I’m a 72 year old wife, mother, grandmother, animal lover, and write. I live in the lovely small community of Troup, Texas with the enormous population of 1949. We have one stop sign and giving directions to out-of-towners is easy. I have a husband, four children, three grandchildren, a stepson, stepdaughter-in-law, and step grandson. In my almost backyard I have a dozen chickens, a mama goat and her twin sons, a large golden something-or-other dog, and in and out of the house twelve stray cat, we adopted, come and go. My oldest daughter, Connie lives a few feet away and I baby-sit Pistol, her half-wiener, half Boston terrier while she works. When I’m not waiting on my husband, feeding animals, cooking, doing chores, and a bajillion other things,
Tell us about the genre of your work.
I write in an assortment of genres. I love fantasy, Y/A, middle school, contemporary, and historical. They all have an escape mode in their story line which takes me and the readers to places out of the ordinary. Although I love fantasy genre, I find myself drawn to historical.
Why did you choose this genre?
Traveling across the earth and even into outer space is normal these days, but I like the thought of time-travel and for me writing in the historical genre takes you to an era that is extinct. Be it comedy like “The Importance of Being Ernest, tragedy “The Life of Ann Bolyn” or a drama/adventure/romance like Loves Golden Dream, you can ride in a carriage, dress in vintage, walk a dusty road, or climb the spiral staircase of a mansion. It’s simply visiting the past for a few pages.
What are some of your books, stories that have been published?
I have published over 350 short stories and articles in magazines. Some magazines that accepted my work is Grit, OutSmart, Looking Back, Good Old Days, Small Farmer’s Journal, Farm and Ranch Living, BackYard Living, Texas Gardener, Florida Gardener, Venture Inward, Country Extra, Country, Hobby Farms, Fate, Rural Heritage, Country Living, BackHome, and Backwoods Home, to mention a few.
My book is being published titled, Loves Golden Dream Legend of Eagle Creek, and I have three stories that will appear in holiday anthologies in 2011 and 2012.
Can you tell us more about your books?
Loves Golden Dream is about twenty year old Aimee McKay, who against her father ‘s advice ran off with Marcus Alexander who stole her inheritance and inherited jewels, abused her cruelty and kept her locked up when he was off drinking and gambling. Aimee manages to escape, buy a ticket on a doomed voyage and sets off to begin a new life. The S.S. Central America runs into a hurricane and is damaged beyond repair. As the women and children are lowered into the lifeboats, a fellow passenger Aimee has befriended forces his gold filled money belt and carpet bag into her hand as he realized he would not survive due to his age and ill health.
Aimee arrives safety on shore, disguises herself as a man and starts westward. The story moves quickly along and rebellion, remorse, and repentance intertwine to keep readers guessing. The appearance of a fellow passenger, Lucas Chase, the discovery of slaves hiding on the property of Eagle Creek that Aimee buys, and the fear of Marcus Alexander finding her, are only a few of the obstacles that Aimee must face. Fate deals her a staggering blow in her first bout with love. Can fate give her the strength to find her dream.
Loves Golden Dream ISBN 10-14662 16239 is available from
the e-book is available from
Legend of Eagle Creek will be published in the spring of 2012. The anthologies are in the process of publication.
How do you come up with the names of places and characters in your books?
The names of places I write about comes from familiar setting and what I perceive of the location. The nearest town to Eagle Creek is Sycamore Grove. Eagle Creek sounds romantic and the area had previously been Indian land and Eagle Creek sounds right somehow. Sycamore Grove was names from a large sycamore tree that grows in my backyard. The names have to fit into the setting, era, and fit the location.
How did you develop the character of your protagonist in this book?
As an avid reader, I got tired of reading about the perfect, patience, hero or about the hero that kidnapped, took advantage of.., and still stood out as the hero. I wanted my protagonist to be human, with frailties, doubts, and someone we all know. I took part of the best of the best men I’ve know, and allowed some of their faults and shortcomings to make him believable.
What about an antagonist…is there a unique “bad guy” or a recurring nemesis of any kind?
Eagle Creek is the setting of all the stories in the series, Secrets of Eagle Creek. Each book is set in a different era, mid-1800’s, turn of the century 1903, and the third will be at the end of the Korean War. Due to the span of time, no one “bad guy” is the antagonist. The nemesis changes just as life and times changes, but in every generation there are challenges to meet, obstacles to overcome, and problems to solve.
What’s your favorite thing about your book?
I wanted Aimee to be a woman of strength, independence, and at the same time have the gentleness of the times. I like the fact that Aimee never gives up, despite her challenges, and that she’s not too proud to accept the help of her friends.
How is writing in the genre you write, different than other genre?
Historical genre is difference to me because I like the picture to be accurate. I don’t want to see a painting of a southern belle wearing a wrist watch, or seeing a western movie and seeing a jet stream in the cloudless sky of the background. Historical writing demands research, research, research in order to tell an accurate story.
Why and when did you begin writing?
I contribute my writing all the way back to my childhood. My parents and grandparents were avid readers and read me books and told me made-up stories from my earliest memories. Sometimes when I couldn’t get to sleep I would make up my own stories until I passed out. In school I loved writing enjoyed history, literature, and English as much of the homework and test were essays and I did love to write. Life in general didn’t give me much time to write until I retired and I’m making up for it now.
What is your writing schedule?
I keep telling myself that I’m going to take one entire day off and not write a word…or even turn on the computer. That’s a joke. I write every single day. Never less than an hour or two and more often than not three to five hours. I can’t help it. My characters have things to say and do and places to go and they are very insistent.
What projects are you working on now, or plan for the future?
At the moment I am writing book three of the series, Miracle at Sycamore Grove. The setting is Eagle Creek, of course, but the time in at the end of the Korean War and our heroin is Virginia Cash, (Ginny), mother of two small children and wife of a serviceman who is missing in action.
What kind of advice or tips to you have for someone who wants to write and get published?
Don’t let that pen or pencil get too far away. Join a writers groups I write.
where other aspiring writers and experienced authors can support and assist you. Write something everyday whether you spend five minutes or five hours, keep it a must. Write it, edit it over and over and over and submit that sucker until your accepted. If you are determined and dedicated, nothing is a good enough excuse to give up. Age is immaterial, time can be found, and dedication must be fed.
Are there any other comments, advice or tips that you would give to beginning writers?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t think your question is stupid. There is no stupid questions, just questions you don’t have the answer to.
What do you do when you are not writing?
When I’m not writing, I’m spending time with my family, but I tell them…watch what you say …it might show up in my next story.
What “Made It” moments have you experienced in life?
I felt I “made it” when my children were born, when I married my present husband, when my stories were published in magazines, and when Marie McGaha notified me she wanted to publish my books. Those ‘made it” moments were personal triumphs but I’ll know I “made it” when I’m allowed through the Golden Gates of heaven.