Today's blog is fun … as in I'm helping a friend with her Liebster Award nomination. Kay LaLone is someone I've known for many, many years. We met in a critique group run by an American writer living in Egypt, but when that group slid into oblivion, I invited Kay to join another of my groups. Since then, we've both worked hard to achieve our dreams, and we did … within month of each other. Her book, Ghostly Clues, and my book, Softly Say Goodbye, are both available on Amazon, and are both doing well.That being said, let's get on with the questions Kay sent me to answer. And they are some good questions. I think of them as my dreams coming true!
1. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would purchase?
Oh, that's so easy. I'd find a deserted island somewhere and buy it. Isolation is great for writers, but I'd also need to buy a nice boat so hubby, teenage son, and I could travel to populated areas to keep sane.
2. Is there something unique about you that you'd like to share with the readers?
Is there something unique about me? I'm sure there is. I'm an author now, but previously I've done the usual teen jobs, and then there was an eleven year stint in the Air Force, followed by working at a company that provides support teams for scientific research in Antarctica. All this led me to the path I'm taking now in my life, writing stories for teens and adults.
3. Where is your dream place to live and why?
That deserted island. I'm a person who loves peace and quiet. Malls, big cities, bumper-to-bumper traffic makes me crazed. Oh, like all humans I do need interaction, but in small doses please.
4. What do you find is the most difficult part of the writing process?
Getting people to believe writers don't have an unlimited amount of time to chat, get together at the local Starbucks, or just hang out. Writing is a solitary profession. Most writers are recluses, reluctantly dragged into the public eye to show off our latest product. But we'd much rather be back at our computer, pounding out the latest story!
5. Tell us something about yourself that we don't know.
I have to tell you a secret? Oh goodness! Well … let's see … I absolutely love getting into my Ford Explorer with my camera and seeking out places off the main drag. Give me a chance to explore, and I'm gone. I have what western stories call a set of "fiddle feet." Gotta see what there is to see.
6. Do you have any pet peeves?
Many. So many people call me stuck on myself at times. The biggest is how a lot of people now don't take responsibility for their actions. They're always searching for a reason why things happen instead of looking at what they did to cause whatever problem they're facing. Yes, this does bleed into my writing. My characters often are in situations where the bad decisions of others force them to act when they'd much rather ignore the problem.
7. Do you have any special habits you do when you write?
Sure. I think all writers do. First, I have to have no distractions. I really get involved with my stories. I can't have demands for me to cook, or clean the house, or even be taxi mom for my teen. I also have to have a cup of coffee or Diet Coke nearby.
8. Did you ever write your friends or family members into your books?
Guilty as charged. I can't help it. My friends and family are characters themselves. But I don't use all their characteristics in one character. Rather, I blend those attributes to create my characters.
9. What is your favorite drink?
Coffee first thing in the morning. I really have to have my coffee. No one who knows me comes anywhere near me until I've had my first pot of coffee.
Diet Coke after about ten in the morning, and usually for the rest of the day.
Rarely, I enjoy a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. Just one glass, though. More, and I get silly.
10. Who gives you the best encouragement to keep writing?
My husband of nineteen years. He's the one who prodded me to take up writing after we moved from Denver to North Georgia. He's the one who tells me I can keep doing this crazy thing.
11. Eleven random things about myself:
Loves heavy metal love ballads – those bands really know how to rock out a love song.
Definitely a cat person, but I also love Labradors!
Cans a mean, crispy pickle.
Power walks through grocery shopping, to get back to writing faster.
Can walk into a kitchen with no clue what to make and produce a meal my guys can't stop talking about later.
Adores my house on one acre of land. It's inside the city limits, but set so I feel as if I'm living in the country.
Grew up on the Los Angeles area, but prefers the quiet of the country.
Prefers honey over sugar in my coffee – and wishes restaurants would offer honey.
Spent five years in Germany while in the Air Force. Visited many attractions, but the one that made the biggest impression was seeing Dachau. The impressions I got from there stay with me to this day.
Longs to visit both Australia and New Zealand someday.
Is a grandmother to ten grandchildren, boys and girls. Loves them to pieces!