1) Share your background before getting into writing.
I’ve had many jobs in my life, but the longest was working for an electronics manufacturing company for nearly twenty years. I was a course developer and also a training instructor until I was downsized out of the company in 2000. I then worked in a couple of different garden centres and even ran a gift shop with a friend of mine. In 2011 while helping to care for my ailing mother I made a commitment to myself to begin to fulfil my dream of becoming a writer. I have written nearly every day since then.
2) What was your first story selected for publication?
My first published story was called “Remembrance Day”. It appeared in CafeLit in March 2018. I will forever be indebted to editor Gill James for publishing it because in doing so she gave me the confidence to send my stories out for further publication. “Remembrance Day” is the first story in my first published collection of stories entitled “Resilience”. It was published in February 2021, by Gill James and Bridge House Publishing.
3) Do you think online writers receive more attention as compared to traditional writers? Share your thoughts.
Online writers receive ‘different’ kinds of attention, that’s for sure. We have our writers’ groups which help a lot. We have a huge array of places to send submissions to and that’s wonderful because it allows us access to many more possibilities of getting our stories out and accepted. Plus, we get lots of support from like-minded individuals.
4) What’s your favourite form of fiction writing? Share your favourite story till now.
Literary fiction is the form I am most drawn to and feel most comfortable with. I write poetry as well. That being said, I like to push myself sometimes and get out of my comfort zone, so I have written and published in the fantasy, science fiction, horror and terror genres. My favourite story probably is the one I’m working on at the moment. I love the process of writing out a rough draft and then going over the story embellishing it and fleshing it out, giving it what I call its heart and soul. If I can pull that off, and read the completed story and it makes me smile or sad, or elicit some sort of emotional response, I know I’ve done my job. Then the next step is to send it out and see if editors and readers feel the same way!
5) What does success mean to you? What is the definition of success?
I love to write. I love to imagine a story and characters and put them into situations to see how they will respond in those situations. I don’t measure success by monetary means by any stretch of the imagination (which is a good thing, LOL!) I feel I am successful when I have written a story that makes me smile and shiver or react somehow; where there is an emotional connection. That’s one thing. The other is that I like it when people like my stories. It means a lot when a person tells me a story that has touched them in some way. That’s a really good thing. But I have to say that my true success comes from within, and how I feel about the story I have written.
6) Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers?
This has been a very good year for me. In February, Gill James published my first-ever collection of short stories through Bridge House Publishing. It is twenty-seven stories entitled “Resilience” and has been selling very nicely. In March, Steve Cawte, editor and publisher of Inspired, published my collection of thirty-one stories inspired by the first thirty-one elements of the periodic table entitled “Periodic Stories”. I am currently working on Volume II of “Periodic Stories” which will be based on element thirty-two through sixty-one. I’m currently on element forty-five, Rhodium. I have a collection of flash fiction and drabbles entitled “Short Stuff” coming out this year published by Chapeltown Books. And I have a dystopian adventure novella due out this year entitled “Something Better” published by Paper Djinn Press.
7) What famous author do you wish would be your mentor?
There are so many! Stephen King, James Lee Burke, Anne Tyler, Tana French and Charles Dickens are a few that come to mind. But if I had to pick one, I’d pick Henry David Thoreau. He was able to blend practical observations of nature with a philosophical view on life that I’ve always found inspiring. So, I’d go with him.
8) Any tips for budding writers?
If you want to be a writer, I will say this: Write. Write. Write. Don’t wait. Don’t procrastinate. Start writing right now. Set aside time every day to write. Even if you don’t feel like it, sit down and write. Write the best stories or poems or whatever you want to write that you can. Keep your work. Start a blog and post your work. Then, at the end of the day, you can say, I’m a writer. Why? Because you’ve written something and posted it for people to see. Even if no one sees your work, it’s there for them to read if they want to. And, the most important thing is this: You can point to your blog and say, “You know what? I wrote that.” It’s a good feeling.