Please meet Lorhainne Eckhart!

It’s our pleasure to introduce you to Lorhainne Eckhart.

What is your latest release and share one detail from your current release with readers that they might not find in the book?

What am I now working on? I’ve just finished writing the Parker Sisters, a series that spans five books and five sisters, set in Wyoming, another big family saga. But, as I promised my fans earlier in the year, the Friessens will return in October 2017 with not just one book but a series, the Friessen Family, with new stories, more complications, and a brand-new generation.

What is the one question you never get asked at interviews, but wish you did?

What people know about me is that I am a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and Readers’ Favorite award winner with over sixty titles published in audio, eBook, and paperback, with translations in both German and French. My big family romance series have become a worldwide fan favorite and been at the top of Amazon’s bestseller list countless times.

But what many don’t know is that I am probably one of the most rejected authors out there. No one would publish me. Every literary agent and major publishing house turned me away. Added to that is the fact that I am a single mother of three, one of whom has autism, and that at one time the four of us were homeless. It was humbling and as close to hitting rock bottom as I have come, when for a time we were forced to live in a tent because we couldn’t find a home in our community. There were days I was scared because leaving would have meant giving up all the sacrifices I had made to get my autistic child the help he needed. I felt very much alone because I didn’t know what was around the corner and didn’t have the answers to get us out. At the same time, I learned pretty quickly that no one was going to rescue us. I had to be our rescuer. From then on, I swore I was not going to allow anything to keep me from achieving my dreams.

I never gave up. I moved us through those hard times, and I found us a place to live. I had to start all over at the bottom, advocating to get my son help, and never once did I give up on my dream of being published even though all the experts in the industry told me it couldn’t be done, even though they said, “We don’t want you.” What I believed and what I was told were two different things, and not giving up on my dream has allowed me to find the strength and vision to truly believe anything is possible. It’s never too late for anyone to start living and pursuing their dreams. I took risks, stayed focused, and worked my butt off to the point that I now have over sixty published works, a career, and a rewarding life for my children and me. Even though I sometimes write about overcoming the darkest hurdles, there is always hope, because if you truly believe as I do, anything is possible.

And let me tell you how good it feels. When The Forgotten Child hit the Amazon Bestseller list and stayed there for two years running selling more than 500,000 copies worldwide, and now translated into French & German. I never expected the response from fans, which then sparked the long running Friessen Series which all began with The Forgotten Child,  the first book of The Outsider Series ‘Over 800 Reviews’ “A woman finding her strength, a child finding love and support, a healing of family, and a complicated love story.”

What would you choose as your specialty if you were in the military?

I would be the one in the Buds training, becoming a Navy Seal!

You can find out more about Lorhainne on social media:

Website
Facebook
WattPad
Twitter

 

 

And Now, Sherrie Lea Morgan is here

Thank you Sherrie for joining us here at Authors4Veterans. It’s a pleasure to meet you.  So, tell us a bit about yourself.

First, do you have a personal connection to the military or what is the reason you chose to support Authors4Veterans? 

I am fifth generation military myself. My baby boy (only boy) joined the Marines several years ago and it really hit home the wounds these men carry back with them. Whether it’s physical or emotional, they still need our support. I’m happy I can be part of something to help others.

As mothers to active duty and veterans ourselves, we are right there with you. Thank you to your son for his service. What is your latest release and share one detail from your current release with readers that they might not find in the book?

My most recent traditionally released book GHOSTDRUMS has the hero dealing with P.T.S.D. as well as an injury. One of the scenes involving the hero was created based on a phone conversation I had with my son while he was serving in Afghanistan.

Do you write military characters in your books? If so, how did you research them? 

My first novel has a Marine and an General from the war. My father does genealogy and I get information from him regarding names, dates, etc.

What would you choose as your specialty if you were in the military? 

I served in the Navy as a Corpsman.

Thank you for your service as well.  Do you have anything you would like to say to our members of the military and their families? 

