What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
Making up characters and bringing them to life while still dressed in my pajamas and nursing a cup of coffee.
What genre(s) do you write?
Adult contemporary romance, romantic suspense, young adult ghost stories and paranormal short stories. I’m also writing a cop story set in small-town West Texas.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I tend to rush to the finish. I have to slow down and plump up.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I have to know the ending, then it’s strictly seat of the pants!
Why do you think people should choose your books over another author?
I like to make people cry.
What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In All For Love, I hope the reader gets the message that decisions made in haste often have life-long consequences.
How long have you been a writer?
Since I was old enough to string sentences together in a spiral notebook.
How much time did it take from writing your first book to having it published?
Well, my first book was never published. It died a slow and painful death at the hands of zombie-dust-bunnies in the bottom drawer of my old desk.
Twenty years later, I got serious and published a novella. However, I was writing and publishing short stories all along.
What other careers have you had?
Elementary school teacher, 911 operator, waitress, radio-station secretary, freight office supervisor, newspaper delivery girl—don’t laugh—I was able to take my kids with me when they were small.
Do you write under more than one name? Why?
No, I have thought about it though. Especially since I write in more than one genre.
Are any of your characters based on real people or events?
Oh, I always use an amalgamation of real people and real events. I’ve killed off my “enemies” a few times.
How would you describe yourself if you were “speed dating” your readers?
I strive for action and deep emotion in all my stories.
What’s something fans would find fascinating about you?
I believe in spirits—I’ve been visited on three separate occasions. Plus, I can wiggle my ears.
What else would you like readers to know about you or your work?
My work is heartfelt. It comes from the pain and joy of living. I always try to convey that via my characters.
What books or authors have most influenced your life?
Everything from Black Beauty and Call of the Wild, right up through The Crystal Cave, and on into Stephen King’s work (especially works like The Woman in the Room); books have taught me everything I need to know about life.
How do your family and/or friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?
My family is very supportive. They have no choice. I know where they live.
Where are you from?
It’s a small town surrounded by cotton fields and pumpjacks.
How do you come up with the titles?
The Muses supply them—then the editors change them.
Has your life changed significantly since becoming a published writer?
Yes, I have become a slave to Internet marketing.
Do you work on one project at a time? Or do you multi-task?
I work on several at once. I also read several books at the same time. I think I may have undiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder. Either that or I just got such a late start in publishing that I’m constantly trying to catch up . . .
When not writing, how do you relax?
I like to read, walk two or three miles a day, go to the drive-in movies with my handsome hubby, Dude, swim, and try out new restaurants. We also love live music and are fortunate to be able to attend concerts frequently. ZZ Top, Craig Chaquico, Pat Benatar, Reckless Kelly, Bruce Springsteen, Charley Pride, Bill Cosby (okay, he’s not a musician, but boy can he tell it like it is) those are some of the most recent . . . I want to see George Jones; he is coming to town soon, but I will be in Austin at the Texas Book Festival.
Please tell us 5 miscellaneous facts about yourself.
I love roasted jalapenos.
My favorite drinks are coffee, chocolate milk, and Diet Coke (not usually all together).
My daughter, Sara Barnard, is also an author published by 5 Prince Publishing.
I have five grandchildren.
I once met Andre the Giant (from The Princess Bride). He was very nice and very, very large.
Please share with us your future projects and upcoming releases.
My next book is The Phantom Student; book two in The Phantom Series, which will be released in October 2012. I am also at work on Book Three, The Phantom of Crybaby Bridge.
I have two stories included in Campfire Tales, an anthology of spooky stories, which will be released in September 2012.
I am finished with my Romantic Suspense novel, Stutter Creek. It’s fermenting.
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