What is the best thing that I love about my work? As an indie author, I love that I have complete control over my work. I get to write the kind of story I want to read, at the length the story requires – no more, no less – and with cover art that I pick out.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? For me, it would be an autumn day, warm enough to sit outside, with a cup of something warm to drink and a good book to read.
What is my greatest fear? I can’t think of anything I’m afraid of. I don’t do well on airplanes, but that’s not fear – that’s an inner-ear thing.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I tend to eat to excess when I’m anxious. I have to force myself to do something else to calm down – like writing or knitting.
What is my greatest extravagance? I spend a fair amount of money on books, but my biggest non-essential spending is on yarn. There’s nothing like walking into a yarn shop and seeing all the beautiful colors and textures, and thinking about all the lovely things I could knit with them.
On what occasion would I lie? I make it a policy to avoid telling lies. It’s too hard to keep your story straight!
What is the influence of role models, in my work and in my life? My favorite authors are, I think, a subconscious influence on my work; I don’t try to pattern my writing after anyone. But I love reading work by Stephen R. Donaldson, Graham Joyce, Patricia McKillip, Barbara Kingsolver, Margaret Atwood, and Kent Haruf, among many others.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? I have zero aptitude for sales, so marketing my work is difficult for me.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? The best part of this gig is when I can immerse myself in the writing and let the words flow freely. I call it a writer’s high – it’s like a runner’s high, but you’re not all sweaty afterward.
If I could, what would I change about myself? I’ve had a hankering to move to the Southwestern United States for many years. I’m planning to actually do it in a few years, once I retire from the day job.
What is my greatest achievement in work? This year, I have finished the Pipe Woman Chronicles story cycle – twelve novels, four or five short stories, and a guide to the mythology I used when writing the series – and I’m pretty excited about that. But I was very proud to have been invited to write for IndiesUnlimited.com, a wonderful resource for indie authors, and my proudest achievement there is the month-long series on scammy publishers that we did in April 2015.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? I live in Arlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC. Some of the scenes in Crosswind are set at the National Museum of the American Indian, which is my favorite museum on the National Mall in DC.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? The neighborhood I live in is called Shirlington, and it has a ton of great restaurants. I’m particularly fond of Luna Grille, but the Carlyle Grand has the best food and would be my first choice for a special occasion.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? I like to say that I grew my own editor. My eldest daughter and a college friend of hers are my editors; both have degrees in fiction writing (as do I), and they are great at keeping me from looking like too much of an idiot in print.
Whom would I like to work with in the future? I’m not much for collaborating, but I do intend to keep working with Five59 Publishing’s anthology group. And I plan to keep writing for Indies Unlimited, too.
What project, in the near future, am I looking forward to working on? My next two projects will be a short story for a Halloween anthology, and an omnibus edition of the four books in my Pipe Woman’s Legacy series. After that, I’ll probably start working on a new series.