1. What was the inspiration for your novel?
I was born and raised in South Louisiana, so pride in my culture
inspired much of the content of my novels. I also worked as a medic before I started writing, so I used some of those experiences, too. (Please realize that most of those experiences were greatly elaborated upon for the sake of the story. For instance, I never had to rescue a patient from a vat of baby oil at an underground bikini wrestling event.)
2. When did you take up writing?
I took up writing in high school. I loved writing poetry and short stories, but put it aside to strive for a career in the medical field. I worked on an ambulance, at a hospital, at a dialysis facility, but I found that it wasn’t my true calling. After starting a family, I went back to college, convinced that teaching would be my passion. Once again, I was wrong! I took a writing class as
an elective and from that point on I was certain about what I was supposed to be doing.
3. How important is setting/place in your writing?
I feel the setting in my story is extremely important. I’m not just telling a story, I’m describing a way of life. The
Cajun culture is quite unique and I love being able to educate readers on some of the finer points of our way of life.
(And there are a few clichés thrown in for fun.)
4. Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current novel?
Oh, I love all of my characters so much! I suppose that if I had to pick one character, it would be Emily’s best
friend, Connie. She’s a spunky, outspoken red-head who keeps everyone in line. Another character I love to write is
Alphonse, the big-hearted deputy with a simple mind who continually screws things up, yet manages to save the day. (It’ll make sense if you read the books.)
5. What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given?
The best piece of writing advice that I was ever given was to write from my gut and my heart. In the beginning, I was so worried about using certain words or phrases because I’d risk offending someone. Whenever I’d write an intimate scene, I’d immediately conjure images of church members shaking their heads in disgust. Come to find out, those I was most worried about offending were the ones who typically enjoyed my books the most!
6. Do you have a schedule for writing?
No! No writing schedule. That’s one of the things I love about being an author. I write when I feel like writing, and if I’m not in the mood, I don’t force myself. I find that I just have to go back and redo it if I force it. I can easily tell the difference in passages I wanted to do write and those I pushed myself do.
7. Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it?
I totally wing it. Sometimes I’ll imagine a particular dialogue that I think would go great in my book then I’ll make sure to jot it down. I do that with certain ideas, too. I’m no plotter, I’m a jotter.
8. Can you name three or four of your current favourite books?
My all time favourite book to read is “A Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole. To go into specifics as to why I love it would take a page in itself. In my opinion, if I had to describe Toole’s work in one word, it would be genius!! I also love Charlaine Harris’ “The Sookie Stackhouse Series” of books. I’m so sad that it’s going to be ending soon. Karlene Blakemore-Mowle’s “Operation” series is high on my list for romantic suspense, and new author, Shelly Pratt, is one to watch out for in the thriller department!!!
9. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now?
I’m working on the fifth book in my “Green Bayou” series. I anticipate one more book, and then I’ll be off to work on other projects.
10. What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on their journey?
Just do it! Don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are lots of really nice authors who are more than willing to answer any questions or help out any way that they can. Once you find them, you become like family. Even if you never
publish, it’s worth exploring it just for the amazing connections!!