Do Life Right, Inc.
specializing in homeschoolers of today.
What inspired you to write your books?
My children! When my oldest daughter was seven (she’s now 14.5), she was very frustrated with all the chapter books and short novels she’d been reading. They were school-centric and featured characters who were mean to each other and who had parents who were either absent or dead. As a homeschooler, she wasn’t able to relate to those types of characters. Since I was already a writer (and had several novels under my belt) I was inspired to write my daughter’s ultimate dream series. After months of long conversations with her, my younger daughter, and my husband, the Wright on Time series was born.
What is the series about?
The Wright on Time series are children’s chapter books geared toward children ages 5-12 and their parents. With a mysterious and sci-fi overall story arc (throughout the 50-book series), the family is in a different state for each book and learns about a new topic. The children, Aidan and Nadia, start out the series as 7 and 11 year olds. Each book makes them one month older. The first book, set in Arizona, finds the family exploring a salted cave. The second book, set in Utah, finds the family on a real-life Allosaurus dinosaur dig. The third book, set in Wyoming, has the family exploring various types of alternate energies. The fourth book, set in South Dakota, has the family at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and exploring how newspapers are printed.
Was there anything you struggled with?
All of the Wright on Time characters have been natural and easy for me to write. I can’t say the same for my adult novels; some of them I am still struggling with! The Wright family is similar to my own family in many ways and we all talk about them as if they were real people, so it’s easy for me to instinctively understand their reactions to the situations they get into.
How many unpublished books do you have lurking under your bed?
None under my physical bed, but… I have about a dozen novel length works written which aren’t published. Most are women’s fiction, mostly speculative fiction. I also have several more Wright on Time books that aren’t published yet, but they definitely will be! 🙂 My head is full of ideas for many more books.
How did you find your publisher? How do they treat you? Would you recommend them?
Since I own my publishing company, Do Life Right, Inc., I think it is fantastic and I highly recommend them! We specialize in books about realistic homeschoolers of today. We offer our books in print, e-formats, and are about to branch into audio and foreign translations. We give our authors a higher percentage than most publishing companies and we work hard to match each book with the right editors and illustrators for that particular project.
What’s the best/worst part of being a writer?
Goodness! I love everything about being an author. I love the ideas and sharing them with others. I love talking with fans and other authors. I love it all!
What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
I do my best work late at night when the house is really quiet. I also enjoy brainstorming with my family while on long walks, swimming together, or on long trips (which we go on several times a year).
Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer
It depends. I usually get a spark of a new story idea when I’m either driving, on a long walk, dreaming (day or night), or otherwise out and about. When that happens, I try to find a bit of paper to write down the spark, but I always flesh it all out on my computer. I keep a small notebook with me in my purse just for such instances. I can type significantly faster than I can write by hand, so I definitely prefer typing.
What/who do you draw inspiration from?
Everything! I consider everything in life to be a source of inspiration, but I particularly appreciate the insights that my kid-friends give me.
Kids have a unique way of looking at the world that many adults have become skeptical of.
Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?
Only when I have a deadline. Since I write a lot of non-fiction articles, I’m often on deadlines for those. I also have deadlines for the writing that I edit, too, so I try not to limit my own fiction writing.
What are you working on now that you can talk about?
WRIGHT ON TIME: SOUTH DAKOTA, BOOK 4 is in its last stages of being edited.
We’re also in the process of starting WRIGHT ON TIME: MINNESOTA, BOOK 5’s illustrations and editing process (the manuscript is written). This is a particularly fun stage for me, since the illustrations really bring my characters to life.
I’m even more excited about the other books my publishing company, Do Life Right, Inc. is publishing in 2011. Overseeing the publishing process is extremely rewarding.
How do/did you deal with rejection letters?
I was really excited when I received rejection letters that had actual comments and suggestions. I actually used the information in those to start my publishing company, Do Life Right, Inc. It was with those reasons why I rejected that I was able to secure monies from an angel investor to start my company. Publishers were not interested in publishing manuscripts with homeschoolers as the primary characters, nor did they want manuscripts where parents were actively involved in their children’s lives. I used that information to my advantage and have a ready-made market of the 2.2+ million homeschooling families who live in the United States who aren’t being reached by traditional publishers.
Do you have a critique partner?
I’ve been in a variety of critique groups over the years. I currently have a group of teen readers who read my manuscripts. In addition to them, I have two critique partners that I couldn’t live without. I believe that it is really valuable to have trusted writer friends who give you honest and informative feedback about your writing.