House of Eire is the 3rd book in your Hillary Bloom series. Where did the inspiration for this series come from?
My husband was a reporter for the Los Angels Times, Sacramento Bureau, and was called “Dean of the Capitol Press Corps” as he’d been there for 35 years, beloved as a mentor for many young journalists. In fact, he thought he WAS his job. He was stung to be forced into early retirement in1995 in one of the Times drastic cuts to their workforce as the newspaper business began its long slow decline. I hurt for him in his pain—it was almost as if the paper had killed him—at least murdered a big part of his soul. I was teaching creative writing at that time, and in one of the class writing times, when I always wrote along with the students, I wondered what would happen if a person forced from his job was a butcher. What if the butcher had been devoted to his small shop all his life, and to lose it meant he was nobody. What if he wanted to get back at the big company responsible for his loss? That led me to my villain, Melvin the butcher, and House of Cuts took off from there when reporter Hillary arrived on the scene and was drawn into stopping this fictional humiliated butcher, gone over the edge.
Did you have several story lines ready before you started the series with House of Cuts (book 1). or did each new story develop after the previous book was released?
I love the oh so imperfect Hillary Bloom. She's not tall, doesn't have the a model's body and makes mistakes. Readers can relate to her. Where did the inspiration for this character come from?
Hillary started out as a minor character in a novel featuring a character named Amy who is half Miwok Indian but does not know it because her mother died giving birth to her and she was raised by her narrow-minded father. Hillary was a reporter in that novel but she became such a strong force that my critique group friends revealed to me that I had two stories, not one—Amy’s story and Hillary’s story. I went through an arduous process of separating the two novels and the Hillary one was calling the most insistently, so that superstore setting with the berserk butcher became House of Cuts. I’m now on book four of Hillary’s saga, and I think it might be the final one in the series where she takes on her main character arc of mother issues and resolves it—but book five is starting to form as House of Crows. Hehehe. Amy’s book, now Cup of Stone, is waiting in the wings ready to jump on stage when Hillary’s stories are complete.
As an author - what do you enjoy most about writing process? What feels like a chore?
What I love most is the writing itself, the first drafts and the revisions, too, and getting feedback from critique partners.
First thing in the morning—coffee, French Roast with milk. Then I love to get straight to my writing—I’m trying to write 1000 words every morning on House of Hoops, but have been interrupted by family vacations this summer, as every summer, time spent and well worth it! In the school year, I teach English literature and creative writing, so that is for most afternoons. I do a lot of research—some by going places such as Ireland three times for Eire and The Big Island last summer for Hoops and other times using good old Google. I haven’t spent enough time on marketing but plan to start when I retire from teaching in 2017 or 18. Then, I hope to publish other writers books also, through Gorilla Girl Ink publishing company.
What would you most like readers to know about you.
Any advice for young authors wanting to write books in this genre?