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Will you write more books with these characters?
I would like to write at least three more after this first one. I’m writing the second book now, and I plan to have the first draft finished soon. The third and fourth books are only shadows in my mind, but they will show themselves soon.

Where do you get your ideas?
This is the question I am asked most, and it is the most difficult question to answer. My imagination is the proper answer, but to explain how my imagination works is not easy. Ideas can come from my own life experiences or people or places I know. Usually, I start with a common thing such as a frog. Then I ask myself, “what if the frog could fly?” or some other “what if” question. This is creative thinking, which is the beginning of any story.

When did you first want to be a writer?
I was in college when I decided I wanted to be a writer, but I’ve always made stories up in my mind. I used to get in trouble in school all the time for “daydreaming!”

Have you ever written anything else?
Yes, although this is the largest thing I’ve ever written. I enjoy writing poetry and short stories. I’ve had a short story about a drummer playing for Elvis published in a college literary magazine. It is more for an adult audience though.

What made you decide to write about the Appalachian Mountain area?
I lived in the Smoky Mountains for some years of my childhood. It has always felt like home for me.

How long does it take to write a book?
It took me about a year to write the first draft of Dragon Child. Then it has taken about six months to edit it. I’m hoping now that I have “built” the fairy world in my mind I’ll be able to write later books faster.

Did you ever want to be anything other than a writer?
I wanted to be a spy when I was a child! When I was a little girl the Cold War was still raging between the US and the Soviet Union. I wanted to be a cryptologist and decipher secret codes for the CIA! When the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, I didn’t think I would have much of a chance being a spy without anyone to spy on. After that I went for many years not knowing what I wanted to do, until finally I settled on writing.

What books did you read when you were younger?
I loved Nancy Drew, but I read a lot of classics also like Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web, and tons of adult novels, which I cannot remember the names. I remember I loved Edgar Alan Poe’s short stories, and I read anything about Sherlock Holmes. I still love Sherlock Holmes!

Why do you write fantasy, rather than realistic fiction?
This is a simple question. For me it is more fun to imagine a world filled with fairies, gnomes, elves and dragons! I haven’t met any of these magical creatures yet, but I’m still looking!

How can I be a writer?
*First READ. Read as many books as you can. Never stop reading.
*Pretend, play, and use your imagination. This is the source of your stories.
*Then practice writing a bit. You don’t have to write long stories. Start small and work your way up.
*Learn grammar. Learn how the words fit together to form thoughts.
*Write, write, write. You must practice writing just as you would practice playing piano if you wanted to be a concert pianist.
*It is hard work, but it is fun! The reward is you get to live in your own world, a world you create in your mind. You can put whatever you want in that world, flying horses, fairies, warriors, or pirates. Just have fun.