Did you always know you wanted to write?
I think most authors do know from an early age that they want to be a writer. But the honest truth is, I did not. I always excelled at math and science therefore I pursued my strengths. When I got the urge to try my hand at a novel, I was a little nervous to admit my desire. But my best friend reassured me. “Sure,” she said, “you never wrote in a diary or studied English in school, but when everyone wanted the low-down on what happened at a party, they asked you. Because you’ve always been a great storyteller.” It felt like permission.
When and where do you write?
When I first started writing, my kids were still small and at home. I got up early and wrote while everyone was sleeping. Now they’re older and in school which gives me daytime hours to write when I’m not seeing patients. I prefer to write at home. I’m easily distracted so anytime I try to write at a coffee shop, I find myself listening to the music or other people’s conversations. I prefer quiet and my desk where I can spread things out. I write first drafts by hand. My brain works better looking at paper instead of a computer screen.
What is your writing process?
I am definitely a plotter. After I let an idea marinate, I create extensive outlines. I simply cannot start a story if I don’t know how it will end. That said, the plot may change dramatically throughout the course of revisions.