1. How realistic are your books?
My writing incorporates the substance of life as I know it. I have lived a full life that I believe it is reflected in my work. In order to be interesting, yet remain believable, I think a writer must be able to view life from perspectives others fail to immediately see. I would hope the reader might open my book and say, “Oh, I never thought of that, but I can see it now.”
2. Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?
I actually have several works in progress. My writing puts life in the south on display; the good, the bad, the ugly will all be found in my books. I am a socially conscious person; I seek to challenge the reader to look at the life of the “other”. I want him to take the road less traveled, I hope he will try on the character’s shoes and walk around in them. I want to reach parts of the reader’s soul that have not been tapped before. I want to relate on an intimate level. Long after finishing my book, I want readers to look back on the experience with a new awareness. I hope they can know my characters and feel attached to them personally. If I accomplish anything in my writing, I hope to open a new window in the reader’s mind and consider life with a new and different awareness. I hope to have SHERIFF OF SKELETALLE COUNTY completed soon. It is full of suspense and is sure to keep the reader guessing about the outcome.
3. How do you see writing? As a hobby or a passion?
Oh, my goodness, writing is definitely a passion! Like romantic passion, passion of writing comes in fits, spurts and, at times, lulls to inactivity. To keep the passion alive it must be nourished frequently to remain fresh and interesting.
4. Is it true that authors write word-perfect first drafts?
I would like to meet the author who could do that. I certainly am not such an author. I often write the same sentence dozens of different ways until I feel it is right.
5. Do you believe it is more challenging to write about beliefs that conflict with the ones you hold yourself?
When I was in university, we would sometimes be assigned particular writing projects arguing a prescribed idea or belief. I never felt I did those projects justice because I felt no passion in pushing an idea I could not believe in. I write about what I know and feel. Pushing an idea that I don’t believe in would not be possible for me; I would feel totally untrue to myself.
6. If you die today, how would want the world to remember you?
I would want to be remembered for the ideas I stood for. I would want to remembered as the person who attempted to right the wrongs of the world. I don’t mind being viewed as the person who goes against the grain or holds an unpopular belief that conflicts with the norm. I believe in fairness and equality; I do not compromise those beliefs for expediency or popularity. I proudly wear my social conscious like a badge of honor.
7. Do you believe you have done enough to leave a legacy behind?
Is one life ever enough? I doubt many historical heroes, were they alive, would say they had accomplished enough. I try to do what I can in the space and time where I dwell. When all is said and done, isn’t that all any of us can do? Hopefully, my legacy will be good enough to take care of itself.
8. Have any of your past loves inspired characters in your books?
I will never tell. Only they will know, if they read and recognize themselves!
9. Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
My lips are sealed.
10. What’s your favorite movie which was based on a book?
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. I am still just as passionate about the book and the movie as I was when I was first introduced to Harper Lee’s work.
11. Do you encourage your children to read?
I continue to press my children to read more. I have experienced times and places I could never have known had it not been for books. I hope I have passed my love affair with books on to my children and grandchildren.
12. If you could live anywhere in the world, which country would you choose and why?
I love new experiences and dream of living an exotic life. I can imagine myself in India, soaking up a culture awash with history, religions, and people from every social strata and walk of life. I make a point to try to make acquaintance with people from cultures different than my own. I find that I can learn something from almost anyone.
13. Were you a troublemaker as a child?
I was a holy terror! I was inquisitive and questioning. I rushed where angels dared trod and was forever into something. I was the only girl in a family of boys; I would never settle being left behind. I was intent on proving that I was as good as any boy at any task. I spent my time challenging my brothers and boy cousins. I always fancied myself my dad’s favorite because I could work on cars, ride horses, wrestle and hunt as well as any boy and spent hours following along behind him from the time I could walk. And yes, I was definitely a DADDY’S GIRL.
14. Is today’s generation more aware of the literary art or less?
That is difficult to answer. I believe every generation believes themselves to be a dying breed with the future to be molded by youths with less values, ethics and understanding . Socrates felt the same way and lamented the irreverence of the youths of his day. I think the coming generations will learn just as the previous generations have learned. Life is short and we must accomplish all that we can in the time we have. No generation is “the great generation”, we are all equally ill-equipped but learn to struggle through anyway. Each generation will manage to leave a legacy of literature for future generations to wonder at, shake their heads at and sometimes, hold in awe.
15. What inspires you to write?
Life. As simple as that, life is all we have. We can either use it as an inspiration or excuse. I hope I will always see it as a gift of inspiration.
16. Do you think writers have a normal life like others?
I used to think others had these fascinating lives and mine could never measure up. However, the older I become and the more people I meet, I have come to realize we all live extraordinary lives. It is how we view our lives that matters. I live an extraordinarily normal life filled with ups and downs, steps and missteps, the exhilarating and the mundane just as everyone else.
17. What is the most important thing about a book in your opinion?
A good book makes us question ourselves. It makes us think about what we believe and why we believe it. NOT COLOR BLIND confronts the issues of life with brutal honesty. It addresses racism, abuse, poverty and presents an array of characters who are as personally flawed as the people we meet on a daily basis. NOT COLOR BLIND does not attempt to paint any character as good or bad, but as individuals who intricately and uniquely human.
18. Do your novels carry a message?
Perhaps. But the message received will actually reside within the reader. What the reader takes away will be based on their own perceptions and life outlook. NOT COLOR BLIND will not tell you what to feel, but will hopefully cause you to think and rethink what you believe and feel about others.
19. How realistic are your books?
My books are based on life circumstances that is faced by multitudes of people each day. Some people are never faced with the stark brutality of poverty, racism or abuse. NOT COLOR BLIND paints a vivid account of these issues, it lays bare the wounds without preaching or Pollyanna simplicity. Every character shares the frailty of human imperfection and each handles life in a different way. Without sugar coated solutions to complex problems NOT COLOR BLIND offers an unapologetic, often harsh, window into the lives its characters.
20. Can you tell us about your current projects?
I am currently working on several books: ACROSS THE COLOR LINE; SHERIFF OF SKELETALLE COUNTY; and, DOUBLE D AND THE BEDBUG CONSPIRACY. All are in various levels of completion. All promise to offer an exciting and eventful read!