author, The Carmen & Alex Series
Give us a bit of your background (where are you from, your family, traveling adventures)
Since 1970, I have lived in Northwest Arkansas with my husband. Growing up, we moved a lot. I have lived in Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, California and Arizona. When my husband was healthy and our kids were young, we traveled some, seeing some of the usual sights like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore and such. We camped and fished here in Arkansas.
Fill in the blank favorites - Type of hero. Type of heroine. For heros or heroines, my favorites are always people who are honest, hard working and independent. A few flaws give personality, but I don’t want gaping holes in their character.
Most writers are readers. What are some of the books you have on your nightstand and/or on your "must read" list?
I am currently reading “SUDAN,” by Ninie Hammon. I think the last one I read before that was “After the Blast” by T. L. Knighton. On my list to read next is “Underlake” by Kia Heavey. I really liked her book “Night Machines.”
Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?
West Virginia. There is so much here in the United States that I have never seen. I have a book that I have never finished that starts out in West Virginia. Some day... We were headed that way one year and got called back when my father had a heart attack.
What is your favorite genre to write?
Oh gosh, usually whatever I’m writing at the moment. Probably Fantasy, right now.
What is your favorite genre to read?
I like variety. Any book that is well written and not gory, profane or immoral. I like books that combine romance, scenery, mystery and adventure.
What is one silly fact about you?
I love chickens. I have pet chickens.
What got you started on your writing journey?
I am dyslexic and had a lot of trouble with writing as a young girl, but I liked to read. I would make up stories in my mind. I was doing this as early as age 8. I finally wasn’t satisfied by thinking them up. I wrote them down and hid them because I thought people would think I was silly for trying to imitate a writer. I told a friend about my passion and she said she wanted to read one. She gave me some writing tips, but mostly she gave me a shot of confidence. I began self publishing in 1986 with a newsletter about goats “Goat Udderings Newsletter” and then progressed to a monthly Zine of short stories & poems: “Dear Tales” After that, I began publishing my books.
Why do you choose to write clean/sweet romance? Do you write steamy romance as well?
No, I never write steamy romance. I don’t like to read them either. I want my romance stories to be based on relationships and I like a full story around them.
What other things do you have planned with your writing for the next year or so?
I often write several books simultaneously. I am working on the 7th
I am working on a fantasy series. I have 4 books scheduled for this year and I hope we have no more medical problems that prevent me from finishing them.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
Cheesy as it sounds, giving joy to others is my greatest reward. I have websites of free reads of my stories. When I get comments from people who are shut-ins and my story made their day – it makes MY day. I self-publish because I want to maintain these free sites. My long-term goal is to have people still reading and enjoying my books 200 years from now.
Do you have a favorite comment or question from a reader?
It would be hard to choose. I most often hear “I couldn’t put it down,” but probably my favorite was when someone told me my book helped their marriage.
How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
I suppose everyone writes a little of themselves into their books. Life experiences are often what make us who we are.
Especially in my Carmen and Alex Series, when I run into a problem, I find myself thinking “How would Carmen and Alex handle this?” Then I’m off to another book in the series.
Where do your ideas come from?
I think there is a gremlin in my head, messing with my brain waves. I have WAY more ideas than I can possibly find time to write about. Everything I see or hear makes me think “What if...”
How many books have you written, and how many of those have been published?
I have written over 35 books of different genres and I have self-published all of them. In addition to Create Space, Amazon and Off The Bookshelf, I have developed a method of home publishing. I make handcrafted books comparable to professionally bound and sell them online or at craft sales.
What are the elements of a great romance for you?
I like a good love story, where they not only discover love for each other, but a way to improve their relationship with others as well. I like a little romance in every genre.
Please share about your book
The Carmen & Alex Series is about the relationship between a woman raised by aging and conservative parents and a polished salesman turned veterinarian. Carmen thinks the man should wear the pants, but she challenges Alex when he does. Poor Alex can’t decide whether he likes wearing the pants or simply wants peace.
Both are dedicated responsible parents who love each other and their lives. Regardless of the situation, they manage to work things out together. They have over 100 acres in rural Arkansas and run an American Wildlife Safari.
If you could sum your main character into five words, what would they be?
Proud, independent, honorable, naive, backward.
What are your hero and heroine of the story like?
Carmen wants to be a good mother and wife. Those are her two main concerns, but she is always trying to improve herself for her family and usually gets into trouble. Alex is a businessman, who has a deep love of family. He is has a secretive and private personality that often gets him into trouble. Both love animals and the simpler things in life.
Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?
The series advocates a successful relationship.
Carmen and Alex are faced with major problems in their marriage and always find a way to work things out.
Do you have a favorite character you have written so far?
Alex is my favorite character in the Carmen and Alex Series. I like his love and dedication to family (like my husband of 44 years, who is often my source of reference for him.)