Do you do anything special after a busy day of work to wind down so you can write? Any special rituals etc? (If it’s illegal, don’t tell me, I’d rather not have to testify)

Ah, my illegal days are behind me (those of you who were around in the late 60s will know of what I speak {wink}).

I actually use my commute time to sort of wind down. I only work about 15 miles away from home and since I get in early, I can leave early and beat the rush hour. I’m usually home by 3:30 and spend an hour or so with the livestock: feeding the cats (Houdini and M.I.A., also known as Mia), the pond fish, and the birds, turkeys, possums, groundhogs and other critters who abound at our house. We’re located on a river that feeds into a wildlife refuge, and at any given time we have some interesting visitors to the back yard.

I never know what time my husband will get home. He works erratic hours, plus he’s taking classes in photography (see my picture on my web site: that’s his handiwork), so on any given day he may come in at 5:00 or at 10:00 at night. So I’m pretty much on my own during the week. I watch some news then by 5:30 or so I’m sitting down to write. One trick I do is this: when I finish my stint of writing (whenever that is), I always jot down notes for what’s to come next. That way, when I sit down and pick it up again, I can usually get into the story within seconds and take up where I left off.

I write pretty quickly, too, usually finishing a manuscript in 8-12 weeks. So the story is always in my head, and always ready to spill out on the page.

What’s your idea of the perfect day?

A day with nothing planned. I love the feeling of a day stretching ahead of me with endless possiblities. Usually that means I can do things I don’t have time to do during the week. Like the heroines in my books, I’m not much of a shopper (I like the hardware store and a good department store, and that’s about it), but I do browse on those rare days off that I get. And I like to just take my time doing things — get caught up on my magazines, maybe turn on my ebook reader and browse through a book, and, of course, write.
When you’re not writing, what are some of your hobbies?

I have a degree in horticulture, so I am always puttering in the garden. We put in a high fence this year (can you say, ‘deer deterent’?) so for once my garden is actually flourishing. We have a small spot carved out of the woods, and I’ve been very successful with various flowers. A few years ago I got rid of all the lawn and put in paths and flower beds and shrubbery (because I hate mowing), so now I am finally benefiting from all that work.

I’m also a Gadget Gidget. Yes, I’m a geek, I admit it. I have, let’s see: a laptop, a desktop, a Palm Pilot, a Tungsten, a NEC 790 handheld, a NEC 800 pocket PC and an HP Jornada handheld (thank you, E-bay). I’m toying with the idea of buying another laptop because one can never have too many gadgets. Believe it or not, they’re all sychronized, too. Oh, and I’ve got 2 laptops from work and a desktop system there. I’m a technical writer with a big software company, so I’m usually hauling around a laptop for them, too. I haven’t gotten an iPhone … yet.

More than you really wanted to know!




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