Why do you write?
I write because I find the creative process to be pure joy. Writing allows me to play “let’s pretend” all day. What’s not to like?
What’s your favorite genre? Do you have a favorite author (if so, please tell us the name)?
I have three favorite genres: mysteries, historical fiction, and women’s fiction. I don’t have a current favorite author. It changes with whomever I’m really enjoying at the moment.
To be successful as an author, what do you see as the main goal?
Sometimes the simple answers are more difficult in the execution. The main goal for me is to write the best novel I am able. Easy to say, but damned hard work.
What inspires you and how do you channel it when you need inspiration?
Being an author of historical fiction, I am inspired by the past and the people who made it. Research will almost always spark my imagination. With my most recent release, Confederado do Norte, learning that the descendants of the real Confederados can still be found in and around Americana, Brazil sparked the idea for the story. On festival days, people with Portuguese first names and Anglo surnames can be seen wearing Confederate gray uniforms, antebellum ball gowns, and flying the Stars and Bars. While I do not agree with the choices their ancestors made before or after the Civil War, I find their story fascinating.
What advice can you give to aspiring authors?
Rejection is a painful, but necessary, part of getting published. Do not be discouraged. Learn all you can about your craft, produce the best work you are able, and write the book that you would want to read.
What advice would you give to the youth of today (not just authors)?
Reacting spontaneously and in the moment can be great fun for the casual portions of life. When it comes to life altering decisions and major events, however, reviewing all of the facts, considering and evaluating all of the options, planning for the future, and understanding that failure is a normal part of life are critical to one’s mental and emotional wellbeing. There is no such thing as overnight success. Success requires hard work and tenacity.
What’s on your bucket list?
I have been very fortunate in having traveled in Europe and Africa, but I have never been to Australia and New Zealand. I would love to see those beautiful countries.
Tell us about your book:
Set during the aftermath of the American Civil War, Confederado do Norte tells the story of Mary Catherine, a child torn from her war devastated home in Georgia and thrust into the primitive Brazilian interior where the young woman she becomes must learn to recreate herself in order to survive.
Mary Catherine is devastated when her family emigrates from Georgia to Brazil because her father and maternal uncle refuse to accept the terms of Reconstruction following the Confederacy’s defeat. Shortly after arrival in their new country, she is orphaned, leaving her in Uncle Nathan’s care. He hates Mary Catherine, blaming her for his sister’s death. She despises him because she believes Nathan murdered her father. When Mary Catherine discovers Nathan’s plan to be rid of her as well, she flees into the mountain wilderness filled with jaguars and equally dangerous men. Finding refuge among kind peasants, she grows into a beauty, ultimately marrying the scion of a wealthy Portuguese family. Happiness and security seem assured until civil unrest brings armed marauders who have an inexplicable connection to Mary Catherine. Recreating herself has protected Mary Catherine in the past, but this new crisis will demand all of the courage, intelligence, and creativity she possesses simply to survive.
What would you like readers to know about you?
I write because I enjoy the creative process, but I truly hope that my work entertains and enriches the lives of my readers. Giving readers a good experience makes the work completely worthwhile and gives me tremendous joy.
I have been in love with the past for as long as I can remember. Anything with a history, whether shabby or majestic, recent or ancient, instantly draws me in. I suppose it comes from being part of a large extended family that spanned several generations. Long summer afternoons on my grandmother’s porch or winter evenings gathered around her fireplace were filled with stories both entertaining and poignant. Of course being set in the South, those stories were also peopled by some very interesting characters, some of whom have found their way into my work. I reside in the Houston area with one sweet husband and one German Shorthaired Pointer who is quite certain she’s a little girl. When I’m not writing, I can be found singing with the Texas Master Chorale, volunteering with my church and local arts organizations, and working with the local school district.
Favorite quote regarding my professional passion: “History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up.” Voltaire
Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel now available from Soul Mate Publishing
Confederado do Norte July 9, 2014 from Soul Mate Publishing