I knew early on that I wanted to be a writer. In high school, two of my favorite English teachers encouraged me to pursue writing. My father, too. I remember writing a short story called “Black Rose” about an American soldier in Vietnam who discovers a white rose that bloomed black in the midst of war. Dad shared that story with all his friends, which meant so much to me.
Describe your writing process.
I’m a morning person. I rarely write at night.
When I began my novel, “Maelstrom,” I got up very early every day and wrote until about noon. Often, I wrote at the kitchen table. Now, I use a small guest bedroom as my writing space. I think it’s really important to have a designated place for writing.
I do not outline. I like to have the story develop organically and let the characters reveal themselves to me. Maelstrom required a lot of research and I loved every minute of it. The novel is set in Boston and Iceland during WWII. I went to both places to do research…Iceland, twice. Only about ten percent of all that research ended up in the novel. The rest is there, though. Between the lines.
What was the inspiration behind what you’ll be reading at Waterline?
The shootings in Paris and San Bernadino. I found I couldn’t think about anything else and needed to write about how those events impacted me.
What are you working on now?
A second book to accompany Maelstrom, told from the point of view of a Icelandic girl. I’m also working on a memoir/blog called Le Colonel and Me. It chronicles my friendship with a 90-year-old Frenchman. And I am always busy writing up and looking for contacts for Talking to the World. In Talking to the World, I attempt to talk to one person in every country of the world. To date, I’ve interviewed about 3o people around the world. I am as interested in our commonalities as I am in our differences. I encourage each person to honestly delve into their lives, beliefs, and world perspectives, no matter what their religious or political backgrounds. The goal is a genuine, open conversation with people around the world.
I still have a long way to go.