When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Well, it's pretty interesting, I started writing my own stories when I was 7 years old. I loved Peter Rabbit books. I would make my own Peter Rabbit stories on manila paper, staple them together and sell them for a nickel! In my defense, I hadn't yet learned of that infamous word - “plagiarism.” I loved everything about writing! In 3rd grade I voluntarily took an English summer-school class, just because it gave me more chances to write. Being given a blue ink pen and brand new notebook on the first day was like winning the lottery. When I was 9 years old I started watching the 6:00 news, with anchormen Don Cannon and Paul Long, as often as I could. They told each story as if it were happening to them personally. I also like how Don Cannon would venture outside the newsroom to further help people. That's when I decided I would do both – fiction and nonfiction! I wanted my writing to help people. I think I have found just the way to do that.

How long does it take you to write a book?

It's hard to say for sure. I wrote one book in 30 days and another book in 2 years. It took about 6 months to write my first children's book. I have several book in the works now. When I hit a writer's block with one of my books I will work on another one to liven up my creative juices. I also have 2 books complete that I never sent in out of fear of rejection. I can be my own worst critic. They say writers need to have a “thick skin” about them. I haven't quite mastered that.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

Since I work another job during the day, evenings are my time to write. There are random times during the day that I will work on my writing. It just happens, I suddenly think of just the right words for a book/article so I break out my journal and start taking notes. Sometimes I even take notes in my phone. My journal goes everywhere with me. I have a stack of journals that I haven't written in yet because I buy so many of them. I guess it's turned into more of a collection. I never exit an office supplies store without buying at least one journal. In one of my journals I save names, interesting careers and hobbies for the characters in my book; even odd traditions, advice, anything that would be useful to may characters.

Once in a while I will treat myself to an all nighter. I have a few odd habits, I prefer to eat ice cream when I write. I only use blue ink pens. I start writing on pen and paper and then gradually move my stories to my laptop. I sleep with a clipboard and pen next to my bed.

Most importantly, there is never a “13” of anything in my books – 13 photos, 13 chapters – nothing like that, ever! Ya, I am a little superstitious.

What is your latest release and what's next?

My latest release is 365 Days of Family Fun. I used to be a teacher so this was a fun book to write. I wanted parents/guardians to see all the fun and creative ways they have fun without spending a fortune. I was also published in “Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dog did What?”

I have a book coming out through Keith Publications, titled, The Dark Tunnel. It's about surviving abuse. In June 2016 I will have a book released on the history of Elizabeth and West Elizabeth. It's for their “Images of America” series.

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