Archive for July 12th, 2007


Welcome to The Dark Phantom Review! It’s nice to have you here.
Thanks for inviting me.

Why don’t you start by telling us a bit about your book, and what inspired you to write such a story? This book is an outgrowth of another book I have had published, called Once a Brat. When I joined my army officer father in Seoul, Korea, more specifically a military compound named Camp Sobingo, we were faced with isolation and primitive living conditions. My mother, as well as three other women she had met on the ship going over to Korea, met the challenges head on, but one woman could not cope and chose to end her life there. I had often wondered what forces would drive a successful, beautiful, adored-by-her-husband woman to kill herself. It was those unanswered questions that led me to the creation of this book: The Women of Camp Sobingo.


How would you describe your creative process while writing this novel? Was it stream-of-consciousness writing, or did you first write an outline?
I think outlines should be outlawed. They disrupt the creative flow. Since nearly all writers have the capability of cut and paste on their word processing programs, no matter what you write, out –of-place, out of synch, it can all be rearranged later. I first knew I had to have a central character, and I created a background for her. Then the “victim’s” background came into play; Maggie and Nell were the two other characters who were composites of women I had known.

How long did it take you to write it?

I work on my novels in fits and starts. Once I got the first draft completed, it took a few months to pull it all together and sent off. I took almost 20 years with my first novel, since I was a housewife, then a divorcee, then a member of the Corporate America world, and finally got up enough nerve to send Sabbath’s Room off to a publisher.

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? What seems to work for unleashing your creativity?
I don’t know that it’s writer’s block for me, more than it’s a case of “I don’t wanna” buckle down and finish that chapter today. I tend to indulge my inner child, but not for very long. And when I get a new plot twist coming to me from way out in left field, I can’t wait to put it on paper.

How was your experience in looking for a publisher? What words of advice would you offer those novice authors who are in search of one?

Well, I offered my editing expertise to a member of a military brats group I belong to. He had written a fictionalized book about his experiences as an army brat, and when I sent it back to him, corrected and all, he submitted it to PublishAmerica and it was accepted. So I sent Sabbath’s Room to PA, and then the next two books went their way, too. (Once a Brat and Diagnosis: Lupus) I was struck dumb by their refusal to take The Women of Camp Sobingo, and when I asked why, they told me I had not marketed my other three books enough to make publishing another book profitable for them. And that was true. I didn’t know the first thing about marketing, but I’m learning, now. I adopted the attitude, “Well, they’ll be sorry they didn’t take this novel.”
As for advice, I’d say, take a chance. What’s the worst that could happen? At least I have three of my books in print, and they will remain available forever, since they’re POD. NY publishing houses rarely keep their author’s best sellers in print very long.
As for promotion, I did a few book signings and book fairs; one of the book signings was at my high school class reunion, where I thought my army brat book would sell like hotcakes, but I was surprised to see that my book about lupus sold the most. Maybe because of our ages – graduates from the Lawton High School Class of 1956 must be feeling very health conscious by now!

What type of book promotion seems to work the best for you?

I am pretty relaxed on television interviews, and you can’t beat radio for convenience. I am scheduled to do another book fair in October, which I enjoy, even though they usually aren’t very profitable. I can learn what other writers are doing, too.
I love writing novels. I have several works in progress. I got the brat book and the lupus book out of my system, so now I can concentrate on fiction.

What is your favorite book of all time? Why?

The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck. I read it until the book was tattered, then handed it off to my daughter. Its beginning really hit me right between the eyes: “Life is difficult.” Hmmm. Nobody had ever said that to me before. I thought I had to have every little thing my heart desired, and if I didn’t, then I was an utter failure and the world sucked. That book disabused me of those thoughts.

Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your work?

I have several blogs: For my books, I have:

For Rants and Commentary:


And my writers blog:

Do you have another novel on the works? Would you like to tell readers about your current or future projects.

I have several novels in the works. Coming up soon is a sequel to Sabbath’s Room, titled Sabbath’s House: another murder mystery, paranormal adventure set in the Texas Hill Country; Forces of Nature, about a crowded shopping mall that is hit by a savage tornado that flings a military cargo jet into the midst of the first year’s celebrations; a murder mystery solved by four women who meet regularly for bridge in an upscale condo community; Fireflies in a Jar, about the lives of small-town girls in the 50s and how their upbringing influenced their futures; and a gathering of humor/human interest columns I wrote for ten years for a weekly suburban newspaper, called My Ashes of Dead Lovers Garage Sale and Other Stories.
The one I’m most hesitant about is The Unexplored Heart; I’ve envisioned it as a historical romance, but I’m gathering information about possibly doing it as a time travel novel.

Thanks for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here!

Thank you for the opportunity. It’s been fun!

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