'Hard Hit,' a YA collection of poems, explores the country of grief and survival. Mark, a 16-year-old boy and skilled pitcher, must confront the coming death of his beloved father with the help of his friends, family, baseball, and an idiosyncratic belief in God. I used my own experience of my parents' deaths to inform this journey.
The values transmitted through oral history are many - courage, selflessness, the ability to endure, and to do so with humor and grace. I got those values listening to my dad's stories about the Depression and how their family survived. It gave me courage that I, too, could survive hard times.
I continue to wish that writing were easier, that it would flow out completely perfect with no need for revisions.
I have ideas saved on my computer that I visit from time to time to see if one may shine and motivate me.
Jean Plaidy was the greatest influence on me.
When I first began to have the initial idea for 'Heartsease,' I just wrote a skeleton story; that is, I started her off as this young, bright 16-year-old and then added the events that occurred and where she and other characters fitted in, even writing 3 different endings, as I was not sure where Mary's story would lead to.
One of my favorite activities when I was a teenager was going riding on the back of a horse with a friend of mine. Because we were rather high up, I could see into peoples' lighted windows as we trotted past. Questions would rise up inside: Who lives there? Are they happy? What are they doing? Any dogs or cats in sight?