What first motivated you to write a book?
A good book can take you out of your own life for a while. The best books also teach you something, or provide new insights. I wanted to write a book to share some of my own insights about life and people, and also, with any luck, to tell a compelling story that people would want to read.
What did you find to be the biggest challenge about the writing process?
Getting started. The fear that I wouldn’t have all the pieces to make a good story. But I learned that once you get started, the rest follows.
If you could offer an aspiring author any piece of advice, what would it be?
Just jump in and get writing. As I said, getting started can be the hardest part. It’s been said by everyone, but it bears repeating, that if you just write, and keep writing, you will create something. If you don’t get started, it’s never going to happen. So don’t let the fear of doing it wrong or not writing a best-seller stop you. None of that matters. The writing matters.
Tell us a little bit about your book…who should read it and why.
After June will probably appeal mostly to women. The main character is a widow in his late sixties, but he shares the story with a young pregnant woman. They’ve both suffered the recent loss of someone close to them, and the story is about what we share with others and what we keep to ourselves, but also about serendipity, accepting the kindness of others and being open to change. Anyone who is interested in what motivates people to make decisions could take something away from the story.
Why did you chose to write in this genre?
I suppose I wrote a contemporary women’s novel because that’s what I know best. My own view of the world is through that lens. I am also most interested in real-life stories rather than fantasy, for example, because these are the most meaningful to me.
Has writing and completing a book been the experience you thought it would be?
I really had no preconceived notions of what it would be like to complete a novel. I’ve learned so much in the process. One of most important things I’ve learned is that all writers (all creators, for that matter) go through very similar experiences, and that there’s nothing quite as valuable as the advice of experienced writers. Listening to them assures you that you’re difficulties and successes are all very normal. And that’s encouraging!
What has been the biggest surprise so far in your author journey?
I was surprised by the way the writing took on a life of its own. Some of my characters took shapes that I had not planned. A story belongs to the writer and the writer can make anything happen, but even your best laid plans can change at any time if you’re open to it. It’s fun to see where the writing takes you.
Will you write another book?
Absolutely. It’s already forming. And this time, while I still have many of the same questions I had the first time, I know some of the answers will come once I begin.
Is there anyone you would like to thank who helped or supported you?
I have a lot of people to thank, but mostly those who lived through the writing with me, like my partner, Peter, my mother and close friends. And I should thank NaNoWriMo for creating a site that was so easy to use and offered so much encouragement. As for self-publishing, that’s another story, and the support of Meg and Glenn at Lulu as well as the other nine Accelerator Winners has been invaluable.
Find her book, After June, here.