MORE ABOUT ME (because i'm just that fascinating)
So, fun fact about me: I'm a messy writer and I like it that way. I'm super tidy everywhere else in my life, but my office is exactly how I like it. I don't like interruptions or noise, but I have a noisy hubs...who interrupts...a lot. Sigh. I love him.
Fun fact number two: I was ten when I wrote my first story. It was about a 4th grade substitute teacher I had while my beloved Mrs. Peeler went off and had a baby. (How could she!) I shocked myself with the degree of bottled up dislike I had for this poor guy, but in all fairness I can still, lo these many moons later, recall his effect on me. I wrote a story about him wherein he ended up dead. Dead! I know! What was wrong with me? And it filled me with such consuming turmoil that my pure little conscience could not take it. I'm not kidding, I could not erase fast enough. When I recovered, I gave the old meany a full-body rash and no fingernails which was infinitely easier to live with (for me, not him). But, oh the power! I was utterly addicted. At ten, I held life (and tormenting skin conditions) on the end of my trusty #2 pencil. I never looked back. I was a writer. A little twisted, obviously, but a writer.
If you know me and my work, you probably know I'm big on family, complicated relationships, and imperfect dynamics--essentially life. I've been married to my guy for so many years I've lost count--and I happen to think that marriage is the greatest refiner of character ever invented. I'm a psych nurse by profession, a writer by passion, a raiser of responsible offspring by choice and determination, and I melt glass as a hobby.
I think people are completely fascinating, and what motivates them is usually even more so. It's why I write books about ordinary humans (joking, there's no such thing) and how they attach and detach and navigate life amid the piles of laundry, bills, tears, and dog poop... And, of course, how they triumph!
For me, creating remarkably flawed and unassuming characters who somehow manage the nonsense in their lives well enough to live heroically is insanely fun! Like an extraordinarily defiant woman who chooses her baby's life over her own because of an unyielding faith in her mentally ill husband. (Dancing on Broken Glass) Or a young girl who finds a way to communicate with her severely brain damaged mother and learns the heartbreaking price paid for her own life. (The Duzy House of Mourning) Or the tortured misfit enslaved by his rituals who can't help but befriend, then fall in love with the suicidal girl who was dumped at her own wedding. (Ivy in Stills)
People are people are people and I love that their truth snakes through my writing. We learn so much from each other when we stop talking and just listen. Or read...
You see what I did there, right?
Have you ever gone all in on something? Something that means the world to you, but not all that much to anyone else? It’s a tricky place to be—that jumping off place into whatever-happens-it’s-on-me. I’ve always found it much easier to hand responsibility to someone else, and blame them when it fails. At least where my books are concerned. That’s my comfort zone. My job was writing. It was definitely not the mechanics of publishing, marketing, hustling, and selling myself. I've been quite happy to leave that to agents and editors and publishers and publicists and live my life as the semi-introvert that I imagine myself to be. And that worked out fine until my great agent left for an unturndownable opportunity, and my amazing editor abruptly left Simon & Schuster and Simon & Schuster didn't know what to do with me because I had no editor.
So...my novel and I became casualties of an industry peopled by people with bigger fish to fry. What was I going to do?
Well… Here's the deal: The Duzy House of Mourning is my fish. So, I got myself to that tricky place... And lived to tell about it.
If anyone is interested in my self-publishing journey, I am happy to share. Email me.