Featured Book: SADIE’S SONG
BLURB: This book opens with the disappearance of nine-year-old Ally Buckley, a circumstance which bears too much resemblance to another recent and chilling event. Fear spreads throughout the New England fishing village of Coffins Reach and the local church that Sadie and her family attend. When Sadie discovers a drawing done by Ally among her abusive husband's possessions, she suspects danger may be closer to home than she'd ever known possible.
-How/why did you start to write?
In truth, I think I was born writing. I don’t ever remember a time when stories weren’t a part of my life. When I wasn’t reading a story under the covers late at night, I was working on one of my own. I remember walking home from school by myself when I was a little girl, and making up stories in my head. They usually involved me in some sort of heroic role and saving my school from certain and imminent disaster. When I got home I would race to a notebook to write everything down, but I never got much past the first page before becoming bored with the actual writing part of it. (Ah, maybe I’m still a little bit like that?)
-How did you become an author?
Because I always knew I wanted to be a writer when I ‘grew up’, I studied journalism. As soon as I graduated I worked on newspapers and wrote many freelance articles for magazines. In 1990, I decided that if I was going to write a novel in my life, I had better start now. So, I did. I’ve been writing novels full time ever since. Hmm. That’s a long time now, I just realized.
-What was your first published piece?
My first full-length novel was a futuristic thriller entitled The Josiah Files. But, don’t go looking for it. It’s been out of print for a long time.
-Where was it published?
Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN
-How long ago?
-What did you do before embarking on your writing career? Was it an asset to your writing? How?
Oh yes! Journalism and working for a local newspaper benefitted me in a number of ways. I’ll mention two of them: 1) Deadlines and 2) Editors.
Newspapers run on deadlines, and newspaper deadlines are daily, quick and immediate. Sometimes I had only hours to write up a story before the afternoon deadline to make the next day’s edition. It might seem that writing a novel is a more languid pursuit. But, meeting deadlines is important for the novelist as well. Even when the deadline is self-imposed, it’s important to strive to meet them.
Another thing that journalism taught me was the importance of editors. They have the final word and the final say. It’s always good to have a second eye on your manuscript.
-What inspires you?
Chatting with writer friends inspires me. Writers’ conferences inspire me. Books on the craft of writing inspire me, but what inspires me the most is reading other good novels in my genre - which is mystery. One of the pieces of advice that I tell my students is to always read things novels that are better than yours. That will inspire you to always write better.
-Please share one of your successful marketing techniques
Oh my. I’m not sure I’m all that successful at marketing. I’m just doing what others are doing - tweeting, Facebooking, and doing what I can online. etc. And I will continue to put down my ideas in stories.
Always be looking to improve your writing. I want to reiterate what I said above - don’t read books that are more poorly written than your own. You won’t learn anything from them. They will just bore you. Read Instead books and stories with writing that is better than yours. Let those good words encourage and inspire you to always write just a little bit better than you already do.