interviewed on Mar 15, 2020
Q. How would you describe yourself?
I would describe myself as a tinkering author. I love technology. I also love to write. Some people dream of the life they want. I live my dream every day.
Q. Tell us something about the books that you have written and the story behind them.
My writing journey began in 2009. You see, I was adopted into a not so nice home. My adopted mother initiated the first book I wrote. (September's Child) It was her mental and physical abuse that instigated my writing. I wanted the world to know what that woman did to me. I wanted to let others know that they are not alone. Reliving my life was very hard on me. It's like replaying the same sad part of a drama, but you know it's your own life. I took comfort in my second book. (The Dark Mountain Saga)
The Dark Mountain Saga allowed me an escape from the tragic life I lived. I was able to have fun. I was able to create a world where I could do anything. I put my adopted family in there. I reversed the spelling of their first names. I no longer had to listen to my adopted mother trash me. This title was also published in 2014. After that, I took time off my writing to care for two of my grandchildren. Their mother left them with me to go off and do her own thing. While my daughter was being incredibly selfish, I took a DNA test. I wanted to know who I was before my adoption. I wanted answers to the questions that had plagued me most of my life. I wanted to know why nobody wanted me.
Journey To My Past was published in 2018 after finding out who my family was. I wrote that while my grandchildren were at school and when they went back to their mom for a brief time. My first DNA test did not tell me who my father was. So, I took a second test. Five minutes after receiving my results, I found my dad. His name was Ray S. Meyers. Not Ray S. Mayers as my biological mother told me. He served in the U.S. Navy as ADR1 (AVIATION MACHINIST'S MATE (RECIPROCATING ENG MECH) PETTY OFFICER 1ST CLASS) He tried to save me from my impending adoption, but my birth mother amended my name and his name. Legally, on paper, he was NOT my father. I spent months trying to connect with my deceased father. I wrote Spirit Bond - Fact Or Fiction during that time.
I met my first cousin on my dads side a few months after I found out who my dad was. She gave me pictures and two videos of our family. Of course, I did not know who was who in the videos. "When you watch those videos you will know your dad because he is the one in the sailor suit, " She said. During this time, my eldest daughter offered to take the two grandchildren, her niece, and nephew, for the summer. She had a VCR that I could have to watch those videos. I couldn't wait to get back home to see my dad, but I had to order an adapter to save the videos on my computer.
The videos were from the 50s. There was no sound. I put on a record and began the save process. This is the most important part of my discoveries. The record I was playing was a Johnny Cash record. One that I had not heard before. The first song finished just after my paternal grandparents stepped out to greet someone I could not yet see. One of my uncles stepped into view. The next song began to play just as my dad came on my screen. "You're The Nearest Thing To Heaven," began playing from the record behind me. A rush of cold air hit my right side. I received my first spirit hug. It was the warmest feeling I had ever felt. I knew it was my dad. He was there to tell me that I had indeed found him. He needed me to find my brother. His son. I was his unfinished business. He never got to hold me. Heck, he never got to know me at all. My mother should not have lied to me in 1984 when I reunited with her. She tried to hide her secret. Me! She did not want me to find my dad. He had the answers, which leads me to my newest book. Relinquished - The True Story Of Sallys Abandoned Children.
When I reunited with my sister, two years ago, she told me I was not finished writing about my life. She told me that I needed to write one more story. She told me that my fans would want to know what I found out after taking my DNA tests.
Q. What place does writing hold in your life, how has been your writing journey so far?
Since 2009, my writing has taken second place in my life. My family always comes first. I have always put my family first because I was never first. My writing has grown much since September's Child. I am not famous yet, and I'm not sure I want to become famous. My journey has been a tough one, but I have learned so much. I discovered that I was wanted, but fate was not on my side. During my writing journey, I discovered two siblings that love me very much. I discovered acceptance where I never imagined I would be accepted. I found out that my dad did love me, and he did want me. I found out that my birth mother was and still is a horrible liar. I found peace from a childhood riddled with pain. I found acceptance within myself.
Q. What is your writing process, a typical writing day routine?
A typical day of writing, for me, is one that definitely involves coffee first. Since I have gotten older, I can't drink as much as I once handled. Instrumental music gets me in the writing mood, so that is next. I love my record player. There is just something about that needle clicking that soothes me. Once I get into a writing mood there is little that takes me out of it. It is important to point out that my brain cares little about sleep. It can't tell time either. I get woke up at all times of the night to write whatever is in my head.
Q. What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
So far September's Child is the only book that I have written that I have marketed. I found book clubs a great resource for promoting that title.
Q. What do you think makes a book sell, or makes a reader buy it?
A great story makes a book sell. Also, a well-written book will sell itself. You have to believe in yourself in order to get your book selling.
Q. What's the most moving or affecting thing a reader has said to you?
I don't really have a most moving thing that a reader has said to me. I do have many readers who have left moving reviews about my book. I have read every review of my book/books. Almost all of them yank on my heartstrings.
Q. What are your favourite three books, and why?
My all-time favorite books were The Lord Of The Rings. I was gifted these when I was about 13. When my adopted mother figured out that I enjoyed reading them too much she took them away from me.
The Dark Elf Trilogy is my next favorite. As you can tell I am a fantasy fan. I like to escape into worlds that are completely separate from our own.
Akin to the Truth is my third favorite book. This is a memoir of adoption and identity. As it turns out the author of this book is my cousin. I love her book because I can relate to what she went through.
Q. Who are your favourite three authors and what do you like the most about them?
The Lord Of The Rings is not only one of the best book sequels written, but it was also my escape. My love for fantasy worlds continued into my adult life. I suppose for me, fantasy was much better than dealing with a past that kept trying to return to me. J.R.R. Tolkien wove a tale so fantastic that it was easy to slip into his world. R.A. Salvatore is the author of the Dark Elf Trilogies. Again he weaves a tale so fantastic that you can easily escape into his fantasy world. Paige Adams Strickland wrote about her own adoption. Her books take you on her journey. I could feel how she felt. I understood her completely.
Q. Tell us about the books that you are currently writing and their progress.
Currently, I am working on finishing up Relinquished - The True Story Of Sallys Abandoned Children. The release date for this book is April 1st. That's no joke! Once again I will self publish this book under Staff Ink Publishing. I am my own publisher.
Q. What challenges do you think are faced by writers, what's the worst thing about the book industry according to you?
The most challenging part of being a writer for me is marketing my books. I am a writer, not a marketer. It is very difficult and there are many competitors out there. Everyone wants to be a best seller.
Q. Apart from writing, what goals do you want to achieve in life?
I achieved the one goal that meant the most to me. I found out who I was prior to my adoption. Now my main goal is to become the best sister I can be to the brother and sister I found these past two years. I have a lot of years to make up for. I described myself as a tinkering author. I mentioned that I love technology. A few years ago I taught myself 3D printing. So, another of my goals is to create 3D figurines of The Dark Mountain Characters. I have one character created. (Prince Hayazi)
Q. At QwertyThoughts.com, we are trying to bring authors and readers under the same roof, to connect, discuss and socialize over books. What's your take on this?
I love this aspect. I think it is a fresh way for authors to market their books and gain insight into what our readers think of our passion. (writing)
Q. What message do you want to share with budding writers?
Be determined. Surround yourself with supportive people. It really does help to have people around you who believe in what you do. Be steadfast in your passion. Get into the habit of writing every day. Write about what you know. Writing comes easily if you know what you are writing.