Tell us a bit about your family. My family is full of quirky people. As my eight-year-old grandson, Eli, says, “They show up as the nuts on the family tree.” I probably shouldn’t give specific information here about my relatives’ odd behaviors, but I can say that they give me plenty of inspiration for creating unusual characters.
What is your favorite quality about yourself? Enthusiasm. I love to learn new things, try new things, do new things. That’s one reason I love writing fiction. I can go off in any direction that looks interesting. I can try out different personas, lifestyles, careers, activities, and so on, without investing money or changing my own life.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself? Perfectionism. I can’t just do something part way. Sometimes I spend hours researching a tiny detail for one of my books. For example, one of the characters in my second novel, Too Far Under, is a computer geek who spends most of his time interacting in an online virtual world. I spent hours reading about avatars, chat rooms and activities in Second Life, even though it was a minor part of my story. It was interesting though, and I want to have my details as accurate as possible.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? My favorite quote is a poem by Stephen Crane:
“I saw a man pursuing the horizon;
Round and round they sped.
I was disturbed at this;
I accosted the man.
‘It is futile,’ I said,
‘You can never — ‘
‘You lie,’ he cried,
And ran on.”
I love this poem because it speaks to how resolute and indomitable humans are, how we continue on unwavering despite discouraging advice. This spirit can get us to our goals, even though we have many mountains to climb. On the other hand—as in the case of some of my characters—blind dogged determination can lead to disaster.
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? It changes from day to day, because I’m always looking ahead, rather than behind. As soon as I accomplish something I’ve been working toward, I feel proud of getting there. But then, by the next day, I’m off down another path and yesterday’s accomplishment has faded into the background.
What is your favorite color? My favorite color is turquoise. Now that I think of that, I wonder why I didn’t choose that color for my book covers. Would they look better with a turquoise background?
What is your favorite food? Potato chips. I really shouldn’t admit that. It makes me sound like a junk food queen. But actually I eat a very healthy diet, with not nearly as many potato chips as I’d like. The tricky thing about potato chips was captured very well in an ad campaign years ago with the slogan, “Bet you can’t eat one.” It’s very hard to eat only one. Try it.
What’s your favorite place in the entire world? I love Boulder, Colorado. That’s why I live there and why I set my novels there. Boulder has gorgeous mountain scenery and hiking trails, a fun downtown with a pedestrian mall and great restaurants, and an active population focused on physical fitness. I went to college there years ago and lived there for a few years after, but then moved away for many years. My husband and I feel very lucky that we found a way to get back and live there.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing? My father continually challenged me to think outside the box. My mother loved poetry and read me poems when I was very young. Both of my parents were active in theater groups, and encouraged me to do the same. Their focus on creativity and self-expression gave me the courage to pursue my dream of creative writing.
Genre - Mystery
Rating – PG
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