In your own words, please describe your book.
Empty Shell explores what happens when life is touched by tragedy, and how the reactions of one person end up tainting the lives of others around them. It also delves in to what we see, hear and think after confronted with an emotionally jarring situation is sometimes way off base, and how those first impressions have far reaching consequences. What does it really mean to be in love with another? How do you handle that love when the other is no longer in your life? Did you really know the person you loved, or were you looking at them through rose-colored glasses? When everything you’ve known is ripped away, how do you cope? Love, death, friendship, lies, deception, heartache, betrayal and murder are explored through the eyes of the main character, Melody Dickinson. Her twenty year marriage hangs in the balance when she discovers her husband has been unfaithful. That painful barb is just the beginning of a very intense journey for Melody.
What genre/genres does your book fall under? It is a suspenseful thriller with a heavy dose of mystery attached.
Is this book part of a series? No, it is not.
What led you into writing? Was it a lifelong ambition, or the result of some type of turning point in your life?
At the age of 42, I decided to return to college. My goal was to obtain a degree in science to fulfill my dream of becoming a registered nurse. I tackled the hard classes first then realized I needed a few elective courses to finish out my degree. I can only draw stick people, on a good day, so art was scratched off the list. Music and theater were crossed off as well, since my taste in music is not the same as my taste for classical literature. And theater? Forget it. So, creative writing won out.
Expressing my emotions on paper is something I’ve been doing since early childhood, but it was a personal release, not anything I imagined I would ever share with anyone other than close friends and family members. That all changed after Creative Writing I & II—thanks to an incredible instructor by the name of Melody Berning.
Accountable to None was my semester project for Creative Writing II. When I turned it in to Ms. Berning in March of 2011, she encouraged me to publish it, and in April of 2011, I uploaded the electronic version on Amazon just to see if she was right: people would enjoy my writing. After a few hiccups and pitfalls, Accountable to None hit number 1 in suspense in December of 2011 in the Kindle store.
Nursing went right out the window at that point, and although I did graduate with a degree in science, a new and previously hidden passion emerged: writing.
In the last 3+ years, my life has undergone a paradigm shift. Empty Shell is my seventh book and four of my other novels have been optioned for films. The first one, Number Seventy-Five (www.number75themovie.com) begins shooting this Fall. Even as I sit here and type those words, it seems unreal. To say I’m excited would be a gross understatement!
So far, what has been the greatest moment in your writing career?
That would be the day I received a private message on Goodreads from a reader who just finished Accountable to None. She wanted to let me know that after reading the book, she was going to finally seek therapy for the buried trauma she suffered over ten years prior when was raped. She told me that she knew she needed to let go of the pain and anger and face her demons, and thanked me for opening her eyes to that. I remember staring at the computer screen, mouth agape and heart pounding as tears streamed down my face.
That moment in my life made every difficult turn and bump in the road worth it. To know that my words helped another person is something I will cherish forever.
Are you self-published or published through a small-press? Can you tell our readers what led up to that and your publishing experience? I have my own imprint, RMSW Press. I publish all my work through it, and have published a non-fiction memoir for one other person (Oswald & I by Maurice “Nick” McDonald – the Dallas police officer who arrested Lee Harvey Oswald).
I opted to be an Indie writer because I love the freedom of creativity of not having anyone to answer to, except your mental muse, as your guiding force. I don’t like the idea of being told I can only write in a particular genre.
What are you working on now? A paranormal thriller set in Mississippi entitled Growl.
What are some of your likes and dislikes? Of course, reading. I love flowers and have a beautiful garden. I am an animal lover, with cats at the top of my list. There has never been a time in my life I haven’t been owned by a feline. I cherish my role as mother and wife, and my greatest joy in the world is my relationship with Jesus Christ.
Dislikes? Oh, that’s an easy one. Spiders. Yes, I suffer from a raging case of arachnophobia.
How can readers connect with you?
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