Hi Becky, thanks for inviting me to be part of the blog today. I spend most of my time submerged in a financial geek day-job and escape into stories – mine or one of the millions of authors whose stories I love – in the evenings. I was born and raised in South Carolina, but moved to the Pacific Northwest when my kids were in high school. They survived. J
About a year ago, we bought land in the mountains (to the intense amusement of more than one of my friends, I’ve learned to drive a tractor and do battle with the beavers over the height of the pond). It’s a writer’s paradise though - weekends this winter included snow outside, a fire inside and my trusty laptop.
Do you consider yourself a shy and/or introverted person? In what ways has being shy or introverted hindered your writing career? In what ways has being shy or introverted helped your writing career?
I’m not sure if you’d call me an introvert (I do!) or just a quiet person. After mumble, mumble years in consulting (and playing the corporate-wifey role), my husband has a hard time believing that claim. He’s seen my Chatty-Cathy mode.
With the day job, I’m doing two things: I’m listening to what the client needs – introverts listen well – and I’m ‘selling’ a product or solution to a known issue. With the corporate requirements, it really is a role. Again, it’s listening to people who are more nervous than you are about meeting the Boss’s Wife. Trust me, I’m not intimidating!
Once I started writing, I found it easy to network because we were all excited about a common passion. People who don’t roll their eyes when I talk about my story or struggle with a character arc or motivation or… I’ll stop now.
The promo aspects of writing are another story. Whew, I had to talk about my book and myself, instead of something tangible and separate from my personal identity. Social media was like an introvert’s nightmare – a giant cocktail party where you didn’t know a soul! I’m sllllooowwwlllyyyy finding I enjoy Facebook and Twitter – the impromptu conversations can be a lot of fun.
Tell me about a time that you had to step outside your comfort zone either in your writing career or in your personal life?
I went to Bouchercon (a huge mystery reader/author conference) for the first time last fall and didn’t know a soul. On the plane, I had a major case of ‘what am I doing?’ compounded by crossed wires (and a dying cell phone) over where I supposed to meet my new roommate. I’d only spoken with this woman on-line, but she and her friend graciously allowed me to crash on the sofa in their suite. They both turned out to be wonderful people who let me tag along to all the parties they were invited to. As soon as we entered the room, though, I knew they needed to ‘do their thing.’ I peeled off and acted as if I knew what I was doing. Rather than treating it like that introvert’s nightmare, I simply walked up to a lost looking person and started talking. And guess what – they were so happy someone broke the ice and talked to them! I ended up working the room and met so many fantastic people. While I’m terrible with names, I’d see them later in a session or the bar and it made it easy to meet whoever they were talking to. Sometimes, it’s forgetting about your own worries and just relaxing. Maybe that’s my ‘tip’ – focusing on the other person makes it easier for me to forget I’m nervous.
Would you please share a short blurb of your book and where my readers can buy it?
Set in South Carolina, stopping the serial killer who is terrorizing college campuses drives the plot of THE PROFESSOR. The tension and stakes build as the characters’ wants and needs set them on a collision course: Charismatic State Agent Mick O'Shaughnessy wants more from life than work and a pretty face. Fiercely independent graduate student Meg Connelly always wanted a loving family and professional success, but has to learn to trust in order to get either. The Professor knows the only way to get what he wants is to take it—and taking Meg’s life will destroy Mick with the same stroke of his knife.
Link to amazon http://amzn.to/tm7uf6http://bit.ly/rQKCHp
Where can my readers find you on the web?