1. What were you in life before you became a writer?
When I was in the second grade I asked Santa for a filing cabinet for Christmas. Not a huge filing cabinet-- two drawer suited my needs perfectly. You see I needed a place to store my stories, sketches, and the sort. That was all I wanted. If I recall correctly, my letter was printed was neatly as thick school pencil would allow. I even sketch a rather crooked filing cabinet in case Santa wasn’t wearing his glasses. I repeated my preference to my mother, often. Since my father a career naval officer and deployed on a submarine, we always prayed he’d be home for Christmas.
Well, my father arrived home a few days before Christmas Eve. So, I knew we were Blessed. But children love the magic and excitement of Christmas. And when Christmas morning arrived and I tip-toed around the edges of decorated Scot’s Pine Christmas tree the only box with my name on it (aside from the customary box of P.J.s, Christmas stocking, and trinkets) was a not-a-very-large brightly wrapped box.
A little bit of confusion assaulted me. Where was my real gift from Santa?
One of my parents handed me the box. I can’t recall which one, because my mind was trying to unravel what was going on. Everyone was waiting. And my sister, a toddler, was helping me by tearing a corner of the paper with her sticky fingers and my mother as helping me lift the lid off the white box.
Suddenly, I was staring into the box. A doll? Santa brought me a doll. Why? Being the eldest of five children, (well, three children that Christmas), a toy that cried, wet a diaper, and demanded to be fed was not on my sonar. What was I going to do this doll? Where was my file cabinet?
I was encouraged to play with my ‘gift’ during the remainder of my Christmas vacation.
To be honest, I didn’t carry the doll around. I held her by one foot, dragging her head along in the dirt when I was instructed to go outside and play. There photos of me I holding neglected doll in my arms.
My father must have instructed my mother not to reprimand me. He knew I wasn’t a ribbons and baby-doll type of girl.
I don’t recall what happed to the doll. I never did get a filing cabinet. I did receive a diary and scents pens on my birthday. My mother’s Nancy Drew books were shipped from Chicago by my grandmother. And my father brought a home a small portable typewriter when he returned from sea duty the following Christmas.
As to the second part of the question, I believe my entire life influenced my writing. Since I have always been aware of my surroundings, peoples’ reactions, and being an ‘outsider/ always the new kid’ I attended 9 schools by the 3rd grade; 18 by my Sophomore year of high school, I was adaptable.
Are you genre specific or general?
I began writing for the children’s magazine market—fiction and nonfiction. I still write YA/Teen fiction and education material.
I wrote my first YA novel and contemporary romance at the same time and both were published within a year of each other.
I have benefited from both a rural and suburban life. My father’s people are from Texas; my mother’s family from Chicago, Ill. with roots in Prague and Bohemia. Currently, I reside in southern California but I have lived in San Francisco, La Jolla, Charleston, Orlando, a small town in the panhandle of Texas, and Williamsburg.
I write romance: contemporary, historical, suspense, humor, fantasy, time-travel and sweet YA/tween romance.
Western/Cowboy/Native American heroes are featured in many of my novels because I am familiar with these settings and cultures.
3. My latest releases(s):
Tanayia—Whisper upon the Water
Tanayia—Un Mumullo Sobre el Agua (Spanish translation)
4. What am I working on now?
Gumbo Ya Ya—an anthology for women who like romance Cajun
Bell, Book, & Gargoyle, Book 2 of my Sassy & Fun Fantasy Series
Cochise, Book 3, Rodeo Romance Series.
5. Where can you find me?
My publisher is BWL Publishing, Inc.
My website: www.novelsbyconnievines.com
From my website there are links to my: Web Blog, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and guest blog appearances. You are also able to view my book trailers.
Thank you, Janet for having me as your guest blogger today. I’ll be back again tomorrow, too!