Tell us about your publishing journey…
In the summer of 2000 I was suddenly single and looking for a change. I signed up on a whim for a fiction writing class at the local county college. One week the instructor, Tom Cantillon, had us write an action story, and that’s where the Diana Andrews saga started. From somewhere came a picture of a man and a woman standing by a car parked on the shoulder of a deserted highway. I decided that he wanted to kill her, and that she needed to stop him. To make it more interesting, I made him a cop and her a prostitute. But I couldn’t think of a motive that would play in 1500 words, until I made the cop a woman also. The motive became sexual jealousy.
That story became the first chapter of my novel DO OVERS, still unpublished. After writing two sequels, I decided to build a resume with some short fiction, and I quickly discovered the challenges and satisfactions of the short form. My first published story, called RENDORSEG (Hungarian for “Police”) appeared in LYNX EYE in 2005.
What do you love about being an author?
No experience is wasted. Anything I have ever seen or done can come back and help me over an obstacle in something I’m writing.
If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?
Diana has spoiled me on anyone who isn’t a tough chick. It would have to be someone like Greg Rucka’s Tara Chace. We’d grab something on the run, because she never stops.
If your book/ story was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?
Diana would be Hilary Swank, or possibly Evangeline Lilly. Both are beautiful in unconventional ways, and both can do the tough chick thing. See above!
If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?
Tenth-century Rome. It’s one of the most obscure periods in European history, because literacy was rare, and the source materials are scant. For years I have been fascinated by the story of a Roman woman named Marozia. After an interval of about three centuries during which women essentially disappear from the historical record, she suddenly shows up running the city. She created popes, including her own son, and destroyed others, and she was willing to sacrifice another son to her own ambitions. He struck first, seizing power and imprisoning her for the rest of her life. It’s dark, fascinating stuff. I have a story a
bout Marozia called THE CITY OF ROPES, which appears in the anthology HISTORICAL LOVECRAFT.
If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
If I were still going to be a writer, it would have to be something invisible. so I could watch and take notes.
Where do you write best?
That’s an easy one. I do most of my writing in the cafe of the Barnes and Noble store in Springfield, New Jersey, USA. I like having some commotion around me, because tuning it out heightens my concentration.
What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?
PROTECTORS 2: HEROES. It’s an anthology of stories edited by Thomas Pluck to benefit Protect. I have a Diana story in it, but more than fifty other writers also contributed, and not one was just phoning it in.
If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?
Historical fiction. I may yet get back to the Marozia novel that I started thirty years ago.
Where can fans find you online?
BTW, Diana’s next scheduled appearance will be in FLASH AND BANG, edited by Jay Hartman and to be published by Untreed Reads. It’s an anthology of stories by members of the Short Mystery Fiction Society.
Available from Untreed Reads:
The Same Mistake Twice
The Retro Look
Value for the Money
The Untreed Detectives