Where do you live?
Tell us a little about yourself (your education, family life, etc.)
I am a deaf burn survivor. I am the third of seven children and we have lived in many different parts of the country. For some reason or another, we were always moving from city to city or state to state. My mom just always felt the call of the road and right after we got settled into one house, she decided it was time for us to pack up and hit the road again. Because of the accident I was in that caused my burn scars, I was in the hospital a lot, and many times, it was a lonely experience. I read a lot of books and wrote a lot to pass the time. When I was able to walk, I’d go exploring through the hospital and because of this I often saw that people there were a lot worse off than me. It made me sensitive to other things that people went through, but at the same time, it made me thankful that I was not as bad off as they were. In truth, despite all the teasing and bullying I went through because of my burn scars, it could have been worse. I may not have made it out of that accident alive. It is something to be thankful for.
I am also sensitive when it comes to ghosts. I am not a true sensitive, but I have been able to see and hear ghosts. I hear them even though I am deaf! And sometimes I will know if a ghost is there or if there’s some kind of spirit activity. This is actually not unusual in my family; the paranormal is a big deal in my family! A lot of people in my family have seen ghosts and have picked up on things because of ghosts or hauntings. I once lived in a haunted house and my siblings experienced a lot of ghostly activity in the house. This is why I wrote about the paranormal. It is just something we KNOW!
Also, I am deaf because I caught spinal meningitis when I was 13 years old.
What is your genre?
For nonfiction: Paranormal, writing, parenting, poetry. For fiction: Paranormal, mystery, historical, New Adult.
When and why did you begin writing? (What inspired you to write your first book?)
I was actually encouraged to write when I was a child, around 11 years old. I was encouraged to write poetry. From there, I went on to write short stories, articles, essays and novels.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
As far as the poetry book I co-wrote with my daughter, Jennifer Wilson, Satyrs Are Cool is concerned, the hardest part was trying to write for a young audience. Being an adult writing for children, I had to remind myself that the poems had to be kid-friendly. They had to be about topics kids could relate to (like homework) and things they actually do.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I actually didn’t consider myself a writer until I got published (in my late teens), although my high school English teacher tried to convince me that I WAS a writer even if I was not published.
Do you have to travel much to market your book(s)?
No. I’m not much for traveling at the moment. Got some medical things that need attention first.
Who designs your book covers?
My 11-year-old daughter designs the covers for my children’s books, as well as for the poetry books we collaborate on. For my own poetry books, Charlotte Holley designs the covers.
What is your current project?
I am revising Book Four in The GHOST Group series, which is my middle grade paranormal mystery series. I am also wrapping up a nonfiction book on haunted cities.
What, if anything, are you reading now?
Right now I am reading The 25,000 Mile Love Story (nonfiction) by Serge Roetheli and a Star Trek: The Next Generation novel by David Mack called The Persistence of Memory.
What books and/or authors have influenced your life most?
Stephen King has been a huge influence, as have Tami Hoag and Anne Rice. I also like Mary Higgins Clark and Ann Rule.
Would you be kind enough to share a little of your current work with us?
This is an unedited excerpt from Book Four of The GHOST Group, The Ghost of the Missing Hiker:
“Hang in there, kids. It shouldn’t be much farther now.”
Cassie grumbled over the words. Speak for yourself. This wasn’t exactly the hike she had been hoping for. The hike her class had arranged was at a wilderness preserve. There were beautiful flowers and fauna, as well as good bird watching. That particular hike was in a shaded area with lots of trees, not a dirt road up a mountain like this one they were on now. Nothing but dirt and rocks all around. And how was she going to have enough water for the class hike if she needed water for this hike now?
She hadn’t exactly planned on their bus breaking down on the way to the real hike.
“Look at it this way, Cass,” Trent said at her side. “At least it’s only about a mile or so.”
“Or so,” Cassie muttered. Trent may have tried to make her feel better but it didn’t work.
“Can’t we stop, please?” one girl moaned. “My feet hurt.”
“I’m tired,” another classmate, a boy, whined.
“All right, we’ll stop for a bit,” the bus driver said.
They found an area on the side of the road where a bunch of large rocks made good seats. Cassie sighed with relief when she hurried to claim one. Her feet hurt, too. She hadn’t expected the hike to bother her. She must be out of shape.
“Watch out for over there.”
Cassie looked to where the bus driver pointed. It was one part of the road where the wall of rock broke open and there was nothing but the tops of trees for a view.
“Hey, cool,” Trent said, walking over to it.
“Trent!” Cassie whispered in alarm, watching him walk over.
He ignored her and went to get a good look.
“Careful, son,” the bus driver said, holding Trent back before he could get too close to the edge. “We don’t want you falling through there.”
“I just want to look,” Trent said.
“You can look, but just be careful,” the bus driver warned.
“Got it,” Trent said.
Cassie sighed with relief as she sat back against the rock wall, relaxing again. With the bus driver keeping an eye out, maybe she didn’t have to worry about her friend.
That was until she heard him scream.
Do you have anything else you would like to share with my readers?
If you want to write in a particular genre, read as many books in that genre that you can. Learn how other authors have done it and write as often as possible. Don’t ever give up on your dreams!