My new book is titled Loving the Missing Link. It is about a young, small town girl who struggles to balance realism and hope as she ventures out into the larger world. A large part of the story is about her boyfriend who later becomes her husband, and about how their relationship changes her life.
Tell us something about yourself.
I am from Hamilton, Missouri. I married soon after high school and followed my husband from Air Force base to base during his military career. I took college classes at each base, but because of the constant moving, I never finished a degree. However, I majored in English and have had college level creative writing classes. Oh, and I have been writing since I was about 10 years old.
What inspired you to write this book?
I have a great relationship with my husband, and we have been married for over 37 years. It wasn’t so much the details of our relationship that inspired me, but I wanted to tell a story about how positive a marriage can be for each party.
How did you choose the title?
I wrote the first two chapters years ago as a short story, and titled it “The Missing Link,” referring to my protagonist’s search for a connection with the larger world. When I developed the story about her boyfriend/husband, I changed the name to Loving the Missing Link in honor of their relationship.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
After a lot of research, I knew I didn’t want to wait on the whims of the traditional publishing establishment. Self publishing was very easy. The biggest obstacle was coming up with the money for a professional editor. And I would not reverse that decision for anything.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
My fifth grade teacher gave me tons of praise on my writing and had me read my work to the class. I loved it when the other children laughed with me at one of my characters. I started writing very, very slowly. In fact, there were decades when I hardly worked at all. Everything changed when I started doing online copywriting. It got me into a routine and habit of writing every day, and soon I was working on my fiction, too.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Only that I write at night. Every night of the week, I write from about midnight to about 7am.
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
Most of the names are simple names that were popular when I was young. The exception is Sidonie. Sid is an important character, and an unusual one. I wanted her to have an unusual name.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
I learned the truth of what a creative writer once told me. “Writers write.” In other words, it would no longer do to talk about writing, to dream about writing or to fantasize that someday I would be an author. If I am going to be a writer, then that means that I have to be disciplined enough to write regularly.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
I don’t think I would change anything about the story. I would change the way I self-published. I waited too long on certain aspects of the publishing because I thought I needed to save up money for the services. Then, I found out that many of these services were free through the self publishing platform I used.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
I like to read books that are written very well. I like to read something and say to myself, “Wow, I wish I had written that!” I like Thomas Mann and Margaret Atwood the most. I also like Stephen King.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I am working on two books, and haven’t decided which way to go yet. I have a wonderful idea for a story told in 5 shifting perspectives, about 5 people who are in a psychiatric hospital together. On the other hand, I am toying with a new story based on Loving the Missing Link. My readers seem to want a sequel, and I am exploring the possibility of writing one.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
I would say, dive right in and get started. As I said, “Writers write.” About publishing, I would say, don’t over-think it. It is not as difficult as it seems.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
The ideal reader would enjoy music, like reading about relationships, and be open to considering new ideas.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?