On the Real Me . . .
The pertinent stuff is all in my ‘official bio’ but it doesn’t quite capture reality. USA Today bestselling author is great, but those near and dear to me would probably tell you that Supreme Geek is a better moniker. I’m a total dork at heart, quite content to read technical manuals and watch foreign films.
I’ve always been a dork. My dorkdom began early on and I’ll take the easy route and blame it on my father. He loved language and enjoyed pop quizzes at the dinner table on obscure words and phraseology. The result of that turned me into the fountain of useless information that I am. I learn and store stuff that would arguably - only be relevant during a taping of Final Jeopardy.
On my favorite things . . .
I am, however, a self-indulgent geek. Regular pampering is part and parcel of my existence. I’d probably go without food to cover the cost of a mani-pedi and there’s nothing better than a hot stone massage.
One thing I’m not is a shopper. Well, not a brick and mortar shopper, unless we’re talking office Depot or a bookstore (feeling my inner geek right now?), then I’m all over that. I come from a long line of shoppers. My family can build an entire day around a trip to the mall. My husband is a shopper. He even enjoys grocery shopping. Me? I’d rather remove my own spleen with an oyster fork than shop.
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On my domestic side . . .
Speaking of families, I like to think I’m a decent parent, though that’s a tough call. The truth is, you don’t know if you’ve screwed your kid up beyond repair until they hit 25 or so, and since my daughter is now a teenager, the jury is still out on that one. Like the shopping gene, I didn’t get the baby gene either. This could cost me my woman badge, but I honestly don’t enjoy babies. I think kids get interesting once they develop their own personality. On the downside, personality usually is accompanied by attitude. Still, I can handle a smart mouth way better than playing the ‘Guess That Cry’ game. It would be great if babies were like Magic Eight Balls – they cry, you’d pick them up, flip them over and a small triangle would float to the surface to tell you that the baby was hungry, tired, wet, or just crying for the hell of it.
On my secret fear . . .
I’m terrified of failure. Writing, making decisions, disappointing the people I care about pick one and I can obsess to the point of needing serious medication. Again, I’ll take the low road and blame some of it on my parents. They had high standards and higher expectations. The downside to that was defining anything shy of perfection as failure. However, the upside was and is appreciating the value of doing anything to the best of my ability. Except for sports or any activity remotely requiring breaking a sweat. For example, take running. I’ll never understand jogging. The wheel was an important evolutionary development. It’s our duty to use it. Why run when you can drive?
On my secret talent . . .
Humor. It is a sustaining and driving force in my life. Anything is fair game. I am totally comfortable mocking myself and owning anything silly or stupid I do or say. Of course the problem with that is making sure I police my own thoughts since not everyone shares my irreverent take on life. That said, it’s hard to have a bad day when you’re laughing.
On what it’s really like to be a working writer . . .
It’s hard. It’s supposed to be hard. It requires an incredible amount of personal motivation and self-discipline. A lot of people like the idea of being a writer but they never develop the tools necessary to actually write.
Learn to suck up rejection, barbs, snarks and biting, anonymous comments. Rejection is part and parcel of the industry. There’s any number of reasons why a project can get rejected. Sometimes, it’s so subjective that it’s maddening, but it’s reality. Learn what you can and move on. The lesson learned might be an invaluable new way of looking at a project. The lesson could also be rise above it. This is particularly true when you’ve been cyberlynched (for those of you who don’t know this term, it’s when someone shreds you on the Internet often while hiding comfortably behind the anonymity in cyberspace). Barring miracles, you’ll never write a book which when read, appeals to every human on the planet.
Writing is all about time management. It’s not enough to finish the book, you’ve got to finish it on deadline. How do I spell deadline? S-L-O-B. I know the book is going well when I take a break only to realize I’ve had the same clothes on for 4 days and my hair looks astoundingly like the ‘do Don King has been sporting for years.
On what’s next . . .
Definitely more Finley. Maybe something dark I’ve got a few ideas flitting around in my head. Maybe something else. I only know 2 things for sure I won’t be writing anything paranormal nor will I wander down the erotic road. I don’t have the skills to tackle either of those sub-genres. Okay, 3 things. I won’t write for kids either, again, not something I can do so I’ll leave those stories to the deep well of talented people whose voices are suited to those areas.
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