Thank you to Sue Duffy, to taking the time to sit down and do an interview for us. Don't forget to enter to Win a Kindle Fire from Sue Duffy!
Are there any characters that share similar traits or qualities with you?
I’m told that I’m more like Liesl (The Sound of Red Returning) than I realized. But I think many writers are a
composite of their characters, the whole bunch of them. In conjuring each one, I pull from some little pocket inside.
If you could be any character in your book or another authors book, who would you pick and why?
My characters’ lives are so full of danger and urgency, I’d personally prefer to live in Jan Karon’s Mitford.
What should readers expect from your books?
The unexpected. And a healthy dose of ‘Could this really happen?’
When did you decide that you wanted to write?
In middle school, when my English teacher told me to write and never stop writing.
What do you use for inspiration?
News headlines and an interview I did with a concert pianist (The Sound of Red Returning), a visual prompt such as
a lonely little cottage in Coconut Grove (Fatal Loyalty), a drive through the mountains and a curious little town (Mortal Wounds).
What was your first reaction upon learning that you were being published?
Even though my first book was published after many years as a published magazine writer, holding that first book with my name on it was a profound moment in time.
Who is your favorite author and how does that person inspire you?
I don’t have a favorite. But for many years, I inhaled everything by John LeCarre, Fredrick Forsyth, Pat Conroy,
Gail Godwin, Ken Follett, Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, and Patricia Cornwell. From some I gained the sense of plot.
From others (Conroy), the exquisite poetry of prose.
What background noise, if at all, do you have while writing (music, TV, etc)?
None. My own wandering thoughts are distraction enough.
If you had to sum up your writing technique in one word what would it be?
Do you prefer to writing series or stand-alone novels?
Either. It depends on how conducive a storyline is to expansion. Series usually require a book a year, which is a demanding schedule. But if you’ve created characters everybody loves, it would be a shame to snuff them out after one book.
How do you come up with names for your characters?
Cemeteries (as with my first novel), baby-name books, phone books, anything the listening ear picks up.
What advice would you give to those who would someday like to get published?
Don’t write to get published. Write because you can’t help it. That way you’ll produce the best you can, and, if others agree, publishing will come naturally.
Have you taken writing classes or attended workshops?
A few. I was a journalism major in college, worked for many years as an advertising copywriter, then a magazine writer and editor. But I highly recommend both classes and workshops. Also writers groups for instant feedback and validation.
What is your educational background?
I received my bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Florida.
Are you a marathon writer or do you work on your novels a little bit at a time?
I write about 1,400 words a day, five days a week. Sometimes that quota takes a few hours, sometimes all day.
As a writer, what are the essentials you just can’t live without?
The computer guru and tireless encourager I’m married to, Google, a comfortable chair, good coffee, red pen, quiet, my worn-out dictionary, a restless imagination . . . and most critically, my Lord who teaches me all things.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
My what? (Remember the part about a book a year?)
Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?
I love you all! Thank you for visiting me in my world. I hope something you find there enriches your own. That’s the
whole purpose. God bless!