1) Your Journey as an Author…..A multi-generational poet, I have always enjoyed the beauty and flow, the cadence and flavor of words. I remember lying upstairs in the old farmhouse, snuggled down in a feather bed, buried beneath layers of homemade quilts. Fully awake, I would listen to my family, their voices drifting up to me through the heat vent in the floor. I enjoyed the music of their speech, the meter: the up and down patterns and the inflections and tones of each individual. Many of the patterns were the same. But some had moved away, as my mother had, to the “big city” and her speech had changed – evolved. Mawmaw: “Well, I’ll red up the table.” Her voice is deep in her throat, resonant and rich. Mom: “Okay, Mother.” this said much lighter and higher in the throat. Aunt Louise: “Fetch them dishes on over here, Mam-maw.” Like Mawmaw, she speaks deep within the larynx, emitting the same sonorous sound. Beautiful! Exhilarating! Who could sleep with this verbal lullaby just one floor below? With this wealth of dialect and poetry surrounding me, it was no wonder I became a writer. What else could I do but scribe the music of my family’s voice?
2) What reading means to you…..Reading has always been essential to my life. At first it began out of curiosity, and I started to read at age five. I simply wanted to know what was in books. Later, as my life became a struggle to survive, I read to take myself away from what was happening to me. In a book I could be safe and loved, enjoy sumptuous feasts, fly on the wings of a bird and be free! My journeys through books kept me sane and kept despair at bay. When I moved out of my parent’s home at 17, three weeks after graduation, I began to read, not only to assuage feelings of loneliness, but to again feed that hunger to know. I even read an entire encyclopedia set, including the medical section! Finally, I reached a point in my life where I simply read for pleasure, for the privilege and the joy of it. When I finally made it to college at age 30, I took all of the literature courses I could, and an entire new world opened up to me. To this day I consider a library to be a banquet hall and the books within a feast.
3) Whats next for you…..I have begun the sequel to Spirit Woman, titled Brave Heart Woman, which will focus on Rosie and her daughter Shelagh. Brave Heart Woman takes off where Spirit Woman ended and readers of the Cedar Woman Saga will learn what happened to Nickie Bahiti Greene the main character in Spirit Woman. I am also working on Memories of an Old Farm House which is a micro memoir about the memories of my family’s ancestral farm, a cook book called Christopher’s Family Cook Book, which will include recipes from Chopped Champion Christopher Thames and Chopped Junior Champion Daniel Kligmann, and am now promoting my latest release, Swinging Bridge, a memoir told in a collection of articles, excerpts from my award winning memoir Son of My Soul – The Adoption of Christopher, essays, short stories and poems.