Frequently asked questions
Yes, Whistlin’ Dixie is my first book in The Tempered Steel series.
How it feels?
Honestly, I cried when I saw it on Amazon for the first time. It still seems surreal to me. I
don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. I mean my work is out there for the world to see and comment on.
That’s a scary thought; but when the readers post a positive review, it’s so rewarding.
Conception was the easy part. My family is from the Grafton, IL area and my husband
and I actually lived in Grafton for awhile. Our daughter went to kindergarten at the Grafton School and
our son was baptized at St. Patrick’s Church. We moved out of the area in March of 1993, and Grafton
began flooding in April of ’93. Watching the devastation on TV and hearing about it from my family was
something I will never forget. I got facts and video from the news and the feelings and frustrations of the
residents from my family members still there. It just coalesced into Whistlin’ Dixie, but it had to be a
romance because I firmly believe in happily ever after. As for the series, well, I just couldn’t tell it all in
one book. The characters made me do it!
Well, I obviously got a lot of rejections! Some publishers didn’t like the humor; but life is
funny! Some didn’t care for an unknown author with a series; others just weren’t interested. So I
contented myself with the fact that even though I couldn’t get published, at least I had written it. It sat
on my closet shelf for years. I would occasionally get it down and read it all – remind myself that I did
this. I raised my kids and when they were standing on their own, they encouraged me as I had
encouraged them; to follow the dream. So, I dusted it off and wrote it again, literally. I had a hard copy
and floppy disks. I had to rewrite it onto an up to date computer! So I made the changes. My daughter
looked into self-publishing and my son took care of all the tech savvy computer stuff that needed to be
done. My husband, God love him, did everything from the dishes to acting out scenes with me so I could
get the male emotions right. Then, I went through the whole editing and cover design process. I was
extremely lucky with that as a friend of a friend knew Kim Killion of HotDamn Designs. They walked me
through all of it. Then I figured out how to use Kindle Digital Publishing and voila! I’m a published author!
Then there’s marketing and that’s a whole other issue.
It's actually my daughter and son-in- law's engagement pic. So yep, that's them. He's tall,
dark and handsome. She's short, sassy and sweet. Just like Mac and Dixie. The symbolism was perfect -
the box she stands on represents the ways to overcome their issues. The old barn in the background,
weathered but still standing. The ''00''; represents a tie, or stalemate, where no one wins. And the entire
cover like a yellowed photo - Tempered in loss, sorrow and pain yet still precious, cherished, timeless.
membership. Emotionally, he feels a deep responsibility to his family and to his community. He will do
everything in his power to keep his loved ones safe and his town thriving. His weaknesses are a match
Well, you might think she’s as sweet as southern tea when you look at her, but she’s got a temper
to rival Mac’s. And she’s no pushover; she helped her elderly grandfather raise her younger brother,
breezed through college in under four years and knows exactly how to bring a man to his knees, if he
gets overly friendly on a short acquaintance. But she’s also lived a very sheltered life so she’s not sure
what to make of Mac’s attempts at seduction.
Tempered Steel future?
Well, I had a rough draft of the entire series finished several years ago. Since
technology’s come a long way, I revamped it and decided to add on the younger brothers as well. Each
book has its own story, but they are woven together through the suspenseful plot. The characters evolve
and change, some for the better, some not so much. The novels will still have humor, but life’s going to
get a lot hotter for the characters before the end. It’s a contemporary romance series that rides the line
between HEA and erotic suspense. And who knows? Maybe it won’t be limited to the Coalson family.
Perhaps some of the minor characters will get their turn in the spotlight. It depends on reader feedback
and my own ideas, I guess.
I turn on music – classical, jazz, pop, or country, and I start thinking about the scene I
want to write. I don’t have a set time or a particular schedule, so I guess I’m a pantser. I don’t count
words, I just write. As far as the writing space, I have a small secretary desk that I use and a rather
uncomfortable old upholstered chair. I keep the chair because the discomfort reminds me to get up and
walk around or I’d be glued to the desk all day. It sits near a big window in my living room so I can see
the activity of my neighborhood. And squirrels. We have lots of squirrels!