1. When did you first start writing? What got you into it in the first place?
I’ve been writing little tidbits of stories for many years, mostly stories about my family, usually incidents that brought a great deal of emotion, about getting married, about raising children, the challenges of making a living.
2. What do you like to read?
I like to read about human relationships, about how people relate to one another, especially in situations where life is hard to deal with, where people are presented with difficult life situations. Mostly, I read fiction, modern or historical. One of the best books I have read lately is Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.
3. Talk to me about this book – how long has it been in the works??
A very long time, I am embarrassed to say this book took me 11 years to finish it. Within 7 months, I had the book about 75% finished. Then I retired, we moved and started to travel quite a bit. My whole life changed and my book was dropped. About a year ago, when our pace slowed down a bit, I told my husband that I had to finish my book. So I got to work again and worked quite feverishly for about 5 months to finish it. I am very lucky that the issues the book deals with are still very relevant in today’s society, perhaps even more relevant.
4. When you first started, what made you think this story was worth finishing and seeing it to this step of publishing and into the public?
Initially my story was motivated by a dream that I had, a dream that, unlike most dreams, stayed with me all day. When I was getting ready for work, I thought, “Man of man, I could write a book about this.”
5. How does Dawson Creek and Northern BC and Alberta fit into the story?
I was living and working in Dawson Creek as nurse at the time and I remembered reading that writers should always write about what they know. With this in mind, as my story began to develop, it just made sense that it should start to happen in Dawson Creek. It is a multigenerational family story so I had to create some fictious places for the rest of the family to live. It made sense to draw upon other places that I was familiar with. I grew up in Hythe so I was very familiar with Grande Prairie. I should add that parts of the story take place in Calgary, Kelowna and Vancouver.
6. What is your story about?
Without giving too much away, A Critical Human Error is contemporary mainstream fiction. The story begins with a six year old child abandoned on the doorstep of soon to be retired Andy and Meredith Taylor.
From the devastating dilemma that 6-year-old Sam unknowingly creates for the whole Taylor family to the shocking revelations and events that follow, the story will tear at your heartstrings.
7. Writers pull from their own lives, even writers of fiction. How much is your story as well?
I indicated earlier, writers should write about what they know, as this helps to create authenticity. So, yes, as my story developed, I pulled from many instances and circumstances in my own life that just seemed to fit into the story. Even my character development is sourced from people and personalities I know. Some of my friends will recognize themselves in this book.
8. Talk to me about your average writing day – what do you do?
Oh my goodness, I do not have an average writing day. I would consider myself an undisciplined writer. It is not and has never been my career or livelihood. I write when the spirit moves me.
9. Anything on the go now being worked on?
Yes, this book has certainly stimulated my creative juices. Readers of A Critical Human Error will notice that the story of “Sam Sweetie,” my precious little heroine is not finished. Her mother has left her with quite a legacy to live with as she grows up. So I do have a sequel in the very early development stages.
10. What made you reach out and look to get published?
Given that this is my first novel, I had all sorts of doubts as to its value and the worthiness of my writing. I have reached out to many people in the development stages to read it and tell me what they think. They have given me the encouragement I needed to keep going. When I made the leap to look into publishing, I still felt very unsure of myself. So the first thing I asked for from the publisher was an ‘evaluative edit.’ This is what finally convinced me to move forward with publishing.
11. Does your book have a target audience?
Yes, definitely. A Critical Human Error is for all adults but, in particular, for parents and grandparents.
12. Any final comments?
Yes, thank you for asking. One of the most surprising aspects about publishing this book is that I am getting so much feedback from my readers. I wasn’t expecting this and I am really enjoying what they have to say.
Depending on the Covid 19 saga, I am looking forward to coming to Dawson Creek in June to promote my book!