Thank you Darlene for inviting me to be interviewed on your website.
What am I working on?
Currently, a family story whose main character is, as the title implies, the Cinderella Sister. The Hoegs are a normal close-knit family, until the oldest daughter, Jane, unmarried, career oriented, decides rather than marry someone she doesn’t love, she’ll have children via in vitro procedures. From that comes SIMILA, who becomes ill with a brain tumor, and the redoubtable Sissie, who is her exact opposite.
The story opens when Sissie is attending the first of six bereavement classes among other teens.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My brand would be issue oriented fiction that doesn’t belabor the point.
Previously I’ve been comfortable with third person omniscient point of view. Most romantic suspense is written this way. BUT: Lately I’m using what I call the Jodi Picoult method. Her recent books, such as NY Times best seller, was The Storyteller, 2013.
The format technique names each chapter after the POV character. It’s liberating; I can get inside the character with no author intrusion. As the writer, I simply become each character. The conflict between characters is pre-established and shown in dialogue with the other characters, each of whom we know because we’ve been there inside their heads. They will argue their issues from already established Points of View. Very persuasive, even the whining is not mine. As in poetry and art, it’s a direct infusion without the IV: emotional osmosis.
I’m comfortable with this “world building” because I was an only child and had to create my own community.
Why do I write what I do?
For me, writing fiction is the best way I know to express my own emotions and explore them in the person of others. I’ve always loved to write and play with words.
I poised on the precipice of writing for fifty years before letting go of the Zip Line and slipping from writer into author. Before that, I was the one who took the minutes, wrote the newsletters, and composed the PSAs. Then with the encouragement of a dear friend, I “got writing.”
The journey between writer and author is a long cinder trail: two steps up, one slide back. Long stories materialized. Soon I was not only reading about the craft, but taking courses from mainstream writers and going to conferences.
While on that uncertain path, I wrote about writing. When I learned something important, I shared it. Later I branched out to favorite and familiar subjects such as nursing home abuse, hospice, and after a search for my birth mother, adoption. My issues of fraud, abuse, longing, humor, and card playing senior citizens combined to jell my Brand in my recent novels available on eBooks vendors and paperbacks on lulu.com.
Or Barnes & Noble:
Mortal Coil uses the nursing home setting because to murder a helpless old woman in her bed, cut off her hair and repeat that crime is the antipathy of what nursing homes are supposed to be about. The subplot is driven by a behind-the-scenes scandal of greed and neglect.
Tangled Web includes my adoption search and speculation about my Welsh family. It’s told from my birth mother’s POV. The non-identifying information is a word-for-word replica of a part of my documented information.
Kill Fee, Champagne Book of the Year, 2011, shows that even a friendly duplicate bridge game can lead to murder. (Although bridge players have been known to feel the urge.) Without my years as a director for the ACBL (American Contract Bridge League), I could not have shown the game unfolding in the room with map-like accuracy.
Medium Rare takes our heroine from Kill Fee and turns her into the perfect sleuth. She vows to find the murderer who killed the psychic medium who “saw all” among the crazy office staff in a medical setting.
Daughters of the Sea incorporates the legends of the South Pacific. It’s a romance driven by superstition. Legends make good blurbs describing visual scenes without disorienting potential readers.
Morning After Midnight visits the family dynamics of a shattered white southern family and our hero’s relatively upwardly mobile black friend in the midst of social unrest.
Our minds hold a lot of ideas and partial ideas.
Regardless of message, story and character development are key.
How does my writing process work?
My approach depends on the story. Always married to the POV character, I tell/show the story through the characters’ eyes, placing the camera on their shoulders. Sometimes I use a pre written synopsis, other times it’s flat-out making it up as I go along. In the case of the Jodi Picoult format, I can drop chapters back into the whole after my content edits.
A native of Bucks Co. PA, in the sixties my husband’s business sent us touring of the country, and eventually the world. We’ve lived in Texas, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia and Florida. Vacations included more than 80 countries: fodder for the fiction.
http://bit.ly/17GtxDh for Bewildering Stories, my bio
Blog for The Writers Vineyard, every fourth Monday
In the next weeks meet…
Lois Gerber, RN believes in the spirit of community health nursing – its focus on wellness, relationships, families, and communities. Her BSN, MPH in Nursing, and Specialist in Aging certificate opened many professional doors. She’s worked in home health agencies, public health departments, and an Area Agency on Aging. She’s taught nursing students on the university level and has counseled families dealing with elder care issues. For forty some years, Lois has helped people of all ages, various religions and ethnicities, and different socio-economic levels. These stories reflect her experiences.
Veronica Helen Hart:
Dave Archard: Retired broadcaster and memoirist.