Cynthia asked me to repost her interview, I hope you enjoy it?
1. How old you when you wrote your first story?
In elementary school, I wrote and illustrated many stories about friendly aliens. They wore bows on their heads and lived in hourglass-shaped houses on the Planet Eek. I had a whole world built for them, though I don’t really understand the thinking behind the details at this point.
2. What genre was that story?
My mom has said that, prior to those, I would write stories with only a few sentences, like “Let me go upstairs now. I will see what I can find.” I guess those were my first mysteries? 🙂
According to Goodreads you teach at the Metropolitan State University of Denver and teach English.
3. How long have you taught in Denver?
I’ve taught English in Denver for 23 years, 14 of which have been at MSU Denver.
4.Have you always taught adults? If not, what other levels have you taught? (i.e. High school, middle school, elementary
I’ve taught other levels in summer programs: two years teaching literature and creative writing to middle-school students and five years teaching swimming at a variety of levels, from kindergarteners who were learning how to swim for the first time to teenagers who were going through certification to be lifeguards. Great experiences, all the way around.
5. Place in your emotions?
1. Place in your house? From your organizations?
I wish I could say somewhere cool, like at a cafe or on the subway. But it’s just a place in our house: an office/guest room. The only thing interesting about it is that squirrels like to jump onto the roof right there, which can be quite startling!
6. How much support do you receive from Sisters in Crime in relation to your writing and eventual publication?
Support comes both from the welcoming of writers into the conversation and from the sharing of various opportunities/resources with members. I’ve taken several classes and participated in critique opportunities; I continue to learn from the email list topics and by reading the newsletters. We also have a new chapter in Colorado, so there are events, field trips, and other wonderfulness happening locally, too. It’s a great organization for anyone who reads or writes mysteries.
7. What do you enjoy most about the organizations that you belong to?
The community. Writing can be a lonely thing without it.
8. I really like your characters, I have been a student and a graduate student so some of the characters seem familiar to me.
Are they based on people you know or have met? Do they just ‘come to
Thank you for saying that—I’m so glad you like them. They are not based on anyone I know or have met. The characters develop as part of the writing process (and I’ll confess: they say or do things that surprise even me).
9.. How much research do you do for your books?
I research as needed, when particular aspects emerge or questions arise (for example, with The Semester of Our Discontent, I did a lot of reading about academic secret societies).
10. What surprised you most about the publishing process?
How much there is to do in addition to writing the book itself!
11. What do you want your obituary to say? What do you want engraved on your headstone?
Something about how grateful I am for crossing paths with so many lovely people.
And something about how much I adore my family and friends.
And a bookish quip, though I can’t think of one right now…