How does one go from being a blackjack dealer to working law enforcement and beyond? With some of the jobs you carried, you must have dealt with some jokers!
By nineteen, I realized I wasn't going to make it rich overnight as a writer, and I was faced with the unpleasant reality of finding a job to pay rent. I decided since I had to work, I would only take jobs that were fun, exciting, or might give me something new to write about -- which explains my strange and diverse resume. Even though all of my jobs are so different, they all have one thing in common: They're fodder for stories. Each job put me in a unique world with unique characters. Because of that, everything I write has some basis in my life. I'm not writing my life, but my life certainly shows up in my writing. Along with the people I've met along the way, both the heroes and the villains.
As a thirteen year old girl, you began writing with the encouragement of your English teacher. What is the most impressionable piece of advice he gave you?
My 8th and 9th grade English teacher was Mr. McIntyre. He is the teacher who made the biggest impact on what direction my life would take. He was different than the other teachers. He was new to teaching. He was passionate, and he had a fresh, bold approach to his job. At the beginning of each school year, he gave his students contracts. We entered into an agreement that was based on what grade we would like to earn. He gave us the option of making an A, B, or C in his class. Each grade placed different demands on us. I wanted an A. One of the things I had to do to earn that 'A' was write several short stories. It was then that I discovered I could write. Much to my amazement, he started reading those tales to the class. It was thrilling for me to hear my fellow students laughing at all of my jokes and cheering my characters on to their ridiculous end. One day I turned in a story, and he shook his head and gave it back. "I know what you're capable of, and you can do better than that. Never do anything less than your best." It was the best piece of advice any teacher ever gave me.
I watched the video for Sleeping with Skeletons and it looks amazing. One of the characters mentioned is an actor who is reported to have broken a thousand hearts. If you had your own actor be your leading man, who would it be and why?
First, thank you for the kind comment on my video. Well, if I could get a leading man to jump off the silver screen and into my arms, like in The Purple Rose of Cairo, it would come down to one of two choices: Bruce Willis, because he seems to be a nice guy and he's just plain hot. Or Clive Owens because, well, he also seems to be a nice guy, and he's just plain hot... Plus he can drive the heck out of a BMW. Have you ever seen his BMW commercials on YouTube? They're awesome. My favorite is the one with Madonna. Ha! It's hilarious.
Because of my husband and his obsession with NASCAR, you say you were a professional driver and I think Daytona 500. Would you ever consider racing a car for a living? Why or why not?
I'd love to race for a living, especially in the Daytona 500... if only I had a stock car. But I grew up around demolition derby, so that's really what I prefer. It's bumper cars for adults. Great fun.
In your blog you quote from the movie, Romancing the Stone. That is a great and funny movie. What are some of your favorite movies?
I love movies, so it's hard to list just a few favorites, but here are some that I always enjoy: Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, What Lies Beneath, Next, and The Illusionist.
I love what you have written on the bottom of your blog page “Don’t despise those small beginnings. They are what make for happy endings”. Can you give aspiring authors any more great advice?
I know there are a lot of people who dream of being published. Many times, people give up their dreams. Don't do that. We miss out on so much because of that. I think the best advice I can give to aspiring authors is, "Don't give up. Keep everlastingly at it." And remember what Mr. McIntyre told me, "Never do anything less than your best."