From the time I was a small child I have loved history and fantasy. My grandmother was the major influence on my love of literature and the history of not only the United States, but the history of the lands from which her people had come: Scotland and Ireland. As a girl I read stories written by others about these times and lands. As an adult, I decided to write my own.
As far as writers who have influenced me, the main one would be Fritz Leiber. Mr. Leiber, who is credited with coining the term 'sword and sworcery' by many, was kind enough to carry on a ten year correspondance with me before his death in the early 1990s. From Mr. Leiber's word, I learned the value of setting a stage and the immense power of WORDS. Mary Stewart and her Merlin trilogy taught me the thrill history could give when made 'present' by a gifted author, and I learned to like dark twists and complicated characters from Michael Moorcock.
Most readers remark on the fact that they never know where my stories are going. I am an organic writer - writing with no outline- so I tell them that should be no surprise! I never know where they are going either, until they get there! My tales are character-driven. Another comment on my historicals is that I write as if I 'have been there'. That is the greatest compliment this writer could have.
As to the reason I write, it is to entertain, educate and move. I use all of the senses: sight, smell and hearing, in my writing. I hope in this way to take the reader either back, or to another place where they can meet a set of exciting characters and walk with them through trial and triumph - hopefully on the edge of their seat!