I imagined a pretty specific path for my life early on, a quiet, enclosed kind of life. Think “small town” and uneventful. Instead, the path has taken me thousands of miles from my original destination, and I have had experiences and seen places I never dreamed I would. Sometimes it has been SO difficult–yet always, without question, there have been two things that have stayed constant. One, the sense of absolute wonder at everything I have encountered–entering the unknown and realizing how deep and powerful existence is, and is meant to be. Two, the feeling of God’s grace in my life, no matter what was–or is–going on.
With a doctorate in English, I taught for some years at CUNY and loved it and was sure I’d teach forever–aka the plan and the path. Instead, I found myself writing for corporations, focusing on computers with network management systems, virtual protocols, and military surveillance software. Who knew? All the while, though, writing fiction was my passion in the time allowed–nights and weekends. I moved 18 times and my books and stories always went with me (thousands of pages, often needing sorting), even if the furniture didn’t. My short stories have appeared in Subtle Fiction, Halfway Down the Stairs, Bewildering Stories, Thrice Fiction, Kzine, Over My Dead Body!, T. Gene Davis’s Speculative Blog, and Aurora Wolf, among others. My “Narrative of Samantha Fremont” appeared in Mad Scientist Journal. That’s one of the precious ones. The ezine NewMyths.com published my mini-novella “Distraction,” a science fiction story inspired by the strange geometry of the torus, as is my most recent sci-fi novel, The Visitors.
MARI, a YA fantasy novel, appeared to good reviews in May, 2014, though it was conceived in the heart ages before. It was selected as a finalist in October, 2016 for the ListenUp Audiobook competition. There are other novels. Seven of them I had written over the years and re-edited, setting them all up as indie publications. Seven more were created during and after 2012, including a collection of short mystery stories. You can see these titles on the Books and Stories page on this website.
I have written in many other venues in nonfiction, both for myself and for others. I have also written four screenplays. In the spring of 2012 I was a finalist in the Hollywood SCRIPTOID Screenwriter’s Feature Challenge for my script “Second Chances.”
When not writing, I follow my passions for reading mysteries, watching film noir and 1950s science fiction B-grade (often C-grade) movies, absorbing biographies of writers like a sponge, and feeling reverence for all wildlife. I have a brilliant, very green (and talkative) eclectus parrot named Harry. After working on both coasts, in Texas, and overseas, I call the Hudson River Valley region my home now–and it pleases me no end to live not very far from where Rod Serling grew up and Jane Roberts encountered Seth. I like coffee, chocolate, and fairy lights…trees…reading the Transcendentalists…listening to Bach and Aaron Copland and Adele, and just about all music from the Renaissance…and good conversation with strangers and friends alike.
Questions from Goodreads:
When did you start writing? At age 6, and never stopped… 🙂
What I have discovered, too, that fascinates me, is that from the very beginning, I would create whole books–write stories or nonfiction, collect photos and images to go with them, and create a cover, and then staple or bind the whole together–a full creation. I loved doing that and continued to create such “books” even in my thirties. Then the Internet brought Amazon and indie publishing–which meant perforce I had to write the books AND produce them–the artwork, covers, medium of display–eBook or print, do the formatting and editing, decide on design features, study services and methodologies, explore subjects in depth–the WHOLE THING. I adore this aspect! And isn’t it wonderful that it EXACTLY matches what I was so inclined to do as a child?! How extraordinary to have a medium made real in which I could create something that had always been my natural inclination. I love the process–all of it.
When and what and where did you first get published? For fiction: January 13, 2012 “Echoes,” in Subtle Fiction (New Zealand). Bless that editor.
Quite a few short stories have been published since then, but I let go of following the traditional route of querying for publication of my novels in 2014 and turned to indie publishing, for reasons I just gave. It was immensely satisfying–the intense creativity required to produce my own books.
What was also significant was that I learned only 1%-2% of queries to traditional publishing houses get into actual publication. That means many, many writers never get seen or known. Amazon has opened a path–a marvelous way for writers to send their books out into the world–and that is what we want–to share what we have created. Writing for ourselves is always the first cause–but it can’t end there–we need to give something to an audience. It’s a cooperative venture, always.
What I also discovered is that genre writers–which I am, writing fantasy, science fiction, and mystery–who get traditionally published have a hard time switching genres if their series or stand-alone books have been successful. Publishers want them to stick to the series that is profitable, and there is not the same room to try new things. Some genre writers have got beyond this, but they number very few. As an indie author, I have no barriers to exploring genres I love, as often as I want to do so, and it is all open-ended creatively.
What themes do you like to write about? The ambience of place, and of belonging, or not.
What are your favorite subjects? Mysteries, alternate reality, NDEs, spiritual, metaphysical, high fantasy, writer biographies, geology, origins of ancient monoliths, classics, humor, crystal formations, genealogy, Renaissance music, paleontology, ancient music, Old English as a language, Hildegard of Bingen, Glastonbury, England, Nature, Native American shamans, healing modalities, eclectus parrots, golden retrievers…there’s so much that fascinates and draws me in. This 3-D world is precious and . . . just, precious.
What books and/or stories have most resonated with you as an author? Why? How do these stories and their characters find expression in your work? SO many, among them: David Copperfield, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (all of Shakespeare), Jane Eyre, “Nightfall,” “A Game for Blondes” (MacDonald’s best), Rendezvous with Rama, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Chester Geier’s “Environment,” most of the non-gory mystery writers from the last hundred years or so, “Rule of Three” by Theodore Sturgeon, Dune, the poetry of Maya Angelou and Emily Dickinson, Jane Robert’s Oversoul Seven, and scripts for films like The Day the Earth Stood Still and It Came from Outer Space, just about everything by Ray Bradbury, Jane Austen, and Agatha Christie, film noir, Ronald Moore’s Battlestar Galactica…and forever Star Trek, and SG-1…the list is large, always growing! What these and the rest hold in common, apart from wonderful storytelling, is the intensity of the author who wants to present something authentic, no matter the risk, to explain what lies within the story that is not only sub-text but also truth-telling. Such writers seem to me to accept the premise that finding the heart of what they want to say and the words to do that are what make a good day, no matter what. They write for their own meandering path of reality and substance and to grasp ephemeral and hidden awareness. That’s what I seek, as well.