what is your name?
how would you describe what you do?
My latest novel is an urban fantasy.
what are you currently working on?
I just finished a novel titled THE FIREFIGHTER’S DOG:
For Dr Tiffany Deweese, anything that can’t be transcended with Buddhist philosophy can be stomped out by Southern grit. The fact that some of her patients have been dead for years doesn’t faze her; she can treat post-traumatic stress post-mortem. While investigating a haunted brownstone house with a murderous past, she discovers an evil entity that’s more than she can handle. On the advice of her spiritual mentor, she rescues a dog from a pound. His owner died fighting a forest fire and the scarred, ugly mutt is about to be put down. She calls him Samurai because he has a ‘fighting spirit’. With Samurai at heel, Dr Deweese sets out to stop the Eater of Souls before it consumes the city. To do that, she needs to de-spook a haunted hotel, help the police break a criminal syndicate and fend off a demonic invasion of rats.
what has had the greatest influence on your work?
I was 12 when I read Lord of the Rings. That was the experience that made me realize I wanted to be a writer. However, my mother taught English for 30 years in the local high schools; my father was a fabulous storyteller who could hold a group spell-bound. Literature lived in their house–it wasn’t a dead thing in books.
what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?
I think the notion that fantasy is something apart. Buddhist philosophy recognizes that there is a seen and an unseen nature to reality and fantasy offers a way to show both these levels in the same frame. The best works of fantasy comment, often scathingly, on reality. Terry Pratchett is a great example of that.
what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?
A writer is dependent on the reader to provide the “movie” for the narrative. If I can’t get the readers on my side, then I’ve lost them. It’s up to me to tell the best story I can.
how has technology impacted upon the work you do?
I love computers and spellcheck!
what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?
Learn something new every day. It keeps you growing.
where can we find you online?
Currently, I’m on Facebook. I post reviews on Amazon under my college nickname Miz Ellen. Some of my old musical and storytelling collaborations with Ken Clinger and Bovine Productions might still be out in cyberspace somewhere. We lost a lot of our joint material when AOL closed Ken’s Bovine Productions website.
what are you reading at the moment?
LADIES OF LIBERTY, by Cokie Roberts, about women in American history
just finished CHANGES by Jim Butcher and posted a review on Amazon.
A Gothic gender-bender of a novel called MISFORTUNE.
what are you listening to at the moment?
Just discovered one of the most authentic voices to come out of Kentucky, a singer/song writer named Lyn Hacker. A rough rich voice singing original poetry of exile, hard times and celebrating nature. I’m biased, of course. I live in economic exile from my hometown in Kentucky and Lyn and I used to hang out together as kids. I had no idea she had such talent. Her folks are from Eastern Kentucky and she’s knocked around on the racing circuit. If you can, check out GIRL WHO LOVES HORSES. Lyn’s singing about herself, but I feel she speaks for me better than anyone could.
anything else we should know?
Like the heroine of my novel, I adopted a dog from the local humane society. My dog is not as cool as her dog, however.
Are you crazy asking me something like that? I write f-i-c-t-i-o-n. I love telling s-t-o-r-i-e-s. A question like that is just asking to be lied to. Sadly, lying is against my religion. Dang religion. Christians can just have faith; to be Buddhist you have to practice. I need lots more practice…