Soldiers: Civilians cannot truly understand a military mentality. It isn’t their fault, so don’t blame them. But, always know that you are not alone and even though you may be home, you still have comrades here that you can reach out to, for help.

Family members: Please know that your soldier needs you, but there is always going to be a place in his mind that you cannot go. Accept it and just be supportive.

Well said and thank you for those words.

You can follow Sherrie on the web:

Website: 
Facebook: 
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Amazon:

 

Shannyn Schroeder is here!

I’d like to welcome Shannyn Schroeder to Authors4Veterans. We’re happy you could join us.  Let’s get to know you better.

First of all, do you have a personal connection to the military or what is the reason you chose to support Authors4Veterans?

I am married to a U.S. Marine who served in Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield (many, many years ago). In addition, my father and grandfather were both in the Army.

Thank you so much for their service. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where you’re from, where you live? Do you have one of those day-jobs?

I live in a Chicago suburb. I’m a mom of three and a former high school and middle school English teacher. I do have a day job – a few actually. I work as a curriculum editor and I teach college level English grammar and a middle school enrichment program on Saturdays. I also do some tutoring. My schedule is always packed, especially when you add in the kids’ activities (swim team is a killer). I do find downtime and when I can, I love to bake cookies and I watch a lot of TV. And of course, I read.

You’re a super busy lady. Tell us about your latest release and share one detail from your current release with readers that they might not find in the book?

I have a book releasing on October 12, Meeting His Match. I had a lot of fun researching for this book, which pits a professional matchmaker against a YouTube pick-up artist to see who can help three women find love. I spent a lot of time reading about matchmaking and the techniques pick-up artists use. If my husband ever looked at my browser history, he’d probably freak out.

OMG! I bet he would freak out. What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters of the opposite sex?

The most difficult thing about writing men is that most men aren’t talkers, especially when it comes to emotional stuff. In romance, we need the characters to communicate or nothing would ever happen. It’s a tough balancing act to get them talking without making it sound like a bunch of women chatting.

I have to agree with you on that one. What would you choose as your specialty if you were in the military?

I’m really too much of a chicken to be in the military, but if I had to choose, I think sniper. I have no problem working alone. I can handle being silent for long periods of time. And I have excellent focus and attention.

Do you have anything you would like to say to our members of the military and their families?

Thank you so much for all that you do and that you’re willing to sacrifice to protect our country. Without people like you, we wouldn’t have the freedom and peace of mind we take for granted every day.

Follow Shannyn at these places.

Website:
Facebook:  
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Pinterest:

Say Hello to Donna Michaels

Please give Donna Michaels a warm welcome to Authors4Veterans.  We’re so happy to have her here.

Donna, do you have a personal connection to the military or what is the reason you chose to support Authors4Veterans?

Before I answer, I just want to thank you for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful charity. ❤️

Yes, I do have a personal connection to the military—my husband, Michael. The military has been part of our life since day one. He was a year ahead of me in high school, we were friends, but when he went to boot camp the summer after he graduated, we started dating through the mail (no social media back then…lol) while he was at Ft. Benning, GA. Now, thirty-five years later, we’ve been married for thirty-one years, and have four children. Michael has thirty-five years part time National Guard, and twenty years full time active duty Army National Guard. He is part of the reason I chose to support Authors4Veterans, but mostly it’s for all the men and women who serve, and their families, and the sacrifices, I know firsthand, that they make for me, my family, and our country.

Oh, please thank Michael for his service. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where you’re from, where you live? Do you have one of those day-jobs?

You already know that I’m married, and that Michael and I have four children. Three are boys, Nick, then the twins-Kyle and Zach, then our daughter, Jestina. We live in northeastern Pennsylvania, where the fall is truly beautiful, and the winters are a much too long for my liking. I had all sorts of day jobs: data analyst, data entry, assistant shift supervisor at check printing factory, and I cleaned schools at night, but a few years ago, I was able to leave that behind to write full time. You can learn more about me and my books at  www.DonnaMichaelsAuthor.com

Congratulations for being able to leave your past jobs to write full time.  What is your latest release and share one detail from your current release with readers that they might not find in the book?

