I was born in a little town in southwestern Wyoming, and I still have family there, but I consider myself a Coloradoan. We moved here when I was eleven years old, and there’s a good chance I’ll be here until the day I die.
Also, for the record, there’s some debate as to whether we’re “Coloradans” or “Coloradoans”. Technically, The Coloradoan is a newspaper, and a person from Colorado is a Coloradan, but for myself, I’m a Coloradoan. :-)
Tell us your latest news?
My first non-contemporary novel is coming out on August 22nd! I’m very excited about this one. It’s called Song of Oestend. I don’t really know how to classify it. It’s fantasy, but not traditional fantasy. It’s set in an alternate universe, sort of frontier-style. There’s also a haunted house. It’s a lot of fun.
I also have a space pirate novella called Blind Space which will be published by Silver Publishing in the not-too-distant future.
Wow! You’re a busy lady. Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Little bits and pieces only. There’s a karate school in A to Z that’s based on a real school. The game Matt and Zach make up in The Letter Z is one my husband and I came up with while visiting Vegas. There’s an incident in my short story Putting Out Fires involving a glass lid which happened to me in college - from the flaming pot holder all the way down to the melted linoleum. But for the most part, I just make this stuff up.
I won’t disclose the story about Megan and the ice machine, but let’s leave it as, Megan doesn’t realize that the door goes up, not out on the ice machine. And she’s not a blonde...odd. What is the hardest scene you have had to write (published or not)? Why?
The ending of One More Soldier. I sat there on the couch crying as I wrote it. I rushed through it, because it was just tearing me apart, but then when I read back through it, I realized it was way too short and too abrupt. I had to go back over the next few days and slowly expand it until I felt like it worked.
Ugh. I’ve had stories like that, too. But I love them. How long does it take you to write a book?
Each book seems to take longer than the one before. I keep thinking it should get easier, but it doesn’t. It probably takes me about three months, start to finish. Give or take a few weeks.
No crime in taking your time. What does your family think of your writing?
My husband loves it. He’s very supportive. My daughter (who’s 7) thinks it’s cool, but keeps asking me to write a book with a girl in it. Specifically, a book about a girl and a horse, and she wants me to call it A is for Apple. I have no idea why. My extended family are supportive to varying degrees, although my mother does still ask at least every three months if I’m ever going to write a “real” book.
My totlet wants me to write a Godzilla book, so I get it. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
To date, I have five novels, three novellas, and a few short stories. Most of what I’ve written is part of the loosely-connected Coda series, published by Dreamspinner Press: Promises, A to Z, The Letter Z, Strawberries for Dessert, and Paris A to Z (plus a couple of short stories). I also have a short story with Silver Publishing called One More Soldier, and a novel with Amber Allure called Between Sinners and Saints.
It’s hard to pick a favorite. I love Promises, A to Z, and The Letter Z, because I was able to fit so many bits and pieces of being a Coloradoan into them - from the Eddie Mac mustard to the rivalry between CU and CSU. They were a lot of fun to write. And Paris A to Z, because I was able to put all three Coda couples into it.
Sounds like a blast. Have you ever cried during a movie? If yes, which one and why?
A better question might be, have I ever NOT cried during a movie? I’m a total sap. Especially when it comes to anything involving animals. In fact, last time I went to the movies, I actually cried at one of the previews! It’s completely pathetic.
We’re both saps. SAPS. We get it.What is one thing scientists should invent?
Oh gosh. Hard to pick one thing. I’m going to give you two:
1. A laundry robot (must also fold and put away).
3. A mute button that works on my daughter.
And then share the mute button and the robot with us. We can both use both, if that makes sense. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Rocky Mountain Oysters. And if you don’t know what those are, well…. I’ll just let you Google it. ;-)
I’ll make Megan do it. Do you like thunderstorms?
LOVE them. When I was a kid in Wyoming, the power used to go out during the thunderstorms. We’d light candles and sit on the front porch watching the lightning over the mountains. We get some good thunderstorms here in Colorado, too, although the power rarely goes out. I especially love the sound of thunder up in the mountains. The thunder echoes off of them, and it really does sound like it’s rolling back and forth over you.
I’ve never experienced thunder on a mountain, but it sounds really cool. What’s a saying you use a lot? Where did it originate from?
“What the fuck ever.”
My character Angelo uses this phrase a lot, and it’s a great phrase. It has a billion uses. It’s very non-committal, and yet with a nice dose of disdain. For example, if somebody says, “How do you feel about _____ (name a hot-button issue)?” you can simply reply, “What the fuck ever.” They still don’t know whether you agree with them or not, but chances are, they won’t bother to ask for an explanation.
It also works as sort of a life motto: What the fuck ever.
Want to know more about Song of Oestend? Here’s the blurb!
Aren Montrell has heard tales of the Oestend wraiths - mysterious creatures which come in the night and kill anyone who’s not indoors. Aren’s never had reason to believe the stories, but when he takes a job as a bookkeeper on the BarChi, a dusty cattle ranch on the remote Oestend prairie, he soon learns that the wraiths are real. Aren suddenly finds himself living in a supposedly haunted house and depending on wards and generators to protect him from unseen things in the night. As if that’s not enough, he has to deal with a crotchety old blind woman, face “cows” that look like nothing he’s ever seen before, and try to ignore the fact that he’s apparently the most eligible bachelor around.
Aren also finds himself the one and only confidante of Deacon, the BarChi’s burly foreman. Deacon runs the BarChi with an iron fist and is obviously relieved to finally have somebody he can talk to. As their relationship grows, Aren learns there’s more to Deacon and the BarChi than he’d anticipated. Deacon seems determined to deny both his Oestend heritage and any claim he may have to the BarChi ranch, but if Aren is to survive the perils of Oestend, he’ll will have to convince Deacon to stop running from the past and finally claim everything that’s his.
Want to know where to find her on the web?