I have been a ‘senior’ many years, as I am looking forward to my 95th birthday in October. But being a Senior has not kept me from pursuing my writing career. I achieved my first book publication at 88, and have been writing steadily ever since.
1. Tell us about your latest published book and your current writing project.
My latest work, just out, is Pell-Mell, a novel about a difficult romance. Now I am embarked on another novel, which will include many autobiographical elements, but will not be a memoir.
2. What was the hardest aspect of writing your memoirs, “Weather of the Heart” and “Silver Pages”?
The hardest thing about writing memoirs is coordinating facts with feelings and creating response in the reader without going off into fiction.
3. Why did you switch to fiction for your “Pell-Mell” story set in North Carolina in the 1970s?
I wanted to write a ‘regional’ book, since my first two works were set in Russia and New York. I wrote it first as a NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge. I found this was the best writing discipline I’ve experienced.
4. Why do you write?
I write to share my life experiences and ideas. I love to write, and therefore must have readers.
5. Describe when and where you write.
I write on computer in my home work room. First I mull over an idea for a long time, gradually developing my characters and plot lines until the moment arrives to put it all on paper. Then I try to write every day as much as possible.
6. When did you first know you wanted to write? What were the influences
I’ve wanted to be a writer since high school, when a wonderful English teacher praised my work. She read my poem out loud in class and said, “This is a piece which one would wish to have written.” These words turned my life in a new direction.
7. All authors must promote and sell their own books these days. What do you do at a book signing?
At a book signing I try to attract passersby by asking “Do you like to read?” If they don’t, it’s futile to try to sell them books – unless they’re looking for a gift.
8. How do readers inspire you? Describe your most memorable customer.
I get lots of feedback from readers who become interested in my characters and events. Many ask questions about Russia or the Depression of the ’30s, and many fall in love with my grandmother. My most memorable reader was Eiji, a Japanese friend of my son’s, who read “Weather of the Heart” on a ship going down the Volga River in Russia and loved it. We became E-pen-pals.
9. What brought you to the High Country of North Carolina?
I came to live in the High Country after my second husband died. I wanted to live near my daughter who settled here nearly 30 years ago, and I’ve loved living here for 20 years now.
10. What do you do when you aren’t writing.
When I’m not writing I read, play computer games (especially bridge), watch good old movies from Netflix and current events on TV.
11. What is your favorite southern expression?
I’m so used to southern talk by now that it sounds normal to me, so I don’t notice anything in particular, except when it’s so mushy that I don’t understand the words.
12. What is your website & where can readers find your books?
My books can be found on Google, Yahoo, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or directly from me at firstname.lastname@example.org