Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Writing is technically my 3rd career- I was a marketing exec in the telecommunications industry for years before I switched to teaching marketing at the college level. I now write full-time and am planning a number of trips now that travel restrictions are reduced. I have written 4 contemporary novels- Jeep Tour is based in Sedona, Driving on the Left was inspired by a trip with my daughter to Ireland, Guessing at Normal and Second Guessing are my rockstar romances, inspired by my love of music and fascination with rockstars.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Landscape of a Marriage is historical fiction. It is the story of renowned landscape architect and park builder Frederick Law Olmsted and his wife Mary. My husband is a descendant of Olmsted’s and while much is known about all of his amazing work- Central Park, The Biltmore Estate, etc. there has been little written about his personal life. When I discovered that Olmsted married his late brother’s widow, adopted her three children and together they had four more, I thought- now that’s a story that I want to read. So I wrote it.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Not really. I work on my trusty MacBook Air, do research in longhand, and have visuals to inspire me on pegboards and whiteboards. Usually one of my cats is nearby and I drink gallons of water and coffee as I work.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I have always been an avid reader. I love historical fiction, mysteries, thrillers and beach reads. My favorite authors are Dennis Lehane, Michael Connelly, Stephen King, Elin Hilderbrand and Claire Cook.
What are you working on now?
My work in progress is contemporary fiction and features a disgraced former Assistant State’s Attorney who is attempting a career comeback. Secrets from her past are complicating her efforts and a missing character witness reappears with a secret of her own.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I have found a combination of social media (for me that’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) works for name recognition and branding. Reviews are crucial, so reach out to bloggers in your genre and ask for their support. Be prepared to give something in return. Asking for a review is more likely to be accepted when you are willing to provide a guest post or offer a giveaway or contest.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Learn as much as you can about your genre and your potential readers. If your aim is to sell books, you have to make it easy for your readers to find you and know pretty quickly who you are as a writer. When someone tells me they are working on a post-apocalyptic memoir with a shape-shifting main character, I want to scream- keep it simple. Less is more. Identify a theme and stick with it.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Hire an editor! Before you send your book out to an agent or publisher or if you are self-published, before you press submit, hire an editor!! A good editor is worth every penny and can advise you of holes in your storylines, loose threads (something that doesn’t contribute to the actual story or character development) problems with pacing and so much more.
What are you reading now?
I am enjoying The Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly and the audiobook that currently has my attention is Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Both are fabulous!
What’s next for you as a writer?
I am excited for the launch of Landscape of a Marriage and plan to continue with my work in progress. After that, who knows?? Maybe one of my trips will inspire me with a new storyline!
What is your favorite book of all time?
Trinity by Leon Uris is my all-time favorite. Others that I absolutely love are The Given Day by Dennis Lehane, Gone with the Wind, the Harry Bosch stories by Michael Connelly and The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand.