DWED: First, tell us a little about yourself.
When I’m not teaching or writing (which isn’t often), I enjoy reading, scrapbooking, and finding great vegetarian recipes since I love to cook. I also practice yoga, and I’ve been known to shake my stuff at Zumba classes. I have a special affection for belly dancing, and I may practice a shimmy or two while brushing my teeth in the morning.
DWED: Have you always aspired to publish a novel?
I began writing because I had always had these crazy story ideas floating through my head. Throughout my school years I was lucky enough to have teachers who used my writing as examples for the class, and that added to my feeling that I was a writer. I knew that writing was in my future, and I tried out journalism and screenwriting but neither felt right. Finally, I found my way to writing novels and I knew I found my home.
DWED: Would you say the journey to publishing was easy or hard? Why?
It certainly wasn’t easy. Like a lot of writers, I had to deal with a lot of rejection letters along the way. I think it always takes a certain amount of stubbornness to go after your dreams, but it’s always worth it in the end.
DWED: Who or what would you say inspired “Her Dear and Loving Husband”?
A student handed me Twilight (this was in 2008) and though I wasn’t into vampires I read it because she raved about it. After I read the Twilight books, I started watching True Blood, and from there I started reading Anne Rice, Charlaine Harris, and of course the standard in the genre, Dracula by Bram Stoker. After I had a brain full of vampire, a story about a vampire still mourning his long-dead human wife occurred to me. I kicked the idea around in my head for about six months, and then I decided to see if there was anything to this crazy idea. From the moment I started writing I never looked back because the characters and the story took over. Originally, I didn’t have any intention to write a piece of historical fiction, but once I decided to set the story in Salem, Massachusetts I knew I had to incorporate the Salem Witch Trials somehow. The story travels back and forth between Salem during the witch hunts and present-day Salem. This isn’t a blood and guts vampire story. It’s a love story, and James is a very human vampire.
DWED: How does “Her Dear and Loving Husband”stand out? What does it offer and more importantly what can viewers find within it pages?
One of the things that set the Loving Husband Trilogy apart from similar books is that the point of view goes back and forth between James and Sarah. That’s one thing I found missing in some other vampire stories—you only got the human girl’s point of view. I always wanted to know what the vampire was thinking and feeling. In the Loving Husband Trilogy we hear from both James and Sarah—what they’re thinking, what they’re feeling, why they make the choices they do. I think it adds another layer of interest to their romantic story.
DWED: At length how would you describe the feedback for “Her Dear and Loving Husband”?
The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. I’m very lucky because a lot of readers have really connected to the story of eternal love between James and Sarah. I’ve been sent some of the loveliest notes any author can wish to receive because they’ve been touched by the Loving Husband stories.
DWED: Would you say you have a unique style of writing?
I don’t think I have a specific style, though I do like to incorporate elements of poetry into my fiction writing. I love to read poetry, and though I’m not wise enough to be a poet, I can use elements of poetry in my fiction.
DWED: what kind of messages do you try to instill in your writing?
The underlying question in the novel is: what does it mean to be human? How is it that the vampire shows more human-like qualities in his ability to love when the humans can cast off or condemn others so easily?
DWED: Who is your favorite character in “Her Dear and Loving Husband” and why?
Both James Wentworth and Sarah Alexander, the love interests in the Loving Husband Trilogy, are close to my heart. In a lot of ways James is my alter ego in the story. James and I have a lot in common—we’re both English teachers, we both read and write a lot, we both think about things probably too much for our own good. Sarah is a lot like me too. I think she gets her personality traits more from me than I care to admit. And hey, I wouldn’t mind meeting a hot vampire man.
DWED: Who is your least favorite character in “Her Dear and Loving Husband”and why?
Definitely Kenneth Hempel. I didn’t like the way he relentlessly pursued James, trying to out James as the vampire he is.
DWED: What can we look forward to seeing from you throughout 2013?
I’ve started the first draft of a new novella, and I have another story brewing, so I’ll be doing a lot of writing.
DWED: What would you say to all aspiring authors like yourself?
Stay true to your dreams, and be patient. We live in a time when we want things immediately, but it takes time to learn the craft of writing. I agree with the 10,000-hour theory—the idea that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a master at something. I would say that it took me at least that long before I wrote Her Dear & Loving Husband. Allow yourself to grow into the writer you want to be.
DWED: Is there anything we haven’t covered that you would like your readers and potential readers to know about both your work and yourself?
I’ve had many readers tell me that they don’t usually read or like vampire stories, but they were glad they read the Loving Husband Trilogy because it was so different from other paranormal books they had read. For readers who do enjoy paranormal romance or urban fantasy with a good dose of historical fiction thrown in, I hope they will give Her Dear & Loving Husband, along with Her Loving Husband’s Curse and Her Loving Husband’s Return, a try.