"Well, writing was what I wanted to do, it was always what I wanted to do. I had novels to write so I wrote them." -- Octavia E. Butler
Wondering about the inspiration for my murder mystery series? (South Side Chicago relatives are involved!) Or how I got into writing in the first place? This new interview in IndieReader supplies the answers to these questions and more. Enjoy!
I've been enchanted with books from my earliest days; one of my first memories is of sitting on the floor in the golden motes of dust flying around the booklined porch my father used as his office. Second grade found me crafting a pastiche on the great Walter Farley novel,"The Black Stallion." I sold that story, with original cover painting, for .02 cents at our school's spring book fair.
My writing took a turn from animal lore when I discovered Sherlock Holmes in seventh grade. Agatha Christie, Langston Hughes, Margery Allingham, P.D.James, Walter Mosely, Ralph Ellison,so many fine practitioners of detective and other fiction influenced me over the years. Perhaps the biggest single influence, however, was my long-standing love affair with newspapers. I worked for professional papers in the rough-and-tumble news town of Chicago since my late teen years.
Pursuing a doctorate in African history and a career in the United States Foreign Service reinforced my interest in people, places, and writing. Though the settings were not quite so exotic as West Africa, my subsequent career as a university administrator took me to Texas, New Jersey, and right around the world recruiting international students and promoting study abroad programs. I jumped into the world of fiction writing through the stimulating and fun adventure of fan fiction. To date, I've published over sixty fan fiction stories since 2012, under the pen name Blacktop.
My wonderful husband, who's traveled this journey with me, has been a source of insight and common sense for decades. And our twin sons --smart, sensitive, and fun --are the inspiration for everything I do.