I recently did an interview with a publication called Author Voices. Had a lot of fun doing this. Here’s the first part if you’d like to read it.
Where are you from originally and where do you reside now?
I’m originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I currently live about an hour northeast of San Diego. I’ve been living in southern California for 20+ years now but I still think of myself as an Easterner.
If you currently reside somewhere besides where you were born, what’s the story that led from there to here?
In 1995, about a year and a half after college, I was between jobs, hadn’t quite figured out what I was going to do with my life yet, and was looking for a little adventure. A good friend and old roommate of mine had moved to San Diego a year before and she was loving it. So I told a few other friends I was thinking of moving there too, just for a year or two, and the next thing I knew, we had all decided to throw caution to the wind and try out the West Coast for a while. You’re only young once, right? After several years, I met my husband, a native Californian with a big family nearby, and the rest is history.
What made you decide to write and publish your first book?
I’ve loved reading and writing all my life, and I was always thinking up stories as a child. I earned my B.A. in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh and probably should’ve gone on to work in the field immediately. But unfortunately, my story is more about taking a lot of wrong turns in order to get to the right place (*grins). My B.A. focused on journalism rather than fiction, and later, I pursued a career in Graphic Design, having gone back to school after moving to San Diego, for a certificate in the field. Starting about the time the internet was making its way into our everyday lives, in 1998, I started learning to design web sites, (hardly anyone was doing this back then) and I went on to design web sites for various entities for about a decade. During that time, my husband and I married, and eventually, I decided to stay home to raise our two children.
Years later, once they were both off to elementary school, I picked up the pen (*keyboard), and started writing again. Like many young families, we visited the library a lot. Reading all of these children’s books inspired me to start writing my own stories again. Soon, I’d written one for my kids about our mischievous new German shepherd. It started as a picture book, but ultimately, I turned it into a novel so it would appeal to my youngest, who was already in first grade, and I published it myself. And like many self-publishers will attest to, once I put out the first book, I was hooked on the process, the freedom, the chance to express myself, and the creative outlet I’d enjoyed all my life. It didn’t take long before I decided to create a series based on the characters, and eventually, made plans to keep it going for many more books.
I can’t tell this story without adding that my older sister, Gaelen Foley, is a NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author of historical romance and played an important role in suggesting I turn the picture book into a novel. She was traditionally published for a couple of decades and has been hybrid for quite some time now, and also writes middle grade with her husband under the pen name, E.G. Foley. Both she and my brother-in-law have been not only a huge inspiration for me but tremendously helpful in learning how to self-publish.
If you’d like to read the rest of it, here’s the link: