This would be like me on a rather physically adept day.

This would be like me on a rather physically adept day.

I’ve never been known for my physical intelligence. I’m not even good at playing head games.

But, Paulette, author of the run-away smash hit, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap (and the blog of the same name), named me (along with two other authors) in a game of WordPress Tag. Her book is simply amazing. If you haven’t read it, do yourself a favor and buy it. All proceeds go to her local animal shelter. That’s the kind of angel she is! Now, back to me

So I’m “It.”

No, not that "It."

No, not that “It.”

Yeah, Baby. I’m everything “It” ever was and more.

That's more like "It."

That’s more like “It.”

But I won’t be It for long, because, like in any game of tag, I have to tag someone else (actually 3 someone elses).

So I’m going to enjoy my “Itdomess” for as long as possible by answering these four questions I’m supposed to answer as part of the game.

What are you currently working on?

Besides stumping the medical profession with another mystery illness (this time in my belly, not my brain) and marketing the second edition of my first memoir, I’m working on getting my second book ready to be scrutinized by an editor. It’s called Never Turn Back. It is a fictionalized version of my maternal grandmother’s fascinating life story from the time she was a young girl in Finland to her early forties when she immigrated from Paris expecting to live in New York City. Instead the American GI she hitched her future to lived in a very rural area of New York State. She was one shocked and resentful woman. Even though she came with nothing but a few possessions and her 13-year-old daughter (my mother), she never went back to Paris. During her time in France she survived the occupation of Paris by the Nazis. This is a novel because I had to fill in too many gaps in the stories she told me about her life as a girl in Finland or young woman in Paris. She was a woman with many secrets that she was determined to take to the grave.

How does your work differ from others in the same genre?

Steven King said it best: “Fiction is the truth inside the lie.” If that is true of most fiction, my book only varies in detail, style, and voice. I know that there are many stories about survivors of World War II, but this book is not about the war as much as it is about how the war changed the life this woman. Her up, down, and sideways life story has never been told. But I imagine many people have lived through quite challenging circumstances people and/or who are stubborn. This book was written for those people or people who have to live with those people!

Why do you write what you do?

I write to make a difference in my reader’s lives. On the grandest scale, I hope my words and stories will be transformational and inspirational to at least one person who reads them. On a moderate scale, I’d like my readers to finish my books and feel as if they are not alone in their own personal struggles because they connect with my characters’ (real or imagined) emotions or actions. On a smaller scale, I write stories that I hope will resonate with a wide variety of readers, if only to get them to think about certain issues or make them chuckle. Chuckling is good.

How does my writing process work?

I’m one of those lucky writers who gets in “the zone” and sees my scenes play out as if watching a movie. All I have to do is type quickly enough to keep up with what I’m “watching.” I’m not always in that zone, however. When I’m not, I find something, anything, else to do. I can’t force myself to write. It stresses me out. So that old chestnut of advice”put your butt in the seat and write every day,” just doesn’t work for me. When my butt is in the chair, though, time flies and chapters seems to write themselves. My characters surprise me with what they want to say and do.

I write though a first draft no matter how yucky I think it is. Then I go back and read it with fresh eyes after letting my computer cool off for a week or two. That’s when I do my one major edit. After that is done, I send the book off to a content editor to tell me everything I did wrong. Once I fix up my messes, I send the book out to beta readers who I beg and promise all kinds of things to (use your imagination) plus I re-read the manuscript for more editorial gaffs to clean up. While waiting to hear from my beta readers, I hire someone to do the book cover. If I have enough money left over, I’ll hire a line-editor to spit-polish it for me. If not, I’l say a little prayer to the typo/grammar gremlins to stay away while I get it ready for self-publishing. I’ll sleep and walk Scrappy in there somewhere…

Aha! I found a dangling participle! And I'm keeping this beauty all to myself!

Typo/Grammar Gremlin. Aha! I found a split infinitive And I’m keeping this beauty all to myself!

You’ve been tagged:

The rules of this tag are to answer the following four writing questions, and then tag three other authors. These three authors will answer the same questions and tag three others, and so the chain continues to grow larger. This will enable readers to get to know more authors and their books. It will also allow everyone to get to know these authors a little better.

Peter is a genius with making words bend to his will and wit. His book is being published soon by a publishing house over in the UK and, if it is anything like the essays he writes on his blog, you will be both entertained and intellectually stimulated. He is insightful, keenly observant, and a subtle comic genius.

Tricia is one sweet person who loves life and a good love story. But her love stories always have some kind of a mystical twistical to them.

Lorna Dounaeva’s first book, Fry, sold like hot cakes. It was a psychological thriller. I bet her next book will be just as great in that scare-you-silly kind of way. For woman with such a sweet name, she sure can write a scary book.!

Okay, People, start running, because YOU'RE IT! Well, you don't have to panic.

Okay, People, start running, because YOU’RE IT! Well, you don’t have to panic.