Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I have been a bookworm for as long as I can remember, longer actually. My dad used to tell a story of me scaring him when I was two. He walked into the living room and I was sitting in his recliner with my favorite book reading it aloud. He said he stood and watched and I was turning the pages at the correct spots. He thought he had a superbaby on his hands—until he realized I was holding the book upside down. I’ve always loved books. I think what encouraged me to actually write stories was a substitute teacher I had in elementary school. She read one of my assignments and wrote the most encouraging notes on it.
I recently found an old notebook that had short stories I had written when I was eleven. I had a few short stories published when I was in high school and more throughout my early adult years.
As I got older, and life got rougher, I used books to escape from a not-too-happy reality. It helped me through some rotten patches, and I want to be able to give that escape to someone else. I’ve always been drawn to thrillers and mysteries in my reading. They always say write what you know so… I write thrillers and mysteries mostly and they are a bit dark in places, but I like to give my readers the light at the end of the tunnel endings.
Wings Over Wylder is a major departure for me because not only have I never written romance, Darlin’ says I think like a guy. He means it as a compliment, but it makes me decidedly not romantic. I have to research and really work at it when I want to plan a romantic surprise for him.
What is something unique/quirky about you?
I’ve often been described as being a dichotomy. As a rule, people are either good at the analytical stuff like mathematics, hard sciences, etc. or they excel in the arts like photography, writing, creating things. I love both. I also tend to like animals better than people and gravitate toward traditionally male-oriented fields.
Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!
I learned at an early age that climbing a fence to get onto an air force base is a bad idea. They don’t really care if the fence is blocking your award-winning shot of the space shuttle Endeavor before her maiden flight. I also learned that MPs (military police) can make good boyfriends.
What are some of your pet peeves?
My biggest pet peeve is people blaming their present bad choices on their past. Eventually you have to turn the page, close that chapter, and begin taking responsibility for your own actions. My second biggest pet peeve is people talking with food in their mouths or chewing with their mouths open. Come on, Folks, table manners…please!
Where were you born/grew up at?
Be careful what you ask for. I love to brag about my family. I’m a sixth-generation Texan with Scottish roots. My Grandma used to tell us the family came to Texas before there was a Texas.
I was born on Galveston Island and grew up near the coast. Summers were spent on the beach and shoes were worn only under protest.
Darlin’ (aka Constable Cregg Thompson) and I have been best friends for twenty years and married for eighteen. Between the two of us, we have three daughters, two sons, three sons-in-law, and two daughters-in-law. We also have eight grandchildren ranging from six to almost eighteen. I tell people all the time that our grandchildren are my reward for not strangling our children when they were teenagers.
Darlin’ and I currently live in Charlotte, Texas with three dogs and too many cats to count.
If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
Hanging out with my family making sure they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I love them. I don’t get to see them as often as I would like to but I do tell them often how proud I am of them and how much I love them.
Who is your hero and why?
This is a hard question for me. I have several. My grandmother, who lived to be 107 and never lost her mental clarity, taught me so much about unconditional love.
My mom taught me to be a survivor. She was the type woman who was never afraid to try something new no matter what anyone thought. She was the first female meter reader in south Texas when she was working for Texas-New Mexico Power. She was also the one who when she wrecked her car didn’t take it to a body shop for repairs. Instead she signed up for a paint and body course at the community college and fixed it herself. She took a cake decorating course at the same time. How could you not idolize her?
My husband, Darlin’, is a Texas Lawman. He’s a true hero—not just to me. He has scars on his body that each tell a story usually about saving someone. He also knocked down the walls around my heart and taught me to chase my rainbows.
And of course, my children… not only did they survive my parenting, they taught me to dream and live free.
Monday, December 28, 2020
The Gift of Writing
So there I was with a newborn in my lap, sleep deprived and awake between nursings. Writing. There was a story I was gifted with that suddenly wanted to be told, and whether I cobbled it together during the day on my cell phone or wrote in the wee hours of morning while my little one slept, I managed to get it all down in three weeks.
For almost a year prior, I had seriously dallied with the idea of writing, and since high school I had fancied the idea of one day becoming an author. While I was pregnant, however, the starts and stops on the world I’d honed since I was a sophomore never tugged the full idea out of me. Instead, I found myself with a complete, and completely unexpected, novel. It was a gift, and my welcome to the world of pantsing.
You see, I am a planner. A we-need-to-turn-this-car-around-because-I-forgot-the-kitchen-sink type of planner. I am not accustomed to waiting to see what my characters had planned, or discovering them as they slowly choose to reveal themselves. With UpSpark, I had only the first scene and the last scene, and it was a full tilt ride filling in everything in-between. What an exhilarating experience to let go of control! I had no idea I was capable of indulging this creative muscle, following it down whatever dark alleys it lead me, to come out the other end into euphoric sunshine.
And now the floodgates are open. I have so many ideas. More so, I have an addiction now. There is no comparable meter stick in my life to this whirlwind of simultaneous wonder, creation, and pride when I strap myself into the sofa, fire up my laptop “control panel”, and dive in to explore new stories, no holds barred.
Well, I guess you could say my kids are wondrous creations I’m proud of, and that’s certainly true, but my stories don’t make dirty dishes or laundry, and when they talk back, it only makes me laugh.
Speaking of, don’t tell my kids, okay? This is just between you and me. They have no idea I can let my hair down and go with the flow. And as much as I love and enjoy the community and friends that I’ve found with this endeavor, the stories that I have been so blessed to be able to share, and the opportunity to touch people with my words, it’s this discovery of these new pieces of me, at the ripe old age of forty something, that I truly treasure. What value would you put on loosing the binds that held you back all your life? I didn’t realize what constriction was, but I’ve gotten a glimpse of who I’ve been and who I am. For a little bit longer, just to be between you and me, this is my precious secret gift from writing, a new superpower of possibility: Mommy can do anything.