Q. What authors inspire you most?
A. Too many to list, really, but I’ll mention a few who come to mind. I love different authors for different types of inspiration—Tennessee Williams, Lajos Egri, Adrienne Rich, and Shakespeare for playwriting–Colette and Anne Sexton for poetry–Jane Austen, Truman Capote, Vladimir Nabokov, the Bronte sisters, Edith Wharton and Gustav Flaubert for novels– Annie Dillard, Anne Lamott, Natalie Goldberg and Julia Cameron for writing advice and finally– for a good escape into mystery I love Niki French, Patricia Highsmith, and Ruth Rendell.
Q. What do you do when you aren’t feeling inspired or motivated to write?
A. I walk my dog, or go horseback riding. I sculpt. I find pounding and shaping clay amazingly therapeutic. Sometimes I get up early and drive on the back roads of Pennsylvania listening to music or a book on tape. I sit in my sky swing and read. In New York I enjoy a night at the theater or dinner out with my husband—sushi or Indian food preferably. Or I fly to California to play with people I love—Eric, Heather, and their twins—Gwyneth and Sydney Anne.
Q. What inspired you to write CRIMSON ICE?
A. When I began I thought that I wanted to write a good mystery merely as a challenge to myself and a diversion but as I got deeper into the writing I found that many of my real life obsessions were seeping into the story. I had long been concerned with the catastrophic consequences of unrestrained temper and male violence toward women and children, also how the lack of love and the damage caused by alcoholism can filter down to affect several generations. I also suffered over the loss of a sister I loved and the illusion that I could have somehow prevented her death. These concerns became somehow submerged in and threaded through the novel.
Q. Did you know how the story would end when you began writing it?
A. Absolutely not! When Rocky’s body was found I was as surprised and saddened as any reader might be. It seemed that when I sat down to write this book a separate part of my brain often took over and dictated incidents and characters to me, almost against my intentions and the outline I had written. On the other hand I struggled with the final twists and turns and wrote several versions before the final one and even though it’s finally out there, I still find myself rethinking the ending and figuring out how I can take it up in the sequel.
Q. “I was hooked with the first page.”; “Wow!! This book had me from the first paragraph.” ; “I was pulled into CRIMSON ICE…”; “This book is hands down in the top five as one of the best books I have ever read.” These are all direct quotes from professional reviewers and avid mystery readers. Besides being a great confidence-booster do you think you’ve got a sequel in you?
A. As for the fine quotes—of course they are encouraging. It’s terrific to know that people read and enjoy my work. On the other hand I try to keep in mind that I’m writing out of my own passion and for my own pleasure and I would keep at it even if no one recognized it or encourage me. It’s my life sentence, my escape, and my salvation.
As for a sequel, I guess I already answered that question. I’ve outlined and written part of the sequel BONE MOON already. I’m determined to stick to my outline this time, but then again I’ve said that before and then found myself exploring unexpected pathways. I’ve just completed a totally unrelated novel—a coming of age novel called SWEET WILLIAM AND ROSEMARY and even though I was certain I knew the ending of this book when I started, I found that the pathway to that end took many unexpected turns.