Tell us about yourself:
I look really boring from the outside: middle-aged married mother of two, works part-time as a church secretary, drives a 2006 PT Cruiser. Dig a little deeper and you discover that to make up for my quiet, orderly life, I’ve been writing fantasy and science fiction novels for the past 18 years. I also play drums and sing backup in a garage-rock duo (that PT Cruiser is a drum hauling machine!), and I’ve been blogging about band names since 2010.
Tell us about your book:
DAUGHTER OF MAGIC is a young adult fantasy novel about a girl whose family’s business is magic. Her parents are both powerful practitioners but at almost 15, she has given up on developing any power of her own. When her parents leave her for the summer with her grandmother in her father’s backwater hometown, she tries to help a friend learn a few spells and discovers an apparently bottomless well of power of her own. Meanwhile, the dead visit her dreams with disturbing warnings about imminent danger to the nation in general and to her parents in particular. No one else is getting the message so she enlists her friends to help mount a rescue. But will teamwork and untrained power be enough to save the day?
What influenced you to write your current genre?
I think I must have felt powerless as a child and teen, because I’ve always loved stories about nobodies from nowhere who turn out to have amazing abilities: magic, superpowers, whatever. I’ve also always been drawn to stories about resourceful children, especially girls.
Who are your favorite authors?
That everyone has heard of: Ursula K. LeGuin, Madeleine L’Engle, Jasper Fforde, Terry Pratchett, Jim Butcher, Michael Chabon, T. R. Pearson, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte
That most people haven’t heard of but should: Angelika Rust, Steve Scribner, Heather Ransom, Kurt Clopfen, Jason Brick, Mikko Azul, Kate Ristau, Sang Kromah, LeeAnn McLennan, and M. K. Martin
What are your favorite books?
In the resourceful-children category, The Pink Motel and Baby Island, by Carol Ryrie Brink. I read Baby Island repeatedly when I was in about 4th grade. I read The Pink Motel one time when I was 8 or 9 and never forgot it; finally lucked into a copy at a church rummage sale in 1993.
I completely fell in love with LeGuin’s Earthsea Trilogy when I was 12 and within a few years had devoured The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, and The Lathe of Heaven. I still love all those books. I’m a huge fan of Fforde’s Thursday Next series and Butcher’s Dresden Files.
Lately I’ve been consuming a lot of indie books. I’m particularly fond of the Tales of Istonnia and Resident Witch series by Angelika Rust. Steve Scribners Tond series has the most thorough and engaging world-building I’ve encountered in a long time, and the story is entertaining, too. It has been a great privilege to read and blurb the books of my fellow Not a Pipe authors: The Staff of Fire and Bone by Mikko Azul; Shadow Girl by Kate Ristau; The Supernormal Legacy by LeeAnn McLennan; Djinn by Sang Kromah; Survivors’ Club by M. K. Martin; Going Green by Heather Ransom; Superguy by Kurt Clopfen; and Wrestling Demons by Jason Brick. I would happily read sequels or other work by any of them.
Who are your favorite literary characters?
Sparrowhawk and Tenar, from the Earthsea books; that’s where I discovered how much I enjoy watching characters in relationship to other characters as much or more than I enjoy plot. Although I like Harry Potter, I love Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood, and I will always have a soft spot for Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. I’m always happy to hang out with competent yet flawed characters like Thursday Next and Harry Dresden.
Is there anything you want to share with potential readers?
It’s fine to set goals and pursue dreams, but always be ready for the unexpected opportunities than climb into your lap and start purring. At least for me, that’s how all the best things happen.
Where can we go to learn more about you and your literary works?