1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
I’m a morning person and like to start right in with my coffee beside me in my office. This summer I hit on a strategy that was difficult for me to implement (I’m a Virgo) but worked great once I got going. I wrote just the spoken words for dialogue and filled several pages. Then I went off to my water aerobics class, ran errands, made lunch, and come back and filled in around those spoken words. I’d end up with at least ten decent pages.
2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
I carry a pack of index cards with me at all times and jot ideas down. The good ideas move to the bulletin boards in my office. They might be pinned up alone, or they might join a string of others to form a storyline. After that, it’s all on the computer. I can’t write as fast as I can think otherwise.
3: What do you draw inspiration from?
People I’ve known, experiences I’ve had, events in the news, even the Weather Channel.
4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?
I don’t count words because I find that strangles my creativity. And I try to complete scenes or move characters from plot point plot point instead of setting a specific number of pages.
5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up with your cover art?
Published (through Five Star/Gale, Krill Press, and SynergEbooks) and self-published (when I found I had the e-rights to Hemlock Lake, I indie published it on Kindle)
6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?
I’ve always loved a good story. My grandparents read to me and I learned to read very early. We lived in a rural area and there weren’t many playmates and our TV got only two channels, so I got my adventure off the pages. Then, like many teens, I began writing poetry, and had a lot of encouragement. But for many years, the only writing I did was as a TV news producer. I had to wait until my life calmed down and I had more time for myself before I could go beyond that.
7: Do you own an ebook reading device?
Not yet, but it’s at the top of my Christmas list and I can’t wait!
8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?
I love Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next literary detective series and I’m a huge fan of Lee Child, John Sandford, Robert Crais, John Connolly, Carl Hiassen, Tim Hallinan, Val McDermid, Stieg Larsson, and Don Winslow.
I just finished Laura Lippman’s What the Dead Know (nice twist) and I’m about to pick up Tess Gerritsen’s The Keepsake because my husband says it’s a good read.
9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?
I love them if they’re well done and don’t tell the whole story but hint at the elements. I wrote one for Hemlock Lake and my talented friend Steve Skipwith put it together. And my husband (co-author Mike Nettleton) and Steve did trailers for The Big Grabowski and its sequel, Sometimes a Great Commotion.
10: How did you come up with the title of your latest book?
Ken Lewis, the publisher at Krill Press, likes original titles, and Mike and I like a twist on movie titles. That’s how we got The Big Grabowski and Sometimes a Great Commotion.
Hemlock Lake is a solo project of mine and I came up with it because the Catskill Mountains are studded with hemlock trees, but hemlock is also a poison, and the mystery involves poisonous emotions like vengeance and betrayal.
11: What are you working on now that you can talk about?
I just finished a cozy about a substitute teacher who becomes an accidental detective and made use of my day job for material. Right now I’m working on a sequel to Hemlock Lake.