Eternus begins with an average American girl. She is determined to make it through her day with as little attention drawn to her as possible. Rhiannon begins to think she is loosing her mind when dreams and nightmares of a vivid nature haunt her. Her quiet, anonymous world unravels around her as she learns her soul has been repeating since 800 A.D. She tries to avoid the truth but is forced to face reality when her stalker discovers her existence-again. His sole sport is to hunt her and kill her each time she returns.
Who or what inspires your writing?
Alison Joy Baker inspired me to use my imagination when I was young. Bound by a wheel chair and three years younger than me, her mind and enthusiasm for everything creative opened my world to that of creation and belief. Alison gave me more gifts in her short thirteen years than anyone has ever given to me.
We would play for hours every day during the summer. We went on many trips from our homes in Idahoto New Jerseyto spend time with her family. When her body began to deteriorate the airline would no longer allow us to fly. Our alternative was to take the train. Four and a half days and four nights of constant train. I read Willow by George Lucas out loud (we had not seen the movie yet and I am glad, the book gave so much to our imaginations). I remember laughing so hard at some of the scenes. Alison would cover her mouth and howl, I would tear up from the effort and the poor older gentleman in front of us would turn and glare at us multiple times (he must not have enjoyed it as much). To our benefit, as I reeled in my cackle (yes, I have a cackle, not a laugh), I noticed the older woman sitting across the aisle from us grinning from ear to ear. She was enlightened by the story.
To this day, I can see Alison reading my work. I know she would have been my biggest cheerleader. Actually, scratch that. She was far better then myself, I would be bowing to her accomplishments!
When did you know you would be a writer?
If you ask my Mom, she would tell you that I wrote an assignment in first grade that spelled out in three very short chapters – and by very short, I mean one or two sentences per chapter – my life from getting a boyfriend to writing my life story (that is probably why it was so short).
In my adulthood I have been a closet writer for a long time. Chalk that up to a bad experience early in my college career. My professor had a one track mind – give Kimberli a D on every paper. Devastated, I took my work to my dearest aunt, an English teacher in the public school who actively graded the college’s graduating senior thesis’. After multiple rewrites, she too gave into the quandary of trying to figure out what exactly the professor wanted. Tail between my legs, I avoided English like the plague for the next few years.
Theater, of all things, brought an inkling of writing back to me. After an assignment that required critiquing a play, my professor asked to publish my work in the college library for reference material. After I awoke from the fainting spell, I realized there might be hope for my pen yet.
Still, I did not keep anything I secretly wrote (I know, I know… big no-no for any writer).
My next professor slammed me with possibilities and belief. Just what I needed! He had me writing unbelievable (to me) papers. Where did they come from? Who was this woman?
Not Pulitzer Prize by any stretch of the imagination. To me, it proved I was not destined to be the illiterate bumpkin I believed myself to be. THANK YOU TO ALL those great teachers and professors that spark the person into the path that greatest suits them, and in turn, bless the rest of the world!
Despite all that, I still did not know I was a ‘writer’. I read a quote from Stephen King recently. In general terms he said he thought anyone was a writer that; wrote something, sent it to someone else to publish, they received a check for the work, they cashed the check, it didn’t bounce and they paid a bill with it. Under those provisions, I am officially an author!
It took a major period of frustration in my life to cause me to sit down and start writing. I had a nagging voice in the back of my mind constantly for years that I ignored and when my fanny hit the couch and I started to write, I wrote for six hours straight. I had no idea where my first book would go, it just poured from me.
How long did it take you to write your first novel?
From start to finish, I wrote in a little under six months. It went through a year of editing. UGH.
That was six months of my family having to eat what ever they could throw together.
What was the hardest part of writing for you?
Editing. I became so sick of looking at my words over and over again. I had to force myself to get back into the pages.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Five deep seated squats ending in a skyward jump, then five twirls to the left and a blowing kiss to the right, I can then sit down to write.
I require a few cups of coffee to rewire my brain, and then I’m off. I know, coffee… It is really my only true vice, other than writing.
Have you written anything else?
YES! Wow, it’s like something flipped a switch in my brain. We will be on road trips or I will be driving alone and a thought will pop into my brain… what if this, or what if that. Sometimes I see situations or hear someone else’s story and wonder, “what if it had unfolded differently?” and then, voila! That might make a good scene in a story.
