Today I have a fellow Rebel Ink author visiting to share about her latest release. Welcome Aretha! Thank you for stopping by!
Tell us about yourself:
- Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia,
Canada, I am the youngest child out of six and come from a very close-knit family. By day I work as a Training & Development Specialist at the largest university in
Nova Scotia. When I’m not busy writing, I’m usually working out or cooking up healthy,
What television sitcom is most like your family? Why?
- Good Times…’cause when my family gets
together, there’s a lot of talking and a lot of good times!
What’s your favorite thing to do to relax?
- Curling up with a good book and a good treat.
Do you prefer…
Public speaking or public singing?
- I’m actually very comfortable with both. I grew up singing in church, weddings etc., and singing runs in my family so I’m very comfortable with that. As far as public speaking goes, I work as a training specialist by day, so I am totally comfortable with that also.
Writing in a notebook or typing on the computer?
- A combination of both. As much as I love writing using the computer, I still
like to write lists, ideas etc., down in a notebook. When I’m on the run and
ideas come to me, I usually write them in a notebook and then transfer them to a computer file later on. So I would say both work well for me.
Coke or Pepsi?
- Well as a health nut, you’d be hard-pressed to get me to go near the stuff, but very, very and I mean VERY rarely, I get goaded into drinking soft drinks,
whether it be at a social gathering etc., and I always go for Coke. Pepsi leaves
a squeaky feeling on my teeth and I can’t stand that. EEK!
Living without your cell phone or living without your computer?
- That’s a hard one, but if I had to choose one to be without it would be the cell phone. As a writer, I need my computer. Besides, when it comes to keeping in touch with others, the computer is just as valuable a tool for connecting with others as the cell phone. I could still email, use Facebook to talk to others,
while at the same time, still be able to write. And if push came to shove, I’m
sure I could use a payphone to speak on the phone. So I could live without my
cell phone if I had to.
Now about you as an author…
Did you always want to be an author?
- For as far back as I can remember, writing as been a part of my life. I remember wanting to be a published author when I was as young as nine years old. My love of writing comes from my admiration toward all the authors whose stories I have read and loved over the years. I loved the ability they had to create characters and great stories and wanted that same power, so I began writing.
What authors had an impact on you growing up and as an adult?
- My favorite childhood authors include Judy Blume, Beverley Cleary, Paula Zindel, and S.E. Hinton. Some of my absolute favorites as an adult include Barbara Delinsky, Danielle Steel, Maeve Binchy, Belva Plain, Rochelle Alhers and Connie Briscoe
Did anyone in your life influence you or encouraged you to be a writer? (teacher,
family member, friend)
- My grade six teacher—Miss Campbell--was instrumental in helping me believe in my writing abilities. She continuously praised my efforts and encouraged me to keep at it.
What is your favorite aspect or writing? Your least favorite?
- My favorite aspect of writing is the creative aspect. Coming up with my
characters, dreaming up plotlines, premises, scenarios, conflicts, drama etc. I
get a real satisfaction out of seeing my stories come together.
_ My least favorite aspect of writing would be the editing process. Editing is one of those necessary evils, that if I’m not careful, I get too caught up in it,
and don’t know when to stop editing. I end up getting side-tracked during the
process. This eats into valuable writing time.
What aspect of writing would you most like to improve on?
- As authors we all aspire to be the best writers and storytellers we can be, but
I’d also like to start writing more efficiently. I’d like to try sticking to a
more structured schedule. Working a regular day job, it’s not always easy to go
home at night and do a lot of writing too, but as a writer and author it has
become more and more necessary for me. I’d like to master the art of completing my stories faster than I have in the past, while still maintaining the integrity of the story at the same time. In other words, write better stories,
Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?
- I don’t really have any “must haves” to assist me with my writing, i.e., no
feather boas around my neck, no lucky charms etc., but I do like to keep my
outline handy at all times. As the map of my story, the outline keeps me
Do you have a common theme or item that appears in each of your books?
- Since I mostly write romance, the idea of finding love is very common. But one of the resounding themes aside from that is that my stories tend to focus on women finding power within themselves to overcome the obstacles in front of them and finding balance and harmony in order to live their lives to the fullest.
What have you learned the most from being in the writing business?
- I have learned that my work as a writer is never done. There are always stories to tell and I’ve learned that the only way to get those stories written is to write, write, write!
What’s been your experience with the publishing business?
- So far, my experience in the publishing business has been positive. The writing / publishing community appears to be very close-knit. I have found a wealth of information from others who are more experienced in the business which has proved invaluable to me.
Tell us about your latest release: My upcoming release is Hearts of Time,
is set for an April 17th release.
-When I began the story I wanted to write a story that featured ethnic characters, showing them in a positive light as very educated, career-oriented individuals with a mindset that sky is the limit. I also wanted to show that regardless of ones past challenges and struggles, when two people come together with a willingness to take a chance on love, they can achieve fulfillment and happiness in life.
Isn’t it funny when the thing you want the least becomes the thing you want the most?
Olivia Putnam is a fiercely independent, twenty-nine year old career woman. Having survived her mother’s untimely death eight years ago, she’s managed to raise her younger sister all on her own along with fulfilling her dream of becoming successful corporate attorney. She has lots of money, designer clothes, and the other luxuries of life. The man in her life, Theo Griffin, wants her for a lifetime and would gladly marry her on the spot, but two things stand in the way: Olivia’s reservations about commitment and her obsessive work habits. She’s torn between finding time for her relationship and devoting time to growing her career. But when she meets successful realtor, thirty-one year old Alistair Davenport, at her best friend’s wedding, her ideas about love and commitment are about to change. Although falling in love is the last thing on both their minds, Alistair’s chance business proposal to Olivia proves to be the catalyst that ignites their passion for each other…
How did you choose your characters names and location for your story?
-My character’s names hold no special significance other than when I began my story, the names I gave them are the names that popped in my head first and just seemed to fit them. My hero’s mother is a soap opera fanatic, so it just stood to reason that she’d name all three of her kid’s luxurious sounding names after some of her favorite soap opera characters over the years.
Do you have a favorite scene? Why?
-I have plenty of favorite scenes in Hearts of Time, but one of my favorites in particular is the first official date of the hero and heroine where the emotional walls begin to crumble and suddenly the idea of letting someone new in becomes more interesting—especially to the reluctant heroine.
Do you have a character that you identify with? Who and why?
-I wrote each character with personality traits and flaws that I myself can
identify with. Since real human beings are three-dimensional, I wanted to show that even people with the best intentions get waylaid at times due to things like emotional baggage, past regrets and other hang-ups that prevent them moving past them. But the best part is the epiphany, and realizing something about yourself that either helps you get over the hang-up in order to see your way clearly to make room for true happiness and success.
Thank you for stopping by and visiting with us today. Let our readers know how they can get a hold of you…
-I look forward to connecting with my readers. I can be contacted via any of the following:
Gator Girl Extraordinaire