The Publishing Process: Has an editor annihilated your absolutely favorite line in your book? Did you take it meekly or fight for your words?
I fought the law, but the law won. In a fantasy book (coming up in October from MuseItUp), my husband had come up with the brand of a snowmobile, the Snowshoe 3000 Turbo, but the editor thought it sounded too much like Harry Potter’s broom’s brand. Thing is, it wasn’t anywhere near (Nimbus 2000 and Firebolt), so I argued I could use it as is. Still, she worried over even a whiff of infringement. Knowing how important it is, I did give in. I ended up leaving out the word Turbo. I’ve also had ‛discussions’ when using real brand names. If pejorative, the editor decided it better to use something more generic. For me, using brand names gives more texture to the book. Is it better to say, “She bought a bottle of Tylenol.” or “She bought a bottle of pain killers.” To me, ‛pain killers’ is flat and uninteresting, but ‛Tylenol’ gives a context that makes the story richer. Readers know what a Tylenol bottle looks like. I felt like I had to answer this one since it was my idea on your website. Sneaky!
(I guess I can't use my kids' invention either, the Bug-Catcher 2000 Solar XL D589. Darn.)
Life and Writing: How did you decide to get into writing?
If I define ‛writing’ as the process of developing and capturing a coherent string of words that express an idea or physical operation, then I had no choice. I decided to write fiction after spending thirty-five years writing technical documentation. So I learned how to write from my career, and decided I should continue to play to my strengths. It was a little late to join the Olympics Women’s Soccer Team.
Writing Miscellany: How many unfinished novels do you have?
One. I have ideas and thoughts for others, but I pretty much stick to writing one novel at a time. I don’t know how other writers manage to scatter their attention across multiple open manuscripts. In most things, I’m a parallel processor, doing several things simultaneously. With writing, I’m just a one-book gal.
Writing and Food: Do you snack when you write? And what is that snack?
At around three pm, I have five low-fat Ritz crackers with non-fat cream cheese. Yeah, I just go crazy.
When Kameron McBride receives notice she’s the only living relative of a missing man she’s never even heard of, the last thing she wants to do is head to some half-baked Oregon town to settle his affairs. Her suspicions rise when the probate Judge isn't really a judge and tries too hard to buy the dead man’s worthless property. Kam probes deeper into the town’s secrets and finds almost no one she can trust. Kam must find out what really happened to her dead relative before someone in this backward little town sends her to join him.
And she thought Oregon was going to be boring.