I will write it down. Sometimes I end up with multiple chapters.
I have a book almost completed doing that.
It might be worth mentioning that I bought a voice recorder for my car. I actually use that when I am driving. I don’t write and drive…very dangerous and illegal in most states.
I am almost finished with book two of Eternus now. I just love writing this series. I have to stop and think about the multi-dimension of the work – with Rhiannon’s lives repeating. It makes it a challenge to imagine how she perceives it and how she deals with it.
Any advice to aspiring Authors?
DON’T STOP! You were given a passion for a reason. You will reach someone you are intended to reach.
My grandfather had a plaque on the wall in his office. It was in Latin. I asked him frequently to tell me what it said, to which the response was always an abrupt, “no”. My grandmother always did her funny, tilt the head, ‘you better not go there’ glare at him when I brought up the subject.
It was not until I was older that I found out the meaning was, “Don’t Let the (B-word with male connotations) Get You Down”. When I have embarked on those treacherous and tumultuous phases of life, which we all must endure, that phrase has run through my head. The Latin one. The one read phonetically by a young child. If a drop dead gorgeous Latin speaking man were to say those words to me, I am sure I would not know what the heck he was saying. None the less, I impart to you those words of wisdom in English form, because, as authors, the critic is more common and likes to hear their own words more than the rave reviewer.
Also, keep in mind, to have a critic is good. It means your work has enough teeth to inspire enough venom in someone to actually take the time to write a critique. For every critic, I wager there is a new follower that took your work and related to it, even if they did not leave a review.
Who are your favorite Authors (and books)?
I love to read and listen (audio book while driving) to Dean Koontz. My favorite series by him is Odd Thomas. I love the descriptions he uses in his books! I reread portions and close my eyes to absorb the feelings that the words invoke. Amazing! (Again, when I listen to his books on audio book. I will pull over before I close my eyes and feel the words.)
My favorite re-read authors are;
Jean Auel and The Clan of the Cave Bear series
W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear
The First North American’s Series—My favorite (I read it at least twice a year) is The People of the Lakes!
The Anasazi Mystery Series—I read this series at least once a year. Fascinating events and they tell a wonderful story of a murder mystery set in ancient Anasazi times.
Sandra Brown—I loved Envy, but who didn’t?
Nora Roberts—All that I have read so far.
Michael Crichton—He can scare you with the unknown that could be… Don’t want to turn off the lights when I read his.
Steven King—WOW. Only read his when my husband plans to be home and in the same bed during the read and for a least two months post read. ie. No working nights or traveling.
Books in general—I have read so many books that I enjoyed but did not follow the author after that read.
Which book has impacted you the most?
For my graduation from High School, my aunt (mentioned above) gave me, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr Seuss.
As a typical teenager I thought, “What a weird gift. I am a ‘new’ adult, I don’t need a children’s book.” I read a few pages and put it aside.
I read the book to my first born daughter. At that time, I had moved fromIdahotoPhiladelphia,PAat the Naval Yard (yeah, I know, there is no Naval Ship Yard in Philli anymore! Get over it, and no, don’t look up the date it closed, that will age me J). Oh, what a change, Country Girl toBigCity. OUCH. I did not leave the base for a full three months. After that, for another three months or so, I only left if someone came with me.
From there we moved toFlorida. Great state – no mountains. We tangled with Big Bertha (hurricane). She never came ashore, but the scare and the drive inland by myself with two little kids, in bumper to bumper traffic, following my neighbor (native Floridian) as she laughed at the poor little Idaho girl who knew nothing about hurricanes, was enough to lay claim to a small hurricane story.
Onward still. Driving back home after the naval career ended and getting to see the greatest country in the world first hand (and rather quickly) was wonderful.
The places, yes the places.
Now the book is poignant and important. It is tattered, ragged, and well used.
Dr Seuss said it well,
“I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
can happen to you.”
Oh, the Places You’ll Go! (And believe it!)
After life tested the theories in this book – a revelation was laid at my feet. Every single event in life can be equated with an excerpt from one of Disney’s or Pixar’s movies. We should probably listen to our children’s problem solving skills more. Time tested, children approved. (Maybe not the “candy for breakfast” everyday idea.)