Since I’ve been working on my current book for the last two months, my latest release was back in June. I actually had two releases in June. THE RIGHT RANGER, Book 3 in The Men of At-Ease Ranch series, (it’s book 4 that I’m working on now), and ELITE PROTECTOR, which is part of Elle James’ Brotherhood Protector Kindle World. While I was writing this book, I lost my muse. My cat Halo was my writing partner for nearly ten years. Poor thing was diagnosed with cancer last year. She was a trooper, though. She lasted nearly a year to the date of that diagnosis. Needless to say, it was tough to finish the book without her. I actually had to find a new writing place. But, I do still feel her absence every day.

So sorry to hear about Halo, it’s so hard losing a loved one. What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters of the opposite sex?

The most difficult thing about writing male characters is toning down their…um…unique way of expressing anger. lol I write realistic characters, so I won’t lie, sometimes I don’t bother to tone down the hero, or his buddies, if it doesn’t feel right for the scene.

I know what you mean about “toning down” the, eh hem, expressions.  😀 Do you write military characters in your books? If so, how did you research them?

Yes, I do write military characters in most of my books. If they are Army, I ask my husband or his buddies about the accuracy of my scenes. For other branches of the military, I have a few people in those branches I contact for the same reason.

Do you have anything you would like to say to our members of the military and their families?

I would simply like to say, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your sacrifices, and those of your family, are never, ever taken for granted in my house. God bless.

Follow Donna all around the web.

Website:
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Welcome to Donna Fletcher

I’ve never meet Donna but I sure hope I do one day. She’s generous, compassionate and kind.  Find out for yourself!

What is your personal connection to the military or what is the reason you chose to support Authors4Veterans?

My grandfather, my father, my uncle, and my husband all served in the military and all during wartime. I honor them as well as all veterans and those serving today by supporting Authors4Veterans.

Thank you to your family for their service. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where you’re from, where you live? Do you have one of those day-jobs?

I’m a Jersey girl born and bred. I’ve lived in different areas of New Jersey all my life and I’ve finally settled on the beautiful Jersey Shore and love it! Morning walks along the beach does wonders for creativity. I’ve been a published author for nearly thirty years and my day job is my writing. I feel blessed to be doing work I love!

Morning walks sound awesome. What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters of the opposite sex?

Whether male or female, characters in general can be difficult, since you think you know them and all of a sudden they do something you don’t expect. That means taking a closer look at your characters and seeing what you missed and how that’s going to effect the plot. I’ve had characters come to me in dreams and tell me it’s just not working for them and I need to make changes. Surprisingly, it has always worked out for the better.

I agree with you on characters telling you “it’s not me, it’s you!” What would you choose as your specialty if you were in the military?

Military strategy is what I would choose. I sometimes send my Highland warriors into battle and I like laying out a plan and seeing how best to conquer the enemy. It always fascinates me when I watch a film where they show a large table, the top a map, and troops of soldiers/warriors, ships, archers (depending on the time period) and how they intend to move them toward victory.

I think that’s fascinating too.  Do you have anything you would like to say to our members of the military and their families?

Thank you does not seem adequate to say to members of the military and their families for all they give and do. I want them to know how much I appreciative the sacrifices they all make and that they are forever in my prayers.

You can find out more about Donna and her fabulous books on the web.

Website:  
Facebook:
Twitter: 

 

Debra Webb is in the house!!!!

Debra Webb and I have a little connection.  We share an amazing PA, Tessa, and this has put us in touch here and there over the past year.  I was very excited when she agreed to join us on Authors4Veterans, just because of that connection.  Some day, I hope to meet her in person, but for now, let’s get to know her better here.

Tell us about your personal connection to the military.

