Monday, April 23, 2012



The story behind the story

My Church is doing the “ONE MONTH TO LIVE” series and it’s really making people think.  But, I already know what I would do, because I already did it.  You see, I was diagnosed with cancer just before I published my book.  I have to say that I was more determined to see it published than ever during those dark days.

I not only wanted to make my life-dream a reality, since I had written the original story during my junior year of High School (1979).  But, I also wanted to leave behind a means for my grandchildren to know my heart if I wasn’t around to show them myself.

I never cared for bullies of any sort and written within the pages of my book you will see my main character Lana struggling with her differences and empowered when she discovers who she really is and the purpose for her life.  She has the opportunity to meet others that are different from her and she learns to love them as herself.  She also learns to care for the environment, especially the ocean where she eventually comes to live.

I taught my daughters to respect themselves and our planet and to respect and be kind to others also.  I believe that they lived that out well as they were growing up and becoming women themselves.  I am confident they will continue to teach my grandchildren to do the same, but I also wanted to leave behind a lesson or two of my own.

Now that I’m living cancer-free, I’m enjoying the adventure of Princess Lana and Prince Titus all over again as I write the sequel.  There are more lessons to be learned and more characters to join in the journey, as they travel to Safe Harbor Island and to the South Pacific.  My plans are to have it completed by November (2012).  I hope you’ll join in the fun!  ; )


1         What was the inspiration for your book?
          There were many things; I think I’ve always been a people lover.  My parents taught my brother and me to love and respect everyone.  Even though I grew up knowing people with physical challenges/special needs, I realized at an early age that they might not be having the same experience in life I was because of their differences.  I saw other people who treated them cruelly.  I know that’s when my character Lana was born in my heart.
Later, between my sophomore and junior year of High School, I had the opportunity to be chosen to attend a Yearbook conference at the University of Hawaii.  That’s when my love for the Hawaiian Islands, her people, and the ocean birthed my mermaid story.  I would begin to write it that next year in my creative writing class.
2         What is your favorite scene from your book and why?
Oh my goodness, there are so many!  I’ve always liked the third chapter (The Mer) when Lana finds out the truth about herself; she puts her fingers to the stinging sides of her neck and feels the tiny open slits of her gills and says, “Okay, if this is real then I really must be part fish!”
3         What works in progress do you have?
          I’m currently writing the sequel (LEGEND OF THE MER II ~ The New Guardian).  The first book was written more from a teen girl’s perspective, so I decided to make the second from a teen guy’s.  He’s Lana’s half brother Jedediah.  I do also continue the story of Princess Lana and Prince Titus and the struggles they face in the mer Kingdom.
          Someday I plan to write an elven love story which is a combination of two stories I had written.  On my Pinterest, you will see several elves, fairies, etc. helping me to keep my muse at bay!  Lol!
          I also have a King, Queen, Knights, etc. story that I pretty much dreamed during the dark days before being diagnosed with cancer.  I guess it was my minds way of coping with the debilitating pain I was going through.  At least I could escape it through my dreams.  I even have a complete map of the castles/lands within my story that I drew in ink.
4         Which characters in your book do you like the most?
          Of course I like Lana; she’s comprised of me and my daughters.  I also like the wisdom of King Titan; there’s a bit of my grandmother in him.  Prince Titus is ever valiant and strong; which are some of my husband’s characteristics, but also some of my brother’s as well.  Prince Makoa is the comedian of the mer and he’s from the Native American descents that first married into the mer long ago.  He’s also a pretty tough guy.
5         Who is your favorite author and why?
          I would have to say J.R.R. Tolkien; a close second is C. S. Lewis.  I had read the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy at the age of 9.  There-in began the creation of my own fantasy worlds.  Elves were my first love (my husband knows this) and I can see some of that inspiration in my mer.
6         What is your favorite movie ~ the one you can watch over and over again?
          Not a hard one to figure, definitely the Lord of the Rings trilogy and cannot wait for the Hobbit to be released.  I know they’re not entirely as Tolkien had written the story in the books, but at least we get a taste of his genius and enjoy a rather lavish get-a-way.
7         What do you hope readers will take with them from your writing?
          Just like Lana, I hope they’ll enjoy a wonderful adventure that takes them from Safe Harbor Island, NC to Kaloki Island in the South Pacific.  I love to encourage and make people smile.  I hope they’ll have a deeper appreciation of other people, no matter their differences and also the ocean as they experience life under the sea!  ; )

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