BTW - I not only drool with envy over her red Mustang but wait until you read about how she got it!
Do you work with critique partners? If so, what do you most like about the process? If not, is this an avenue you would consider in the future and if not, why not? Yes, I work with a wonderful set of 4 writers every Friday morning (if possible) at our local coffee shop, the Koffee Kuppe. Their “fresh eyes” on my work is so valuable to see the story in different ways. And we learn a lot from each other about writing. We also love to brainstorm to the extreme. Sometimes we are figuring out how to “off” the villain. Poison, gun, knife, drowning. We just hope the customers in the shop don’t call the police! We do book signings together and presentations and shout about each other’s books online.
What advice about writing do you wish you had given yourself early in your writing career? The writing can’t be perfect on the first draft, and honestly, not even after the story is let out into the world and into readers’ hands. Yes, even after publication, I find errors or scenes I’d like to re-write! Try not to be a perfectionist when you’re a writer.
When and why did you start writing? What is it about writing that satisfies you the most? I started writing stories in the second grade. As luck would have it, my mother was my teacher. I was one of those kinds of kids that finished assignments early, so I would talk to my classmates and bother them with getting their work done. Needless to say, my mom did not like that, so I started writing to keep out of trouble. I writing fiction and non-fiction. I receive a lot of satisfaction when I know one of my stories has touched/entertained the reader or when the information in an article has broadened their world.
Have you had a defining moment in your writing life that changed everything for you? Yes, when I received the email from my first publisher telling me my story was accepted. She added, “We love your voice.” I felt like dancing around the room because I knew I was on my way to a writing career.
What type of scene do you find the hardest to write? Funny, romantic, scary, or sad? Believe it or not, with two romantic suspense novels published, I find writing the romantic scenes difficult. I don’t want them to read like a second grader wrote them. Sometimes I just sit back and laugh at the scene. Oh yes, my crit group helps me out with those scenes.
What is one subject or genre you would never write about and why? I would never tackle the sci-fi genre. I am not “in” to the terms or the subject. I couldn’t write a believable story.
What have you always wanted? Did you ever get it? When the Ford Mustang came out in 1965, I drooled over it. I always wanted a red Mustang convertible. Finally, in 1995, my husband surprised me with exactly that. He laid the keys on the kitchen table and told me to walk outside. And there in the driveway sat a gorgeous red Mustang convertible (with a white top). I froze. I could barely take it in. My kids laughed at me as I stood in shock ogling the car of my dreams. Even though it was a cool May evening, we put the top down, cranked up the heater, and drove through town. I have no idea how my hubby kept this a secret because everyone at work knew about it AND my older daughter. (My younger girl never could keep a secret!!) You may notice, my bio photo is me in my Mustang. Yes, I still have the beauty, and she runs like a top.
What is the most memorable class you’ve ever taken? In college, I took a class about Shakespeare’s Sonnets. We dug deep into the meaning and the language and I fell in love with them.
Are you a glass half full or half empty kind of person? Or is the glass just malformed? Definitely half full. I like to live my life with positivity.
What holidays do you most like to celebrate? We were in the flower business so you can imagine how hectic holidays were for me. Don’t even talk about Valentine’s Day. Christmas started in July in the design department as that’s when I ordered the ornaments, etc for the upcoming season. When the decorations shipped to the shop in August, we unpacked them and immediately began designing artificial arrangements, swags, wreaths, etc. We were sick of red and white fresh floral arrangements with pine and cedar greens by December 26. My favorite holiday is and always has been Thanksgiving. There are no gifts to buy, no pressure to decorate, and always good food and friends and family.
Thank you, J.Q. Rose. It's been lovely getting to know you. You can visit J.Q. through these links:
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I hope you'll all join me again tomorrow to check out some of her books.