My husband is a veteran as was my father and my father-in-law. While my husband and I were stationed in Berlin, Germany, I worked in the Commanding General’s office so I’ve had up close experience with both the personal and professional sides of military life. I am honored to support this wonderful endeavor!

Thank you to you and your family for their service.  Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where you’re from, where you live? Do you have one of those day-jobs?

I grew up in small town Alabama and I’ve had all sorts of jobs! I’ve written stories since I was nine years old and finally turned full time writer about 20 years ago!

What is your latest release and share one detail from your current release with readers that they might not find in the book?

My latest is THE COLDEST FEAR which is the third book in the Shades of Death series. This book was particularly difficult to write since it involves the loss of children. I cried almost everyday while writing this one!

Do you have a secret talent readers would be surprised by?

Well, I’m not so sure it’s a real talent, but I love junking! I adore finding treasures others have discarded and turning them into something wonderful!

What is the one question you never get ask at interviews, but wish you did? Ask and answer it.

Do I ever act out a scene when writing? Yes! Sometimes my husband and I play the parts just to see if the dialog sounds right or if the actions I want the characters to make flow properly!

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters of the opposite sex?

I’ve always loved writing males characters! I was such a tomboy growing up that I don’t find it difficult at all!

Are there other military charities you support? If so, please tell us which ones.

We do all our donations of things (furniture, etc) to Disabled Veterans.

Do you write military characters in your books? If so, how did you research them?

I have, yes! I always go to my husband for research!

What would you choose as your specialty if you were in the military?

I would love to be in the Military Police Criminal Investigation Division!

Do you have anything you would like to say to our members of the military and their families?

Thank you for all you do and the many sacrifices you make! God bless!

Renee Lee Fisher is here today!

I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting Renee in person but I sure hope I do one day.  Please welcome and get to know Renee.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  Where you’re from, where you live? Do you have one of those day-jobs?

Writing is a full-time mind type of job.  Here is little bit about me. I am a Romance Author that has the passion for putting my pen and ideas to paper. A pure romance junkie and I truly love to tell stories. I always wanted to be a writer.

Don’t look for me to stop writing anytime soon, I have been called the Duracell Bunny that keeps going and going.  I do sleep about four hours a night and continue to create many more story lines for the readers to enjoy.

I reside in Eagleville, PA. with my husband Michael, of 22 years and her two cats – Nyah and Cody. (Side note Cody is 21 years old.)   I have a great support system of Love from my family and friends.

I believe everyone should follow their DREAMS and that –

The HAPPIEST of people don’t have the best of everything,
they simply make the best of everything.

I love to travel and enjoy meeting new people that inspire me.  I often ask strangers their names and write it down to use as a potential character in my future writings.

What is your latest release and share one detail from your current release with readers that they might not find in the book?

I write Contemporary Romance, Rock Romance, Time Travel Romance and Suspense Romance under my real name – Renee Lee Fisher.

Next month I debut Arden Wylde.  Arden is my writings that are a little sexier, intriguing and Wylde. Secret Crush is the first novella by Arden.  Quickly followed by Flirtini.  They are also all drink names as the novella book titles.

All these novellas by Arden Wylde (ME!) will be taking place at a restaurant location and what information you don’t find in the storyline is that I am also part owner of a catering company.  Valley Forge Catering Company. We are located on the Valley Forge National Park in Pennsylvania and besides our catering services for weddings, parties and such we also cater to many of the Valley Forge Freedom Foundation happenings and Military events there as well.

Do you have a secret talent readers would be surprised by?

Not a talent per se, but I have a photographic mind.  I can meet someone and years later remember them and the outfit they wore.  It is uncanny but I recall many details of past happenings, seeing them unfold perfectly clear in my mind.  I would good picking out someone in a lineup.  No mistake on that.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters of the opposite sex?

Getting the voice correct in the dialog.  For example:  While writing my Rock Series – The Heartbeat Series I needed a male character voice of the lead vocalist – Max Rand.  I spoke with my one brother many times as he is a popular lead metal vocalist to get how he spoke and then try to use that when I needed to be in the male characters’ head for the storyline.  It helped greatly.

What would you choose as your specialty if you were in the military?

To be perfectly honest… I would rather not be the hero of the forefront but the unknown helper for the aftermath.  Assisting in the military families to rebuild their lives.  I would love to read for countless hours to those that are immobile, scared, in transition.  Carrying them mentally to a place far from their pains and worries within their minds… if just for a little while.

Do you have anything you would like to say to our members of the military and their families?

Yes.  To the military members, I thank you for all you do in paving the way for our lives to be free.  It is with your dedication and commitment to the military that we all benefit from.  To the families of those military members, I thank you for allowing us to be served and protected by your loved ones.

Learn more about Renee on her website.

Follow Renee on social media.

Facebook:  https:/www.facebook.com/reneeleefisherauthor
Twitter:  https://www.twitter.com/reneeleefisher
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/reneeleefisherauthor

 

Barbara Lohr has agreed to join us, and we couldn’t be happier

Please welcome Barbara Lohr to Authors4Veterans.

Welcome Barbara, please tell us about your connection to the military.

My husband is a Vietnam Vet, a graduate of KMI military school, once in Louisville. Being a vet is an important piece of who he is. He even has a Vietnam Vet license place holder. Serving our country is more than a job. It’s a calling. I’m really proud of him and anyone who answers that call.

Yes, thank you to your husband for his service.  You’re right, it is a calling.  Where are you from, where do you live? And do you have one of those day-jobs?

Milwaukee is my hometown. I graduated from Dominican High School and taught briefly at Pius High School. Some of my family still live in that area. I love Milwaukee and Wisconsin. We have the best state fair ever, with real cream puffs, Italian sausage and butter dipped corn. During any visit, I have to visit Culver’s Custard and Mama Mia’s. (Good memories are often associated with food, and that appears in my books.) Summer Fest is fabulous along the lake. Milwaukee offers the solid Midwest values that have shaped me. When I was growing up, my summers always included a trip Up North. And every Wisconsinite knows that’s the North Woods, where my great uncle had a cottage outside of Land O’Lakes. Those were special times.

I grew up near Lake Michigan and later moved to Chicago, followed by South Bend. That lake remains a powerful draw for me and my family. One of my series, Man from Yesterday, is set in a Lake Michigan beach town. The other series, Windy City Romance, is based in Chicago, on the shores of Lake Michigan. Although now I live in the South, I’m very Midwest.

Wow, a hometown girl for sure.  Tell us about your latest release and share one detail from your current release with readers that they might not find in the book?

My latest release is Late Bloomer, the 4th book in my Man from Yesterday series. Carolyn, an English teacher, travels to Santa Fe to help her grandmother recover from a broken hip. In the airport, she runs into Brody, a former student. Ten years ago, he caused havoc in her classroom. He was the problem she didn’t need that first year of teaching. Now she finds Brody has matured into a caring guy who helps her overcome a paralyzing fear of heights. But she struggles with the age difference. Brody has his job cut out for him. Meanwhile her grandmother Mama V is dating a younger man she met in rehab. You can see where this story is going. Carolyn’s grandmother helps her deal with life as it is now, not as it was––a conflict we all face some time in our lives. (Note: The Man from Yesterday series, Books 1-4, was released as a box set on Sept 8, as I fled the path of Hurricane Irma.)

Readers may not know that I actually taught in Room 207 (although I had no Brody lounging in a back seat, making things tough for me.)

Secret talent – Since I’m on Facebook, everyone probably knows all about me! I don’t think I have any secret talent. My work carries many pieces of my life. I think that’s true of all authors.

I think you’re right there, we tend to share pieces of ourselves in our stories.  What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters of the opposite sex?

Getting into their heads is always the challenge. Talking like a guy, acting like a guy and, most important, thinking like a guy. Growing up with three older brothers has helped. I actually like writing from that viewpoint.

Are there other military charities you support?  If so, please tell us which ones.

We support the local Military Family Relief Fund. Two years ago I joined other authors in a box set benefiting the Wounded Warriors program. Toys for Tots at Christmas. There are so many efforts.

Thank you for all you do for our veterans.  Do you write military characters in your books?  If so, how did you research them?

Yes, definitely. I regularly read the newspaper, and there are many military stories so sources are not a problem. In the novella Summer Riptide, Kevin is a vet who returns suffering from PTSD. The star quarterback in high school, Kevin returns irrevocably changed. But he brings Rufus with him, a mutt he rescued in Kabul. They heal each other, along with Mandy, his high school sweetheart.

Having Kevin as part of Gull Harbor seemed necessary. From what I’ve read, military forces often come from our small towns. I can’t depict an idyllic setting where romance blooms without including military families and the challenges they face. That’s just not life. Sarah in the Man from Yesterday series owns the local bakery. Her husband Jamie serves in Afghanistan. They were high school sweethearts. She is raising two small boys with the help of her mother. That’s a familiar scenario for many families.

My next book will have a Vietnam Vet. I have used that character type before. They can be fun with their wisdom and their quirks.  In Stanley’s case, he is a real influence on his son Ryder.

What would you choose as your specialty if you were in the military?

I’d probably be in communications since marketing and communications has been the core of my career.

Do you have anything you would like to say to our members of the military and their families?

We’re with you. We value the sacrifices made by you and your families. The news clips I see on TV when a service man or woman shows up at a school, surprising his or her child bring tears to my eyes. The rehab stories make me marvel at the strength of both husband and wife. Your service humbles me. Your tenacity leaves me in awe. We salute you.

Thank you all for participating in our Fisher House charity drive.

You can find more out about Barbara on her website.  

You can also follow her on Facebook

www.facebook.com/barbaralohrauthor

 

 

 

Let’s welcome Patrice Wilton!!!!!

We’re very happy to introduce you to participating author Patrice Wilton.

Welcome Patrice.  Can you tell us about your connection to the military?

No personal connection, but now an emotional one. I wrote a military series which taught me a lot, and gave me the ultimate respect for those that serve.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where you’re from, where you live? Do you have one of those day-jobs?

I currently live in West Palm Beach and have since the year 2000 when I had a divorce. I was born in Vancouver, BC, but once married we moved to Australia, both Melbourne and Sydney for a total of 6 years, then England for 3, and New Jersey, where I had a divorce. Before my career as a writer, I worked for an airline for 17 years, and raised my two wonderful children. I now have 10 grandchildren!

Wow, 10 grandchildren?  That’s awesome. Tell us about your latest release and share one detail from your current release with readers that they might not find in the book?

My latest release is RIGHT MAN / WRONG GROOM, a contemporary romance, the 4th book in my Paradise Cove series. While writing this series, myself and my editor friend went to Islamorada in the Florida Keys for a sailfishing tournament, which was research for my book. It was a horrible day, raining, windy and we left the dock at 6:00 am, but the crew were wonderful, and I’m very grateful to them for allowing us to pick their brains all day long.

Sorry about the weather, but glad you got to experience it.  Are there other military charities you support? If so, please tell us which ones.

I support the Wounded Warriors and they are mentioned in my stories.

 

Do you have anything you would like to say to our members of the military and their families?

Thank you so much for your courage and commitment to make this a better, safer world for all of us, and to the amazing family members who support their bravery and have a reason to be proud.

Find out more about Patrice and her books on her website.  

Let’s give a warm welcome to Stephany Tullis

Welcome Stephany and thank you so much for joining us.  Now let’s get to know Stephany a bit better.

Do you have a personal connection to the military or what is the reason you chose to support Authors4Veterans?

PJ Fiala, one of the organizers of this project, and I have been friends for some time. I’ve read about her family’s history, dedication and commitment to our military. As you may know, she also has two sons who both deployed not long ago. She has shared so much about her family and its commitment that I relate to and appreciate her sharing and pride in their experiences over the many years.

