This has been a glorious week and this morning I don’t even need the transporter. It’s extra special because I’m honored to be able to interview an extra author this week. A father/daughter team. We’re along a stretch of the Iowa River and our fishing lines are waiting for the big catfish. Can there be any better place to relax on a Friday morning? I think not.
1. Who are you and what makes you the most fascinating people in your city?
M: I am a wife, daughter, sister and aunt. At seventeen I lived through one of the worst cases of Bell’s palsy that paralyzed the right side of my face looking as though I had a stroke. It made my hearing 2x louder and took away my ability to taste food or close my eyelid completely. After a year with intense therapy and needles in my face with electricity ran through it the paralysis went away giving me back my smile. I saved a couple lives using CPR and knowing how to administer first aide. I can come up with storylines right off the top of my head. I have amazing ability to stay calm in stressful events.
W: I am a Husband, Father and Grandfather. I was an Injection Molding Supervisor for 35 years. Three years ago I retired from a tier 1 Automotive Plant where the parts we built were on the cars the next day. I am a part time welder and tool maker. I made industrial cutting tools. I am a cabinet and furniture maker. I built a house from the ground up and it was complete. I lived on a farm until I was 18 years of age. In my spare time I fish, recycle lumber and turn it into useable furniture and write books with my daughter.
2. Without revealing a deep dark secret (unless you want to), what one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?
M: Through the years I have been diagnosed with having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression with Anxiety and Panic Disorder. Obsessive and Compulsive Disorder and I survived through all of them to become a much stronger person.
W: I died once and that is for another book.
3. What interested you to be become writers rather than something else such as rocket scientists?
M: I found the love of writing later than most people and it was pure accidental. I was going to college to become a registered Nurse. I was finishing all of my pre-recs to get into the RN Nursing program. This program goes by points and they only have 60 spots out of 2000 applicants. When I didn’t get in for the second time and I had taken all the courses I could to up my score. One of my friends told me that I should have the story that I had written back in high school published. I gave it to her after my English Professor told me the same thing. I thought about it and then I asked my dad to read it and give me his opinion. After he said the same thing I thought I had nothing to lose by doing that so I revamped the story, reedited it added more storyline to bring it in today’s world. It was going through this process that I fell in love with becoming a writer and knew what I wanted to do with my life.
W: Involvement with my daughter’s writing. I love how she and I can bounce ideas off one another and how we click when writing the storyline.
4. Writers are readers. With which author(s) would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?
M: After a lot of thought I would have to say that Catherine Coulter would be one that I would love to sit and have dinner with. Her books inspired my imagination and she took me to another place. She made it easy to relate to the characters in her stories. She is one that can do series books which is not easy to do. To sit and listen to her talk and any advice she could give me about becoming a better writer would be a dream of mine. The other author would be Mark Twain because of his sense of humor.
W: I would have to say Mark Twain because of his sense of humor.
5. If I were stranded on a deserted island (or suffering a four hour layover at the airport), why would your book(s) be great company?
M & W: Because they are enthralling and informative at the same time. They draw you in without you realizing it. They are depicted from real life scenarios that people can relate to and feel for.
6. Share your process of writing in regards to: idea and character development, story outline, research (do you Google, visit places/people or make it up on the spot?), writing schedule, editing, and number of rewrites.
M: I make up the storyline and characters as the storyline goes along. I will take things that happened to me or someone else to help build my character’s personalities, or use for plot lines. I try to make everything as real as I can. I will research, Google as much as I can. Until I have enough information. I write anytime of the day or night whenever an idea strikes me. I have no set limit or time for when I write. I will write a couple chapters and then go to my co-author to bounce ideas off one another. My father and I work great as a team when it comes to seeing which way we want the storyline to go.
W: We may talk about things that might happen in 2 to 3 chapters ahead. We complete the story and then go back and do the editing or add more dialog or more details in a scene. We usually have 3 to 5 rewrites before we are done and happy with the book.
M: My brain really never shuts off from writing because I am constantly thinking of what can I have happened next or how can I draw out the emotions that would make an impact on my readers. Even in my dreams I see my characters. I sometimes will draw out a rough outline on how I want my story to unfold. Even then it changes from what I had written down.
W: I might do dialog between a father and a son or the description of what a house looks like.
7. “I think I have a good idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?”
M & W: Yes, start writing. You might throw away the first five versions of your story but as you continue to write the story will come out the way you want it too. The way you envisioned it in your mind. Don’t ever give up and don’t quit. Remember the computer always has a backspace and delete key. The biggest thing is you will know when your story is right.
8. I saw an amusing T-shirt the other day which read ‘Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” What is your philosophy of life?
M: My philosophy of life is never give up on your dreams. If I can help just one person with what I lived through and had the courage to share in my books then I’ve done my job. People have told me that I was making a mistake by changing the direction in my life and becoming an author instead of finishing school to become a registered nurse. But I did not want to live a life doing something I was not happy doing. My heart and passion is for writing bringing stories to life. We only have one life and its short why waste it by doing what others want you to do. Have the courage to follow your dreams no matter what anyone thinks about you.
W: My philosophy is help don’t hurt. I have been put here to help people through tough times. The rule of thumb for a supervisor is ‘you merry ‘em and you berry ‘em.’ You attend the weddings and you console them at the funerals. You help them with the best advice you can give.
9. Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing? What’s next for you?
M: No, I still have to finish writing New Beginnings and then end the Bedroom Wall series with Sins of the Father next year. After that I have at least two books in the works. I will never stop writing. I have a head full of stories just wanting to get out.
W: No, Mandy and I will never stop writing. We both love it too much. She knows what is coming next.
10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects?
W: We have a website where you can read and buy my books. It is www.kaospublishing.com.
M: I also have a blog where you can stop by and leave comments. Also my fan page on Facebook. www.facebook.com/masc36