Hello, and welcome to the Getting to Know You Blog Hop. We have an eclectic choice of bloggers for this hop and it will run from January 29, 2013 to February 1, 2013. I’d like to thank Vicki M. Taylor She’s the author and blogger who created this hop and made it happen for all of us.
Let’s get started on getting to know me.
Where are you from?
Originally, I’m from Pennsylvania, around the Philadelphia area. But, I grew up here, in the South, in Good Ol’ Oklahoma. Yes, I do have a strange accent compared to most of the locals. 😉
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing stories, or at least conceptualizing them, since 9th grade when we had to do a short story for English class. My teacher, Mrs. Cariker, saw the beginnings of an author and praised my work even though the story written then was for children.
What books have most influenced your life?
Kind of hard to say which ones have influenced me the most. The Named series by Clare Bell helped in forming non-human characters that felt real. Jean M. Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear series showed me so much about research and descriptive writing, and of course, Anne McCaffrey’s books, all of them, inspired me in many ways as well. Looking now, I’d have to say my entire library is an influence.
What is your favorite book from childhood?
This one is easy and I have searched all over to find new copies. Clare Bell’s The Named series is my all time favorite. I know the question is which one, but it is hard to decide which of these books would take the prize.
Are the names of the characters in your novels important?
In a way, I suppose they are. Many are reflections of the people who inspired the character and others give insights into what they are like in personality. I find myself strangely surprised that most of my character names are tribal, or descriptive, based.
What’s your favorite fruit?
Strawberries. Yes, they are my addiction and weakness.
Do you ever wish you had an entirely uncreative job?
I’ve had a couple of those in the past. They are the kind of jobs where they drain the creativity from you and make the muse run away in terror.
What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
Writers are sane? Writers, by definition suffer from multiple personality disorder, but we enjoy those voices and make them do pretty dances upon the blank page. Ha Ha! Seriously, though, to keep yourself sane as a writer is to not lose yourself entirely in the storybook world you’re writing. Give yourself breaks from writing to do other things such as being with family, take a walk, or enjoy a pretty day outside window shopping.
What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
Difficult question here. For me, I would have to say that never giving in to the bullies who want to drag you down and make you feel like something your cat hacked up, would have to be the greatest thing I learned in school. If it weren’t for the support of teachers, faculty, and my parents, I would never have made it through to learn this lesson. Of course, knowing who you can trust and work with was another good lesson.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Another hard question. I think I would have to say… Clare Bell. The world she wrote in and her characters seemed so real and vibrant, that I always felt like I was a part of it.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure! This is an excerpt from Society of Night and Lies, a work in progress:
Fifteen minutes later, a late model car pulled into the U-Store-It compound where Reyna kept all her stuff. The storm had quit for the time being, leaving just a drizzle to keep things damp, but even that was fading quickly. With just the headlights to guide her to the lock, Sabrina opened the door and started rummaging through all the different boxes and things to find her case.
Sabrina had ways of getting into most places if she wanted. But at the storage complex, she had a key to the main gates. Sometimes, it helped being one of the owners, though her part was small. She could enter when she needed so long as the security guards were aware of her presence.
On this night, she didn’t bother letting the guard on duty know and went directly to the unit she needed. Hard-soled boots crunching on rough gravel alerted the busy cat, but she ignored the approach. “Who’s there?” barked the old badger. He waved his flashlight at the open storage unit, startling the feline inside. When he saw her head pop up, he chuckled. “Easy there, Sabrina. It’s just me.”
She panted and patted her chest as she turned around quickly and smiled. “Hey there, Jimmy.” She looked almost too relieved to see him at that moment. “You shouldn’t sneak up on anyone like that. You almost made me have a heart attack.” As serious as she was, the cat was joking with the old guard.
“What are you doing here so late?” Jimmy asked her as she went back to rummaging through all the boxes. As nosey as what he sounded, he meant well. The old badger always looked out for Sabrina since she had done so much for him before.
Without stopping, she responded with a sigh, “I have to find something. I need it for a trip I’m taking.” She didn’t have time to answer questions and wished he’d leave, but knew his presence would prevent whoever had delivered the letter from catching her unaware.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
My advice is: never be impatient to get your book published. Take your time, make it as perfect as you can, and be sure to never email it at 2am, otherwise you may send the wrong file. Also, be persistent. Just because you have a block doesn’t mean you can’t figure a way around it. Lastly, have fun. Writing may be a career choice, but it doesn’t have to be work.
Thank you for reading a bit about me and I’d like to introduce you to other authors along this hop. Their links are below: