Death Clearinghouse won a science fiction award.  Can you tell us a little about that?
A friend advised me to enter the largest sci-fi contest in the world. I hadn’t entered any contest before, so to make a good showing I spent years studying craft books and editing.

Being that the Writers of the Future contest is judged by science fiction greats that I grew up reading, I wanted to give it my best shot. I feel honored to win the coveted Semi-Finalist Award, in the top 16 out of thousands of entries. This encourages me to keep writing.

Any plans to turn the book into a series?
Definitely! I envision many adventures in my mind with the spunky main characters, Geronimo and Bobcat. I admire the Apache spirit, and it tickles me to turn them loose in the afterlife.

What will readers get out of your book?
Great question! In Death Clearinghouse, readers will get a wild romp through the afterlife, led by fearless heroes. After all, we’re all going to face it one day. So I imagine there may be sincere interest.

People tell me my stories are tinged with a surreal quality.

Overall, my focus is giving readers a sensual experience with a satisfying emotional payoff.

What inspired you when writing Death Clearinghouse?
As a natural doctor working in ten countries, I've met many delightful people who inspire me. And in my stories, I strive to remain true to the voice of each culture. In the series "Death Clearinghouse," that's the awe-inspiring Native Americans of the Southwest.

The indomitable attitude of the Apache Indians is enough to inspire anyone. Also, I echo a lot of Bobcat’s sentiments. For example, he disdains the memory-wipe that comes with death. And he wants to make things better for everyone going through this ordeal. However, being a newcomer to his job in the afterlife, he makes some hilarious mistakes.

Also, my Dad’s reaction to the story inspired me to publish it. He told me, “Honey, reading this makes me feel less nervous about dying. Now I know there are regular people up there; they eat, they have jobs.” Obviously, I dedicated the book to him.

When did you decide to become a writer?
I started writing sci-fi stories at 12 years old. So much in love with my discovery of science fiction books! But at that time, I never heard of craft books and neither internet nor amazon existed. So without guidance, that passion slept like a dormant volcano for some decades until it burst forth recently.

When writing Death Clearinghouse did anything stand out as particularly challenging?
I could say everything was challenging in those first years! I had everything to learn about crafting a marketable story, what today’s market wants, how to write a scene that would appeal to all learning styles. I’ve been on a steep learning curve, but the good thing is I like it all. What’s challenging for me now is how to reach readers.

What do you like to do when not writing?
I’ve taken up painting! As an unexpected bonus, I find that painting helps me tune in to more subtle details around me. Like, the yellow and pink colors in clouds, the wavy reflections in water.

That carries over into my writing descriptions, which one of my mentors commented “are to die for.” (small pun)

Where can readers find out more about your work?
a.AMAZON: Follow me on Amazon
b.AMAZON: Download Death Clearinghouse: The Novelette free on Amazon and collect the free raucous bonus story inside (to join my newsletter)
c.WEBSITE: Check out my developing website


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