Where are you from?
Originally? Born in Savannah, Georgia, I grew up in Asheville, North Carolina. After attending the University of Georgia and graduating from the University of Kentucky, I lived all over the East Coast until we moved to Los Angeles in 1981.
Tell us your latest news?
Hmmm … I have lots of news. My horse and I ranked third in the Southern California Championships at Third Level Dressage and 4th in all of Southern California (I ride competitively). I’m working on Season 2 of my Snow Blood Series and I just celebrated my 40th wedding anniversary with the same man! Now that’s a feat these days!
When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing when I was a kid. Was on the newspaper staff in high school and college. Majored in English and Journalism. Taught writing in high school and then became an editor and publisher of magazines. So, pretty much always!
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was 14, my Daddy started reading my articles. He looked at me one day and said, “You’re a writer.” And, I’ve believed it since then.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Let me clarify. As a journalist and editor, I was always writing. I edited a number of books for others. But, I didn’t slow down long enough to really write my first book until 2005. I published it in 2007. It’s a memoir, but I don’t consider it my first “book.” It was a way to leave my past behind and start fresh. I consider my first real work of fiction Luke’s Tale. It’s the story of a couple’s search to find unconditional love as told through the eyes of their blind dog. Honestly, I dreamed about it. The little voices in my head (no, I’m not a nutcase!) kept pushing me to write it. Then, I went to two different psychics who told me that I was being divinely guided to write it. All my books are driven by the theme of unconditional love, even my Snow Blood series about vampires.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I prefer narratives written though the eyes and hearts of dogs. I feel it gives me a more one-on-one personalized ability to speak to my reader directly. I want to make my readers laugh and cry in the same story, because I’m laughing or crying as I write it. It allows me to flesh out the characters clearly to my readers.
How did you come up with the title?
As you might have guessed, I’m totally into dogs. They play a prominent part in everything that I write currently. Luke’s Tale had just been published, and my publisher was hanging around the barn with me. She looked at me and asked me what I was going to write next.
I gave her a sideways look and flippantly said, “What do you want me to write?”
She smiled and said, “Why not a vampire book?”
I replied, “A vampire dog?”
She laughed and said, “why not?”
I work with a lot of rescue groups and had just fostered a snow white husky for which we had found a home. The dog’s name was “Snow.” I said, “I’ll call the dog “Snow,”
She said, “Why not Snow Blood?” And there it was. We both instantly loved it.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Oh, heck yes! All my books are about unconditional love. That love is always illustrated by the actions of the dog/narrator in the story. Dogs are the only beings that love us unconditionally. My question has always been why can’t we love each other (human to human) in the same way – without conditions. We often put “strings” on each other – If you behave in a certain way, be who I want you to be, do what I want you to do – then I will love you. Think about it. People today don’t stick together during tough times. Why not? Because they don’t love each other unconditionally. Snow Blood takes an unlikely scenario where the reader wouldn’t necessarily expect love, loyalty, etc. and illustrates it.
How much of the book is realistic?
It’s pure, paranormal fantasy. If you don’t like vampire stories, hate dogs and can’t suspend disbelief, then it’s not for you. On the other hand, if you’d love to read the story of how the first vampire was created (from the Vampire Bible) as told through the eyes of his kindred dog and how love can help you overcome anything, you’ll love it.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No, not in Snow Blood. This story is my pure imagination. Except of course, Snow Blood is modeled after a foster dog named Snow. In Luke’s Tale, definitely. But, that’s another story.
What books have most influenced your life most?
The books of John Irving because he writes about quirky characters and his stories make you laugh and cry at the same time. I like his plot twists, and I enjoy books that take readers where they don’t expect to go. I want to be “touched” by what I read. Don’t you?
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Definitely John Irving. I’ve never met him, but he has taught me much with his writing.
What book are you reading now?
A Big Little Life by Dean Koontz and A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny. I never have time to read one book at a time, so I usually read two at a time and switch back and forth, picking up whichever one strikes me at the moment.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
No one at the moment. I do want to read Richard Stephenson’s Collapse.
What are your current projects?
I am working on Snow Blood Season 2. In Season 1, I purposely made Selene a rather weak-willed character. In Season 2, she transforms into this very strong character. I love doing that. In addition, I’m adding more flavor to all the characters, more depth. And, I’m giving Snow a love interest.
Multiple reviewers said this is a vampire story … love story … mystery with lots of twists and turns. That’s still all there, but I want the characters to be even richer.
What would you like my readers to know?
This is a story about vampires. But, it’s also a commentary on how to unconditionally love another. I never put in anything just for the sake of a shock value. It’s all a part of what would happen in that world. But the overriding theme is unselfish love. It always is in all of my books. Give me a try and see what you think!
Til Next Time,