Who or what influenced your writing once you began? After my mother, it was Louisa Mae Alcott, Pearl Buck, Margaret Mitchell, and then a Mr. David Starr, English teacher and yearbook staff advisor—I wonder if Mr. Starr knows how much he made me believe?—after him, it was my husband, DDF, and Kurt Vonnegut and James Michener and Irving Wallace … and how much room do we have here?
Who or what influenced your writing over the years? Annie Lamott, Wally Lamb, Jonathan Franzen, and most recently, my San Diego writing group … I’m not sure any of them—all talented writers themselves—realize how much I took their insights, words, and encouragement to heart. I’d put off joining a critique group for years, believing it would take away from actual writing time—I was wrong! Well, it did take away from writing time, but it gave back ten-fold in direction … I heartily recommend writing groups. We writers get so familiar with our own stuff, we can’t see what the more objective newbies can.
What made you want to be a writer? Not any one thing. It seemed a natural progression.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? The most challenging thing about writing a novel: sitting down and writing it.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it? Writing The Angry Woman Suite changed my life … it made me understand my own family better. The story made me softer, while the discipline (required to write it) made me tougher.
Do you intend to make writing a career? I intend for writing to remain a big part of my life.
Have you developed a specific writing style? Yes, it’s in the sentences, the rhythm of the words.
What is your greatest strength as a writer? Perception. I write about people, the different ways they can be perceived … I see colors, fronts and backs, and angles
Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? Good god, yes. When I do, I work out or have a drink—sometimes both at the same time.
Can you share a little of your current work with us? Yes, currently untitled, my new work-in-progess is set in mid-century California, about a woman investigating the murder of her best friend twenty years prior.
How did you come up with the title? The title, The Angry Woman Suite, was suggested by my then-agent, Joanne Brownstein. It refers to the collection of portraits that figure predominately in the plot, and to the four female characters the story revolves around.
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Genre – Historical / Psychological Mystery
Rating – PG13
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