Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Before I start, I want to thank Kathi for her kindness and generosity in interviewing me for her blog. Now to answer the question, I have always wanted to be a writer. I started writing when I was very young and won my first writing award in the first grade. It was a Young Author's Fair and I think I took second place. All I remember is that I received a blue ribbon, and from then on, I knew I was destined for big things. ;)
Tell us a little bit about your new book.
My new book is entitled "Mother Had a Secret" and it is the true story of what life was like growing up with my mother who was diagnosed with multiple personality disorder. The book is really about my relationship with my mother and how I learned to love and appreciate her and see her for the person she was rather than define her by the mental illness she bore.
What inspires you and motivates you to write the very most?
My husband and children inspire me the most. Since I write non-fiction, it is the lessons that I learn from my husband and children that give wings to my thoughts and allows the Spirit to touch my mind and heart.
Is there an established writer you admire and emulate in your writing? Do you have a writing mentor?
I really don't try to emulate anyone, although I love Emerson. His writing is truly beautiful and inspiring to me. I think that my writing mentor is my husband. Although he hasn't yet been published, he is a far better writer than I am and I am always reading his work, trying to learn what I can from him to make my own writing better.
Location and life experience can sprinkle their influence in your writing. Tell us about where you grew up and a little about where you live now - city? Suburb? Country? Farm? If you could live anywhere you want to live, where would that be?
I grew up in Ammon, Idaho and Roy, Utah. They are both suburbs of bigger cities and we were always close to a grocery store and a gas station. Now, we live in a city that is more like a little country town. The nearest gas station is about ten minutes away and the nearest grocery store is fifteen minutes away, and I love it. We are still close to bigger cities, but I am not afraid to have my kids walk to their friend's house or ride their bikes around the neighborhood. It is such an amazing community, and really a place I could live in forever. If I could live anywhere I wanted to though, and I was only thinking of myself, I would live by the ocean, maybe even in a lighthouse. I love the ocean and I love lighthouses even more. Living there would be just like Heaven for me, as long as my family was with me of course. :)
Bring us into your home and set the scene for us when you are writing. What does it look like? On the couch, laptop, desk? Music? Lighting, handwriting?
When I first started writing, I loved handwriting it in a notebook. Soon after, however, I learned that it was tedious to write everything down and then have to re-write it onto the computer, so we bought a laptop and now that is all I use. We have an office in our basement that both my husband and I share. Sometimes, I prefer to take the laptop to the bedroom. Wherever I am , I have to be away from my kids, and it has to be quiet in order for me to think. I am too easily distracted if I have music or other things going on. My husband likes to listen to music when he writes, and it amazes me that he can get anything written, but he's good at it, and it works for him. I, on the other hand, prefer solitude. It gives me a sense of peace and well-being, and hopefully allows me to convey that same peace into my writing.
Do you watch television or movies? If so, what are your favorites? Do they inspire your writing?
I love watching movies, and my husband and I have our favorite television shows that we record and watch together when we get a chance. My favorite television series is Castle, probably because he is a writer. I also enjoy Bones, The Mentalist, and Chuck. My favorite movies are anything romantic of course. Pride and Prejudice and Phantom of the Opera are probably my all time favorites. I don't think that the things that I watch inspire me in my writing, mostly because I prefer writing non-fiction and I enjoy finding my inspiration in everyday people and situations.
How has being published changed your life?
Being published has changed my life because it has made it possible for me to influence more lives and see what a difference sharing my story has made in the lives of others. I am overwhelmed by the number of people who email me and share with me how reading my book has changed their perspective and blessed their life. I would have never met the amazing people I get to meet each time I go to a signing or a book club. I feel blessed beyond measure for the opportunity Heavenly Father has given me to help others feel and recognize His love for them. Heavenly Father has taught me so much and I am grateful He has given me the opportunity to share that knowledge with others. It has truly blessed my life.
Do you have any book signings, tours or special events planned to promote your book that readers might be interested in attending? If so, when and where? Also tell about your blog and website.
I have three book signings coming up in November. Nov. 13 - South Towne Seagull, 12-2 pmNov. 20 - Fashion Place Seagull, 11-1pmNov. 27 - Spanish Fork Seagull, 11-1 pm I have been asked to speak at two stake firesides in the coming months and have also been asked to attend several book clubs. I enjoy these opportunities and welcome them from anyone who might be interested. I don't have a website, but my blog can be found at http:\\motherhadasecret.blogspot.com. There, you can find the first two chapters of my book, radio and television interviews and a link to purchase the book, if interested.