The Keystone state couldn't satisfy my adventurous spirit, yet Pennsylvania will always be home. Alaska called to me and I answered. I learned to sleep under the midnight sun, hike the Brooks Range, and traveled from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez.
When I left the corporate world to seek my next adventure, writing, this beautiful state, and it’s most primal spirit inspired me to feature, in my newly published mystery trilogy. The wonders, mysteries, and incredible beauty that is Alaska has never left my soul.
The Detective Quaid mysteries weaves a rich tapestry of love, obsession, and murder.
Life is full of many journeys and I look forward to the next adventure on my bucket list …
Racing in the Indy 500 …
Drumming to my own beat …
OR, keeping a pet dragon in my back yard.
After all … anything IS POSSIBLE!
A recent interview is republished here for your enjoyment:
You are obviously intrigued with mysteries, having written "Murder, Madness, & Love," along with a couple of looming sequels. Would you prefer to classify yourself solely as a mystery writer, or do other genres interest you?
Who or what would you consider your greatest forms of inspiration?
My Grandmother, now deceased, is and will always be an inspiration. She loved to write poetry and kept a diary her entire life. I would love to write her story and include her poetry because Lilly Opal Stansberry was the strongest most compassionate woman I've ever known. Another form of inspiration was Caroline Keene, author of the Nancy Drew Series. Getting lost in her books when I was a child was my first introduction to the world outside of the small town I grew up in. However, I have long been a fan of Stephen King's, his imagination cannot be equaled, and it's why I appreciate the nightmare muse.
Your writing has excellent tension build-up, good plot, and keen details. Have you taken many writing classes to sharpen your writing skills?
My English teachers preferred to teach composition instead of grammar so my story telling started early, but as I became more serious about writing, I took as many writing classes as I could schedule. Now I attend critique groups where feedback is essential. Plus, I read a lot of great books, and mysteries are always at the top, with non-fiction, horror, biographies, literary fiction, poetry and romance rounding out the list. Honestly, I'll read anything that captures my attention and won't let go. I love any book that won't let me put it down and I truly believe that reading is one of the best ways to sharpen writing skills, but most important it's writing, writing and re-writing.
Besides writing, what else do you do for a living or as a hobby? Would you say these other activities influence your writing?
I originally chose a career in management and accounting, where my flowery financial speeches were popular with the Treasurers who delivered them to the board of directors. Writing skills came in handy for penning handbooks, personnel manuals, training materials, and newsletters, but left my murderous tendencies wanting. My first novel made up for that with lots of dead bodies. Until recently I hosted two Blog Talk Radio shows where I interviewed artists, authors, and publishers and shared their secrets about writing, publishing, and marketing - it's great fun and extremely informative. It is now on hiatus, but I would love to re-start it again, if I could figure out the equipment problems. (operator error-lol) I find that daily life influences creativity. Living and working in Alaska highly influenced my writing and became the place I chose as the setting for the Detective Quaid trilogy. I was privileged to hike the mountains of the Brooks Range and Alaska Range, work in a line camp on the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline, and travel from Valdez to Prudhoe Bay. I survived being stranded alone on a mountain at thirty below, and a winter when the temperature stayed at fifty below and the ice fog didn't lift for weeks at a time. For me adventure has always been soul deep--inspired by great authors and unbelievable opportunities.
What is your ultimate goal as a writer?
My writing goals are: To write something that changes just one person, to make the New York Times Best Sellers list, and to make a living through my writing. However, my ultimate goal as a writer is to find my books on a book shelf in the year 2111 and beyond!
Do you have any words of encouragement or tips to share with other independent authors?
Be professional, be wary, be courageous, and market - market - market: Have what you've written professionally edited, and be open to the process - let go of your ego. If you self-publish do your homework, there are many opportunities and lots of rip-offs. Acquire a tough skin, some call it alligator skin, so if you're an introvert find something that will help you move past that. My Blog Talk Radio show has gone a long way to break me from the wall-flower label. Then you've got to sell your books at any and every opportunity that presents - by being innovative and creative.
When did you know that writing was a passion you wanted to pursue? Have you always enjoyed writing?
I have always enjoyed telling a good story. As a child I assigned the parts to the neighborhood kids for the scenarios I envisioned. Whether it was space flight, planetary exploration, or a western frontier to conquer, we played based on my made up stories. In school my favorite class was composition, and I really enjoyed getting my master's degree because it was all about writing. To pursue creativity, to make writing your passion is both a curse and a blessing - a curse because rejection is soul crushing - a blessing because rejection is soul crushing, but moving beyond it is what makes your writing even better. Today creating an interesting story from a dream or nightmare, from a statement made or scenario given, or from the question what if - then writing it, re-writing it, and walking with my muse to keep the plot in sync - is what keeps me sane.
If you have any questions about me or my writing, please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would love to hear from you.