My most recent book,This Business of Children, came out in the latter part of June.
Tell us something about yourself.
I was a teacher for 35 years and turned to writing full time upon my retirement.
What inspired you to write this book?
I wrote this book back in the early 90’s and almost trashed it. I wanted to show the world what teachers go through trying to do their jobs. The book includes a lot of union activity, problem children, as well as personal and professional predicaments in which four teachers find themselves.
How did you choose the title?
The title comes from what the character Vera Harriss says in the Prologue and Epilogue.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
The biggest obstacle was trying to find an agent. When I finally decided not to wait any longer, I decided to self-publish – and that seems to be the way many writers are headed these days. The second biggest obstacle was looking at what marketing the book would involve in terms of money, time, and commitment.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
Even as a young child I liked to write. Through the years I wrote articles for newspapers and magazines – nothing big. Since 2003, I now have 3 published books.
Do you have any writing rituals?
My ritual is maintained by sheer discipline and consistency. When I begin, I start with an outline of what I hope to accomplish. Then I do all the necessary research to make it authentic. I write in longhand and then type. Setting aside a block of time every day makes it possible.
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
For This Business of Children, I had no set plan for character names but as it turns out, Harriss was the surname of my favorite high school teacher and Deidre was the name of a student I had many years ago. Other names came from the name of school and a street.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
I learned to believe in myself a bit more and was reminded that the only place where success comes before work is the dictionary!
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
I really don’t think I would do anything differently. I feel quite blessed in the way I approach life. My first 2 books reflect my philosophy of life: find a need and fill it. I was able to do that with
What Happens Next? A Family Guide to Nursing Home Visits…and More and Entering the Age of Elegance: A Rite of Passage & Practical Guide for the Modern Maturing Woman.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?
When I’m writing, I don’t have much time to read fiction but my favorite authors include :
Maya Angelou, Paolo Coelho, John Steinbeck, Rebecca Wells, Carolyn Chute, Harold Kushner – and of course, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John!
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
At the moment, I am not working on anything but at some point in time, I will probably get back to writing my own personal memoir.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Just remember: Every job has a beginning, a middle, and an end. If writing is your passion, not much advice is needed. there will be “down” days when writer’s block sets in but you can salvage the day by doing something related to the book – even in terms of gathering marketing tips and such.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
I’ll simply quote from one of my endorsements:
This Business of Children is a gripping tale that should not be missed!
Whether you are a teacher, parent, policy leader, or interested citizen, this
inside perspective, positioned in a realistic novel, is a must read!