How has your upbringing influenced your writing? I spent all my growing up years observing my mother as she went about trying to write a novel. She never made it with the novel, but she did publish some great short stories. In the face of much adversity, at a core level, she always identified herself as a writer. She had a great influence on me.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I always wrote, from your typical grade school short stories, right through all my years of education. As I got older, all of that writing was in the form of articles and essays. Disappearing in Plain Sight is my inaugural entrance into the art of fiction writing, and I love it.
When and why did you begin writing? I was working as a researcher and sessional instructor at the University of Victoria. I was also supposed to be finishing my content candidacy paper for my PhD. I came home for the summer and started writing Disappearing in Plain Sight. The more everyone around me (including my own inner voice) harped on about my need to get on with my PhD, the more I worked on the novel. I think that my subconscious was certain I needed to radically change what I was doing and in order to get my attention, it produced this novel.
How long have you been writing? Disappearing in Plain Sight has taken about four years to make it from seedling ideas to published book. I ran into a few roadblocks before I could make a commitment to move the book to completion. Life does happen.
When did you first know you could be a writer? I came to fiction writing with strong academic credentials, but I didn’t really believe I could succeed at writing a novel until two or three drafts into Disappearing in Plain Sight. I had sent the whole thing out to be read by a couple of people I knew I could trust to give me kind but honest feedback. When they spoke about loving the characters and feeling real emotional investment, I began to believe I could do be a person who wrote a sellable novel.
What inspires you to write and why? I had these little seeds of ideas – what if stuff. What if these sorts of characters, in this sort of setting, found themselves experiencing these sorts of situation? After those seed ideas took hold, I couldn’t stop. The story had to be told.
What genre are you most comfortable writing? I don’t want to say I’m more comfortable in one genre or another. I write and after I wrote I was required to choose a place for my book to dwell. I chose contemporary, literary, fiction plus romance because I wrote the type of book where the reader gets to dive into the character’s thoughts and motivations and love is one of the many themes. The whole issue of genre really irks me. A book runs the risk of being pigeon-holed before the reader ever gets a chance to take a look.
What made you want to be a writer? I think I’ve always been harking back to that early experience of watching my mom write.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? The most challenging part of writing a novel is staying true to the story. There is always the temptation to start throwing extra material into the mix. We authors can be a bit self-indulgent. If it doesn’t serve the story, it shouldn’t be there.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it? Writing fiction taught me that I could be brave enough to put myself out in the world in a way that none of my other writing ever did.
What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing? I feel as though I’ve finally found my place. I value all the other things I’ve done in my life, but never have I felt as fulfilled as I do when I’m writing.
If you could leave your readers with one bit of wisdom, what would you want it to be? Don’t be too quick to judge, things aren’t always what they appear.
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Genre – Contemporary Fiction / Literary Romance
Rating – PG13