in 2013, while the third, Rhapsody in Red, was just released on January 20, 2015. Each book that follows Juliette’s story is told from the perspective of one of the other main characters, but picks up exactly where the last one left off. I’m presently writing the fourth (and last).
The best place to start is always at the beginning, so how about an introduction for your followers to the first book? These are a few excerpts from Just Live, Juliette!
Juliette felt a pounding in her chest as if an earthquake was building momentum and she was the epicenter. She was very confused. As the color drained from her face, she read the article again, clutching her purse. She didn’t understand. There had to be some sort of a mistake. She looked at the picture of Miles MacDermott. It was definitely her Miles; there was no doubt. He had the same perfectly styled hair, the same warm, welcoming eyes, and that beautiful smile that had looked down on her as they had lain in bed together, making love well into the wee hours of the night. Her emotions slammed into her all at once in a chaotic frenzy, and as the ground beneath her began to feel unsteady, she crumpled to the floor, staring at the newspaper in her hands. She fought for breath as the sound of her heart pounding in her ears became louder and louder and the muscles in her chest tightened around her lungs. The paper slipped out of her fingers and slid down her knees to the floor in front of her.
She hugged her purse over her heart as if it were a favorite teddy bear; the same way she used to comfort herself as a child. She couldn’t turn away; she couldn’t stop staring at the black and white image of the man she had fallen in love with the night before. Her hands felt clammy as she balled the fabric of the purse tightly with her fingers. Nausea began to build in her stomach. She jumped at the sudden sound of her phone ringing in the living room, but she couldn’t make her body move in order to answer it. She felt frozen in place staring at the printed picture of Miles.
As she stared out the window, she watched an elderly woman dressed in a sage green trench coat and sensible beige heels walk along the sidewalk in front of the house. Her arthritic gait seemed familiar, as did her hair; a loosely-twisted gray bun at the back of her head. She stopped in front of the tree and turned, looking up at Juliette in the window, and smiling. Grandma Jean! Juliette raced downstairs and threw on her shoes and her jacket. She flung the door open with a bang and raced out, running across the front lawn and into her grandmother’s arms.
“There, there, Sweetheart. I’ve got you. It’s okay. It’s going to be okay. It’s going to be just fine,” she cooed as she stroked her granddaughter’s hair.
Juliette’s ears pricked up. She hadn’t heard that voice in about fifteen years, yet her mind didn’t hesitate at all and swam in the familiar and comforting sound. Her grandmother smelled the same as well; of soap, and baked sweets, and spearmint gum. She was instantly taken back to warm and fuzzy memories of her childhood. She dropped her head, buried her face in her grandmother’s shoulder, and cried.
“I thought I was all alone,” she sobbed as she clung to the older woman.
“No, Kiddo. You aren’t alone. It’s going to be just fine,” her grandmother continued to soothe.
When Juliette finally released her hold, Grandma Jean reached into her coat pocket and pulled out a small package of tissues, handing them to her weepy granddaughter.
“So I’m really dead?” Juliette whispered; dabbing her eyes.
Her grandmother nodded; her gentle wrinkles deepening as she smiled. “And you decided to go out with a bang did you?”
“You can drive me home, but it doesn’t mean anything,” she said.
He nodded and smiled, relieved that she had agreed. She sat down beside him. After closing the door, she reached for the seatbelt and noticed that he was staring at her with a curious smirk on his face. She didn’t care; she did up the belt anyway. She would have felt naked riding in a vehicle without a seatbelt. And as they pulled away from behind the other parked cars on the roadway beside the chapel, she wondered how it was that he was even driving, but she’d really had enough thinking for the day. She settled back against the seat and leaned her head against the window, watching the city fly past, and grateful for the silence around her. When he turned down Newbury, she sat up, and when he stopped in front of her building, she thanked him for the ride and opened the door.
“We really should talk,” he said again.
She shook her head and paused, one foot already on the ground, before turning to face him. “I don’t think we have anything to talk about.”
“How could you feel the way you felt about me last Friday night and then just walk away?” he asked her sadly.
Quietly, she replied. “How could you feel the way you felt about me last Friday night and not have been honest with me?”
He looked at the steering wheel. She slid out of the truck and closed the door.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Titles are very tricky little beasts. Having such a gigantic view of the story, it is so difficult to summarize the entire tale into an enticing short book description, let alone trying to shorten it even further into a title. With Noble Lies, I was at a total loss and it took some brainstorming with early readers.
For the books in the Home Series, the titles and chapter headings are all rather quirky. I enjoy the absurd, and perhaps that’s why I’ve had an easier time with these. The White Peacock is the fictitious name of a restaurant/bar where the story begins. Just Live, Juliette! was simply “a given” because of the story – dead girl being told to live. Rocks Don’t Cry was an epiphany I’d had while I was writing one of the chapters. Of course rocks don’t cry – or do they? It was originally to be that chapter title, but I liked it so much that I decided to use it as the book title. As I was writing Rhapsody in Red, I was again clueless for most of the story, and getting worried I’d be empty-handed by the time I reached the end, until I wrote a particular scene. It just fell into my lap. The fourth book is not yet titled, but there’s still time. (Fingers crossed.)
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I really enjoy mind teasers and puzzles – the challenge of sorting out riddles or clues, or placing pieces the right way, and perhaps that’s why I’m having so much fun writing the Home Series. The process is riddled with challenges, and sometimes it’s frustrating, but it’s those challenges that keep me glued to my keyboard.
When I wrote the short story, The White Peacock, it was intended to be a brief diversion from time spent working on the sequel to Noble Lies. As such, I included “facts” into that story. When I realized I couldn’t let Juliette’s story end there, and that I had to write a full-length novel chronicling her experience, I had to work with those released “facts”. Of course, I introduced a lot more into that first book. Then I was urged to write a series… Things got even trickier.
I can see the benefit in writing an entire series before releasing any piece of it; however, I’ve taken to using all of these previously stated facts as writing prompts. It’s a bit of a game I play for my own amusement. “This is what you have to work with – make it work.” I’m always thrilled when things settle into place as if they were always meant to be that way.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Yes and no. I think the majority of the ideas that make their way onto paper are the result of experience in some form or another – either directly or observed from a distance.
I’m a quiet introvert, usually watching “the party” underway around me as opposed to being one of the extroverted guests ensuring it is a party to remember. I’m always observing: a mother’s stern glare, grief displayed on the news, the crunch crunch of an icy parking lot under my boots, the quivering lip of a boy who doesn’t want to cry. Stuff has made its way into my head and is bound to come out at some point in some form. I do borrow pieces of personalities from all over the place and roll them into various characters – again, the result of real life experience, but I have never based a character or their journey solely on a real-life person or event.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Writing will always be a large part of who I am, no differently than being a mother, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, etc. It’s so much more than a career. It’s simply the way I know how to be.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Ignore the naysayers who would quash your passion and just write your heart out. If, in the end, your stories are only enjoyed by a handful, it was still worth it, right? When it pumps through your blood, what other choice do you have but to let your fingers dance across the keys, releasing all that prose onto a page?
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Oh my goodness, yes! Thank you! It’s warming to know that readers are enjoying the stories. YOU make all the long hours so incredibly worthwhile, and I’m without words (me…without words) to describe how appreciative I am of all the kind and positive support.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Most definitely. I’m in more places than I can always manage to visit and update, but you can find me here:
And on a final note – thank you, Fiona, for hosting me on your blog! Wishing you all the best!