Author, Psychological Thrillers
Find me on:
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
I’m the girl with the Typewriter Tattoo who lives in the Midwest with my husband, our Akita named Jag, and an obese fifteen-year-old adopted cat named Chicago.
The first novel in The Devil’s Rules series is The Urge: Who’s more evil, the pedophile, or the killer of pedophiles, focusing on lust. The second book in the Devil’s Rules Series, The Grudge: When the prey becomes the predator, exposes envy, and will be published soon.
I’ve been published in numerous periodicals, newspapers, national and international magazines, been quoted in BusinessWeek, Crain’s Chicago Business, Successful Meetings, PBH, HRO Today, Yada, Yada, Yada, and interviewed on both ABC and Fox News. Ta Da!
What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?
Each of my novels in the Devil’s Rules Series focuses on one of the seven deadly sins. The first in the series, The Urge: Who’s more evil, the pedophile, or the killer of pedophiles, spotlights lust.
None of my novels jam the theme down your throat. It floats in the background. Only when you look at the whole of it, can you see how deadly the outcome can be.
The Urge description.
The terror was the theft of childhood innocence. It tore the center out of Woody and Vette, and changed their destiny. The terror was also the taking of seven-year-old Alice’s life in the cruelest way possible, leaving eight-year-old Betty alive to remember the nightmare of her friend’s kidnapping and death by a serial killer.
In The Urge, the families move on but their lives are forever entwined. They know monsters aren’t under the bed. Monsters live in the car parked outside their house. They hide behind the bedroom door. They wear white masks.
The pedophile continues undetected. One by one. Year after year. He’s right in front of them but somehow invisible. The killer now lives in prison, sending letters to Betty, the one that got away. Somebody has to confront them.
He calls himself the Good Samaritan, but he’s a killer, too. He kills the worst of the worst, the convicted sex offenders whose targets are children. The Good Samaritan thinks he’s doing the world a favor by removing them from the world forever. But it’s a conundrum. The damage has already been done.
Take a trip through the minds of the killers, the victims, and the pedophiles. All those twisted from childhood will twist together in the end.
The soul of the psychological thriller, The Urge is lust.
What inspires/inspired your creativity?
I’ve been writing stories since I could hold a pencil. My psychological thrillers, though fictional, focus on events that could happen any day to anyone. The stomach punch of raw reality helps me create stories that ring true.
How do you deal with creative block?
I sit at my desk every day and write. Every day. Some days flow better than others. Pounding the keys cracks my block.
What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
I’ve found the biggest mistake an author can make is to produce an unedited book. I believe it is imperative that an author have a trusted editor, one who will propel you forward, by encouraging and critiquing, with the charity of truth. I’m blessed to have an amazing editor, Patricia Childers, Director of Foggy Bottom Books.
Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
Each of my titles reflects the story held within the pages. Working titles are great placeholders, however in the end the title must alert the reader to what is coming.
Working with a cover artist is essential. The covers of an author’s books must be cohesive, allowing readers to identify your books on the shelf intuitively.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
When my editor tells me to cut, or revise a beloved section, my first impulse is to throat punch her. BUT once I’ve made the change, I see how true her advice holds. The story flows. And I’m thrilled. Constructive criticism is a gift. Hold it tight and cherish it.
So far I’ve been graced with the absence of bad reviews. I’m sure it will come. It comes to every author. And I’ll take it as it’s given.
How has your creation process improved over time?
I’ve gained a critical eye. It has made the process better with each work.
As for creation of a new work, the next book’s characters begin to emerge, whispering their story as I near the end of the current book. It makes me yearn to know them. To hear them. It sounds crazy, but it works for me.
What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
The fear is the worst. What if I suck? What if this book doesn’t live up to my reader’s expectations?
The best and most surprising part is reading the five-star reviews, hearing praise directly from my readers, and having my book commended by writer’s magazines.
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
My aim is to tell the best story in whatever time it takes. It gives me personal satisfaction. But more importantly, I treasure the gift of time my readers give. It’s priceless. I won’t let them down. They deserve a well-written book with a satisfying end. I strive for that every time I sit at my desk.
What role do emotions play in creativity?
In a psychological thriller, emotions are everything. If I find I’m weeping over a passage, I want my reader to feel the tears rolling down my cheeks. If a section warms my heart, I hope my reader smiles.
Do you have any creativity tricks?
I ponder. I carry a notebook everywhere. Have one on the nightstand. Ideas come, and I write them down. I work every day. Ideas are easy. The conveying of a compelling story is not. The greatest trick I’ve found is to sit at my desk and just do it.
What are your plans for future books?
Six more to come in The Devil’s Rules Series
Each of the novels in The Devil’s Rules series is a standalone book that may be read in any order you wish.
They’re bound together by the Devil’s game, where the rules to win are to endure each of the seven deadly sins.
Each novel in the series will lay bare the cost of a deadly sin.
What’s coming next?
The Grudge: When the prey becomes the predator.
The Grudge exposes ENVY.
It’s 1978. In a Victorian mansion, sixty miles west of Chicago, police find a suicide note and two dead. Nothing is removed, except the bodies. The house is sealed tight, like a coffin locking the remains of their domestic violence inside.
Eighteen years have passed, and now Clarissa, the daughter, and only heir to over 9,000 acres of emerald-green fields, returns to the mansion where her father and stepmother died. Her gift of “seeing” begins to focus. Her mind’s eye watches her father being slaughtered and mother’s face explode as it’s blown across the room by the hollow-point bullets. Who was holding the gun?
Clarissa understands now it wasn’t murder-suicide. It was a cruel, well-planned homicide, and the murderer is certain to be someone close. She has to find the killer before they realize she knows the truth. Forcing her mind’s eye to produce the one thing the murderer wants, the prey becomes the predator.
After years of deceit and murder, the truth comes crashing in on them all.
The Craving: A Blood Harvest – Organs for sale, coming 2021, opens the world of the Gypsy Bandits, a law enforcement motorcycle club. No girls allowed. Only men. Policemen, or Veterans of Foreign Wars. No exceptions.
These like-minded men ride together for charity and brotherhood. Their women, the wives and girlfriends, ride holding onto their man. Though some ride their own bikes. All of the women are members of The Wind Gypsies, the lady’s club. The men of the Gypsy Bandits are intimidating, but it’s the Wind Gypsies that are fueled by GREED.
Yes, there’s more…,
The Madness – Wrath
The Insatiable – Gluttony
The Waste – Sloth
The Nemesis – Pride