Why did you start creating mosaics?
I had an acquaintance who made beautiful mosaics and it looked fun. At the time, I also had a friend who needed help with a house remodel, so he taught me to use a wet tile saw. When I got frustrated that snipping tiles was so hard and hurt my hands, I decided to cut them on the tile saw instead. That was SO much easier and gave me larger pieces to work with so I could finish a mosaic piece faster. I loved the idea of being more efficient so much that I fell into cutting my mosaic pieces and fitting them together. Later, a little research revealed that this technique is called, Opus Sectile.
How did you learn?
My friend, David, showed me how to make and smooth out, simple cuts on a wet tile saw. He taught me to carve around a toilet base or shower fixtures, and I extrapolated from there. I started out making simple leaves from tiles. Then tried, slate silhouettes of different animals. And then I progressed to more complicated pieces, pushing the boundaries of what I could do and adding different materials to enrich a piece. I made up my own techniques by trial and error.
Why use a ladybug as your signature?
One can't very easily sign a mosaic. I choose a glass ladybug for my signature because I wanted something small, cute, durable, and relatively unobtrusive. Also, a ladybug symbolizes good luck, prosperity, and it influences one to experience the joys of living life to the fullest.
Where do you get your ideas from?
I often get my ideas from newspaper articles. For example, I read about a young couple where the boy was accused of shaking his baby to death. When it went to trial, the young man was undisputedly acquitted, but I couldn't help but wonder how this tragic experience had irreparably changed them. How could they go on and salvage their marriage? How could their love survive? His son died in his hands; how could he not subconsciously feel like he'd killed the baby? How could they move on to create a happy family with this horrible legacy? Hence, He Belongs To Me was born.
How long does it take to write a book?
It takes me about nine months to research and write the book, and then about six months of revisions to perfect it.
Who are your favorite authors?
Ahh, my favorite authors. Some of my very favorite authors are Jodi Picoult, David Baldacci, Christine Feehan, and Susan Wiggs. I also enjoy, Joan Johnston, Catherine Coulter, Stephen King, Sandra Brown, Dean Koontz, Jude Deveraux, Jayne Ann Krentz, and Teresa Medeiros to name a few.
Do you write every day?
On average, I write about 4 hours a day and then spend another hour or so on the business work. Weekends are almost always reserved for my family.
Who were your early influences?
Through writer's groups and conferences, I've met some of the most talented, generous writers in America. I'm constantly astounded by bestselling authors' willingness to help/advise unpublished writers. Catherine Coulter, Joan Johnston, Jodi Picoult, and Susan Wiggs have to be four of the classiest, kindest, most successful women I've ever had the privilege to meet. They are extremely talented writers and savvy businesswomen. I will always be appreciative of their advice.
"If you want the best the world has to offer, offer the world your best." Oprah