1. Can you give us a basic summary of Chasing Memories
and Shades of Blue?
Laura and Steven Thompson were the happiest couple, especially when their daughter Annie was born. Life
was perfect and they thought they had forever. But in a matter of seconds, Steven was gone forever....
As Laura and Annie are slowly getting their lives back on track, Laura suffers a freak accident. Now, not
only has she lost her husband, but her memory as well! Laura struggles to recover her past, while living in the present with
a daughter whom she no longer remembers and a future filled with uncertainties. Her story is one of tragedy, survival, courage,
and faith. And the ending will surprise you!
Susan Barnes is finally moving on with her life after landing that great job at the law firm and moving
to Kansas City, leaving her best friend Laura and small hometown of Hampton behind. Full of hope and visions of happiness,
she is about to marry the man of her dreams.
Tom Watson is a handsome young attorney with a promising future, but it isn't long before Susan discovers
he's not the man she thought she had married. Behind those attractive gray-blue eyes lies a secretive side that Susan is completely
unaware of and now she's living in an endless nightmare...with no way out!
2. How long did it take you to write each from
start to finish?
3. Did you do any research while writing? If so, what kind?
Yes, some. I wrote from my heart and the first novel, Chasing Memories, was based around my memory
box. But of course, I had to turn that into a story of some kind. When Laura had her accident at the end of Chapter Four,
I drew a blank as to what to do with her from that point. My husband asked me what my problem was and listened to a brief
summary of the book to that point. He suggested I give her amnesia. So I had to do some research on amnesia. Since we don’t
have children, my sister had to help with that end of it. Laura, the main character, has a seven-year-old daughter.
With Shades of Blue, there was also a little research on one subject in particular, however I
can’t disclose that to you. It’s a part of the novel that isn’t mentioned in the synopsis and I would give
away a very important issue if I tell you.
So let’s just say, in retrospect, that I basically wrote “what I know” and did some limited
research for both novels on two subjects.
4. Are there any authors or books who inspired you as a writer?
Yes and no. My favorite to read is mystery and/or mystery-suspense. As a child I read Nancy Drew, Robin
Kane, Annette, Meg Parker, Trixie Beldon, etc. But those are intended for young adult readers and of course, I am now an adult.
As an adult I have read several mystery-romance novels. A couple of my favorite authors are Rebecca York
and Debra Webb. I would say though, that what inspired me most in writing my own books, would be God. I love mysteries, but
the trilogy wound up being Inspirational Christian Fiction. I didn’t realize that until I was about mid-way through
When I switch genres after the trilogy to mystery-suspense, they will also be Christian oriented. Some
of the best-selling novels and movies of our day, are not filled with sex, violence and foul language.
5. Do you keep a strict writing schedule?
No. With Chasing Memories I wrote whenever something struck me and I wrote until I ran dry. Sometimes
I would lay in bed at night, pondering the stopping point for that day and if I came up with a solution, I got back up out
of bed and continued until I got past the point where I became blocked. Some days I wrote very little.
With Shades of Blue, I tried to begin with an outline of the book’s story content, a character
list, etc. I got about as far as 2 or 3 pages and realized, I can’t write that way. I have to let my characters and
storyline develop as I go along. I usually have a basic idea in my head and more often than not, when I begin writing, I veer
away from that into an entirely different direction.
I write when I’m in the mood and I write until I get to a point where I’m not sure of where
to go next or until my eyes begin to cross and I almost fall asleep at the keyboard. Yet, some of my best ideas come from
me when I am extremely tired. That’s frustrating for me as I want to go on, but can’t and have to take a break
at that point; usually until the next day.
6. Who is your target audience?
Chasing Memories is very family oriented and can be read by anyone ages 12 and up. I’ve
had readers age 12 and readers age 96, and everyone in between, and all have loved it, even the men, which surprised me.
Shades of Blue could also be family oriented; however, it does have a rather “touchy”
plot and therefore would be best for ages 16 and up I believe. I think parents would have to decide that themselves. Again,
it is Christian oriented.
I want to have a wider span of audience appeal, books that the whole family can enjoy for one reason or
another. I think I have accomplished that. The storylines have issues that occur or could occur in almost everyone’s
daily life and in the end, the reader learns that we can actually use our experiences to better our futures. I focus on optimism
and allowing the Lord to guide us on our paths. Some people have difficulty allowing the Lord to handle their problems and
never turn to Him in time of need until we have exhausted all other options.
7. What are some of your favorite books?
That’s a tough question. So far, I have only found one author who has written books that I didn’t
enjoy reading. But if I have to choose, there were three series of books I truly enjoyed. Rebecca York wrote a series of “43
Light Street” novels for Harlequin Intrigue that I couldn’t get enough of. Also Debra Webb wrote a series of “Colby
Agency” books for Harlequin Intrigue that I thoroughly enjoyed as well. Then there was also the “Tyler”
series in Harlequin Romance, written by several authors whom each contributed a story in the series. But then I ran
across the Steeple Hill Love Inspired novels and I have some favorite authors there as well, such as Gail Gaymer Martin and
8. What would you like your readers to know about you?
I’m just an ordinary person, like them. I only have a high school education, but I consider myself
to be fairly intelligent. I also have many years of life’s experiences behind me now. I like to write for the everyday,
average person because that’s who I am. Nothing fancy, nothing so totally out of our realm of understanding. No glorified
adventures to foreign countries or rich uncles in the background. I write from my heart. I am the average reader. I write
about things I know about. Life.
I love God and it was life’s experiences that brought me back to God. It was also God that brought
me to this point in my life. I’ve had my bad experiences, just like they have. Life has not been gentle on me as it
is not gentle on anyone. Life is life. We learn to deal with it.
I don’t use my personal home-life situation to gain my reader’s sympathies. I want them to
read my books because they like them and they enjoy the way that I write. I hope that they come away from my books with the
understanding that despite the hard knocks life throws our way along our journey, we can overcome them, learn from them,
and be able to pick up the pieces and move on. We can set reachable goals. We can look forward to tomorrow.
9. What are you working on now?
I am currently working on Crystal Clear, the final novel in the trilogy. Chasing Memories
was about Laura Thompson, a young widow with a seven-year-old daughter. Shades of Blue is about Susan Barnes, a supporting
character in Chasing Memories and Crystal Clear is about Laura’s daughter, Annie.
I had to age Annie in Shades of Blue in order to be able to write about her life in Crystal
Clear. The series has been fun and I enjoy writing with characters I’m familiar with. I am also working on a children’s
book. Though I have difficulty writing about children, as I have no experience with them, I have found that I can write for
10. Any tips for aspiring writers?
Write what you know about. Never proof your own work and send it to a publisher without first having someone
at least proof it for you. You will miss things!
Watch out for your timelines. They can get away from you.
Don’t self-publish or use a POD publisher if you plan on making writing a career move.
Learn to accept rejection and constructive criticism. And try to remember that not everyone is going to
like what you’ve written. One person’s opinion may be completely different from another person.
Choose your audience and then make sure that what you’ve written is in that area.
Show, don’t tell. A lot of authors tell what is happening but neglect to describe it. Remember that
the reader can’t see what you see. You need to describe the surroundings, expressions, feelings of your characters so
the reader can see what you’re seeing in your mind. Paint them a picture.