When I first moved to Monroe, Louisiana, I was captivated by the exotic beauty of the place. I had come from New England through Arkansas and was immediately drawn to the Southern literature that surrounded me. I wanted to capture this feeling in my writing, so I began to take notes on the city's flora and fauna, its language, and its unique gastronomic and folkloric customs. One evening while watching the news, I heard about a local man who had kidnapped his son from school and fled the area.
This sparked my imagination and I started to think about why he would do such a thing and where he would go. It then occurred to me that he had two children but only took one - why? This was the beginning of my story and I decided to use the Fontana family as my protagonists. The name comes from a road south of Monroe. I soon discovered that Monroe is home to two master's degree programs in Fine Arts, one of the best independent bookstores in the country - Books& Books - and the largest book fair in the United States.
It was here that I met Jill, who told me that I was the last person to whom a storybook would likely be published as the first book. This inspired me to write a book about how beginning writers can overcome their fears and anxieties, doubts and misgivings, by following a plan that I have outlined. My plan is aimed at helping writers put their ideas down on paper without too much worry or stress. I prefer to write at home in my office, which is a converted solarium.
Here I have all my reference books within reach and am only a few feet away from the kitchen for coffee breaks. My cats often join me on my desk, so I have to gently move them aside so that I can write!.