What inspired you to write your first book?
I started with the intention of writing short stories for my son. The Azra’s Pith series evolved from there.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Straightforward, uncomplicated and clear cut; I write for youngsters, so I try to keep it exciting, and easy to read.
How did you come up with the title?
The original title was “The Realm of Azra’s Pith”. Azra is a spiritual figure in the story, and pith means core… there you have it - Azra’s Pith. That title didn’t go over so well; so I changed it to focus more on Alexander and his exciting adventure.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Live each day with purpose in your heart, and one’s true character comes from within… never judge a book by its cover.
How much of the book is realistic?
Alexander is shy and reserved; he really grows throughout the story. He is close to my heart. Aside from that, it’s all fantasy. I write to escape from reality. That is what the imagination is for!
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
In my youth, I visited my grandmother every summer. She lived in the woods right on a lake. Alexander’s grandmother, Beatrice is based on my grandmother. I carry the best memories from those trips. We spent our days playing in the woods, building teepees and swimming in the lake. I was a lucky kid.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Books written by Neale Donald Walsch and Wayne Dyer have had a huge impact on my life. Another book that I always keep close by is “A Course in Miracles”. When I need peace of mind I take it out, flip to a random page and just start reading. Of course, when I was a kid “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis really captured me… nothing like escaping to a magical world with the flip of a page.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
That’s easy… get ready for a common answer - J.R.R. Tolkien. What can I say? His writing is brilliant. I can’t even begin to wrap my brain around Middle-earth.
What book are you reading now?
“The Big Red Book” by Coleman Barks; my Favorite poem in the book right now (it changes from time to time) is “Solomon Ant”. It is another book that I can pick up and flip to a random page; which is good because I tend to be a bit scatter-brained with so much on my plate.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Quite a few; Jeff Blackmer is making his historical fantasy, “Draegnstoen” available through Amazon (soon I hope). It was on authonomy.com and did quite well there. He has a wonderful blog that covers the background of his story. Of course, I love seeing the success of fellow Wild Child Publishing authors. Two of my favorites are Abbi Glines, writer of the YA “Breathe” and Ruth Zavitsanos. She has two children’s books out through Wild Child, “The Villa Dog” and “The Old Fortress Dog”.
What are your current projects?
I’m already on part three of the Azra’s Pith Series; which is bitter sweet because it marks the end of the story. I really, really love the way it’s unfolding! A lot took place before Alexander arrived in Azra’s Pith. I’m already getting the itch to write about that.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Having an indie publisher has been a positive experience. She is literally just an email away. There are times when we speak just about every day. This being my first book, I feel lucky to have that kind of support.