- Who or what inspired you to write?
REM: I once said I should write down all the story ideas in my head so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me! I’ve always had stories in my head, conversations, scenarios. Twenty years ago, I was dealing with a lot of painful issues, and writing is what Holy Spirit gave me as a release. I learned then I love to write!
- Who are your favorite authors?
REM: Oh, my, there are so many!! I’ve had an affinity for Agatha Christie since I was 15 and played Dr. Armstrong in Ten Little Indians. Jane Austen of course, Kristin Hannah, Madeleine L’Engle, C.S. Lewis, Nora Roberts, Frank Peretti, and in recent months I have discovered Jordyn Redwood, Jessica Dotta, Sarah Ladd, Carol Stratton, and Tessa Afshar. To name a few.
- How much research do you do?
REM: A lot. I love history and trivia, and things not commonly known. I am OCD about getting the facts straight. My current WIP, the sequel to Tessa, has a scene that goes back to 1800’s Appalachia. I’m checking out all available sources to know what life was like at that time and in that area. I end up with reams of printed material and handwritten notes to ensure that I get it right. And calendars, too! I have a whole file folder on my desktop of calendars, from 1950 through 2020!
- When did you decide to become a writer?
REM: That was rather in stages. As I mentioned above, I first began writing in 1996. I ended up with a fictional saga telling my story. That may or may not ever see publication. I poked around with some other stories, and wrote dozens of poems. I lacked the confidence to really pursue it. I “got” the beginning of Tessa in July of 2008, while going for a walk: “Tessa flopped onto the divan, more worn and weary in her thirty-seven years than the faded and threadbare divan in its 137 years.” I wrote it down as soon as I got home. I then started 4 ½ years of college, and it wasn’t until after graduation in 2013 that I got serious about finishing Tessa. Now that I’m working at this as a career, marketing and all, I can’t imagine doing anything else.
- What book/s are you reading at present?
REM: More Precious Than Gold by Lynn Dean. And Naked Determination by Gisela Hausmann, a fellow writer I met at a book signing event last fall.
- Do you need peace and quiet when writing or background noise?
REM: Silence! I get easily distracted, and I prefer to think it’s because I’m uber observant – which is a good thing for an author! With songs, even instrumental, I get caught up in the music. And definitely no TV!
- What is your favorite beverage or snack when writing?
REM: Ice tea, unsweetened, 24/7. Coffee in the mornings, snacks vary with mood or whim. Chocolate, of course, is standard. But I gotta have my tea! Occasionally, I’ll change it up and have hot tea.
- Do you have a special place that you like to write?
REM: I’ve a small house, so I work sitting right on the couch. I “nest” with my notes right at hand, and reference books close by. [not to mention a large to-be-read stack] On my wish list is an oversized easy chair, not quite as wide as a love seat, but maybe half again as wide as a standard recliner. Also, have an ergonomic wedge on the floor for my footsies; it helps with the strain on my back. And yes, I get up and move around a good bit. I love to go for walks, it’s rather my muse and communion being outdoors.
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And of course, the link to Tessa:
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I would like to thank you for this wonderful opportunity to have you on my blog. I has been a please to work with you and have you answer my questions. I am a book lover at heart. I always love the chance to ask authors questions and get answers. Keep up the wonderful writing.