Q. Name one item you cannot live without, and why?
A. My husband? Or is he not an item? I’ll have to ask him. I’d say my computer, but I’ve had half a dozen in the last decade, they get changed more often than the light bulbs these days. How about the meadow that I live next to, where I go to walk and think that brings me back to peace when things are troubled.
Q. What is the most crucial constructive criticism that you ever received concerning your writing? How did you handle it and was it useful to you?
A. When I was in 8th grade, my German teacher told me, if you write for five minutes a day, you will write a novel every year. The reminders that if you find the time, make the time, and then just keep going, the book will be there, has been of great help over the years.
Q. What are you reading now? What was it that sparked your interest?
A. I’m reading a print copy of A Place Called Armageddon, by C.C. Humphreys, a grimly rollicking historical fiction about the fall of Constantinople that I got for Christmas. I’m also reading a print copy of Birth of France: Warriors, Bishops, and Long-Haired Kings, a really well-written history of France in the Dark Ages, that is research for a book I’m working on. I’m reading Travel Light by Naomi Mitchison, on my new Kindle, Huckleberry Finn on my Palm – which was my reader-in-the-dark before I got the Kindle, and I’m listening to Mike Connelly’s Scarecrow. Connelly is a new discovery; I like mysteries but don’t read a lot of modern work about hard bitten male characters because the world they create is so often a miserable one for women. If women are not simply being denigrated or disrespected as the bitchy wife, or the bitch who keeps the guy from getting what he wants, then they’re being are killed and raped and gratuitously punished. I picked up a book by Connelly when I needed a talking book and found that he has a lot of strong, capable women characters, and the male characters have respect for them. The plotting is great, and the writing is excellent, so I’m on my way to listening to them all, courtesy of the library.
Q. Do you have preference in reading device?
A. My new Kindle has a lovely feel to it. However, my Palm fits in my pocket, which is really handy. I love books, I love the feel of books, but I have succumbed to the glory of carrying around two hundred books in my pocket. I love talking books whatever the medium of delivery.
Q. Who is your favorite character in your upcoming book Binding and why?
A. I’m rather fond of Anna, a rancher who used to be abused by her husband, who finally left her. But she can change peoples’ shapes, (it made her a great baby-sitter), and ever since her husband left there’s been this old horse out in her barn . . .