Additionally, my father served in WWII and often shares his experiences with me and my family. When we visit him, my children beg him to tell stories of his experiences. He’s told them many times but we never tire of hearing about ‘his time on a ship in the Pacific Ocean’. I also have two brothers who proudly served in the Army and the Navy and many of my brothers-in-laws have served in the military as well.

When I read about the Fischer House and its purpose, I signed up to participate with no hesitation. I’m proud to be a part of this project.

Thank you to your family for their service as well as the kind words.  Tell us about your latest release and share one detail from your current release with readers that they might not find in the book?

My latest release is Love’s Legacy, A Christian Romance and part of author Melissa Storm’s First Church Romance Series.  Although I dedicate Love’s Legacy to my niece and her husband who were married in February of this year, the overall storyline and plot do not relate to them personally. For example, they have no children. They do have a Husky named Aurora, not Shenanigans, like the couple in Love’s Legacy and met while working for the same company. Like Kevin and Diedre O’Connor, they had a beautiful storybook wedding. Unlike the O’Connor’s, however, their wedding truly resulted in a blending of family and friends. I visited my nieces in—laws when on vacation this summer in Myrtle Beach and had a great time with them. Unlike the family in Love’s Legacy, my family gained a new family and vice versa.

What is the one question you never get ask at interviews, but wish you did? Ask and answer it.

Although I write across genres (Contemporary, Inspirational, Romantic Suspense, Satire, Christian Romance), my characters reflect my ‘World’. As such, they are diverse, with a variety of backgrounds and experiences. That question I’ve never been asked is: ‘Does your approach to writing present any unique challenges and if so, what are they? How do you handle them?

I come from a diverse background and have interfaced with people from many ethnic groups, each with their respective cultures, attitude and perspectives in life. When I write, I try to present my characters and their experiences as I know and understand them. What I don’t know about a character’s background or experience, I research and find the answers. This process slows the pace of my writing and can be frustrating but it’s a necessary part of the writing process.

One of my biggest concerns when presenting storylines that present controversial characters and relationships is that readers might be offended or misunderstand my effort to be upfront and true to my characters. After all, we all have our own reality. My goal is to present my truth in a manner that can broaden the perspectives of some and enhance those of others.

‘I write with purpose’ presenting larger than life characters who have an opinion about everything.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters of the opposite sex?

I use a lot of dialogue in my books so one of the biggest challenges I face when developing and writing story lines that involve male characters is my need to understand and ‘get into the heads of the men’ in my book. Additionally, the males in my books come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences so it is critical that I use language that is descriptive enough for my readers to visualize their style of dress, mannerisms and manner of speaking so they can perceive the characters as ‘real’. Fortunately, I have three brothers and a host of friends that I can rely on for feedback. My son is an excellent writer and he’s my first source for language usage and mannerisms. Secondly, I’m an avid people watcher and automatically tune into a person’s nuances, language, style of dress and appearance. I keep notes of this information so that it is available to me when I begin to write.

Another major issue that I constantly face is language usage that might offend my reading audience. This is a big battle for me as I try to present truth and validity of character within the parameters of my personal beliefs and perspective and those of my inspirational/Christian readers.

What would you choose as your specialty if you were in the military?

If I was in the military, I would bring the skills that I’ve developed over my career: financial management that would include budgeting, procurement, analysis. The size of the military budget is always an issue—is it too large or too small? I believe I would really enjoy and have the skills to function well in such a position– serving in the best military in the World.

Do you have anything you would like to say to our members of the military and their families?

I would like to thank our military and their families for their commitment, diligence and dedication to our country and representing us during these challenging times. Words cannot reflect my feelings about the importance of the work they do and service they provide. Women and men who support their military spouse at home while taking care of their families are invaluable to our service people. I have the utmost respect for those who remain home to support their military spouse.

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