Where were you born? In Vancouver, BC, Canada after the infamous hamburger and chocolate milkshake meal at White Spot, and then a drive up and down the very bumpy Burnaby Mountain.
When is your birthday? April 24th.
Oh, the same as Kelly Clarkson and Shirley McLaine? Yep, that’s right. We don’t know each other.
Where do you live? Tricky question! I’m currently a nomad. For me, that means I own about two carry-on bags worth of “stuff”, and travel the world. If you’d like to know where (generally) I am at the moment, take a boo at my News.
Did your parents support your writing while you were growing up? Both of my parents have passed. My Mom was an expert seamstress, and my Dad a truck driver. They instilled in me the love for reading that I still have today, but I’m not sure they knew I had a knack for the written word. In my house, the mantra was, “Do whatever makes you happy,” and for me, that was writing.
Do you have any siblings? I do. One younger sister who is married with a son, and an older half-brother who lives in the US.
Do you really lie over the ocean? Nah, although the song gets sung to me quite frequently.
Is your partner’s name Clyde? No, but I get asked that a lot too.
Do you ever get writers block? I hate admitting it, but no, I can’t remember a time when I’ve ever had writers block. There are times when the words just aren’t flowing for me though, and when that happens I either take a break or a walk, or I start writing stream of consciousness type work until I find my groove again.
Where do you get your ideas from? A variety of places. Sometimes a reader will ask a question, other times I’ll overhear a conversation and think, “Why am I not writing about that?” I get ideas from everywhere: my friends, family, watching TV, listening to other people speak, books, press releases, research studies, magazines… and the list goes on. And if I’m really stuck, I have a book full of ideas that I’ve jotted down throughout the years, or I could always look at my search engine referrers too.
I’d love to write professionally. What would you suggest to get started? If you want to write nonfiction, I recommend a strong grasp of the language used in whichever topic(s) you want to write about. Then, study the people already at the top of the field. How do they get their point across? What makes you want to read more? How and why do they tell a (true) story or explain how to do something? Does their personality shine through their writing? Then, I’d start faking it until you make it. Blog, write, journal – whatever floats your boat – in the style you want to become skilled at. Do it every day without excuses. Pretend you are writing a piece for your favorite magazine, or are doing a mini biography for a favorite famous person. When you get stuck, look to the experts (online or off) and see how they handle the situation. Polish, write some more.. and then start looking for a writing gig. Begin small – either local or with your own blog – and make yourself an expert in your field. In time, if you keep at it and practice like you would any other skill set, you’ll become a professional writer.
I’ve written a book. Can I send a copy to you and have you review it? It depends. I do review books for several clients that I work for, but only those released (or-soon-to-be released) by publishing houses. Basically, I can’t read your work and tell you if it’s good, edit it for you, or publish an excerpt on one of my sites. I can (usually) write an honest review, however if the book falls within my writing work mandate. Please note that sending me a copy of your book doesn’t mean you’ll get a favorable review, though; my readers trust me to be forthright, and I won’t recommend something I don’t feel is useful. Having said that, I’m not looking to ruin anyone’s career either. I’m a pretty understanding sort, and realize almost every book has an audience. Send me an email with the book details and any related information, and I’ll back to you shortly.
Will you write a blurb for my book or book jacket? If it’s about dating or entrepreneurship, I might. If you’ve got a few weeks lead time for me to read your book and write something snappy, send me an email and let’s talk.
Do you tour? Can you come to my town? I’ve yet to tour, although I have traveled extensively to speak at conferences. If I’m already in the area (check my News for where I’ll be speaking next) I’d love to do a presentation for your group, organization or business. Give [email protected] a ring and let me know what it is you’re looking for, as well as more about the event you’re looking to have me speak or present at.
How can I get in touch with you? You can reach me at [email protected]
Do you have an assistant who reads and replies to your emails? I read every single one of my emails, but most days I get several hundred (at least) to sift through, and rarely am able to reply to every single one. Please don’t think that if I don’t reply to your email that I don’t care. Really really, I do – I’m just swamped most days.
How long should I wait for a response to an email I sent to you? I try to reply to my fans as quickly as possible, but sometimes it takes me a few weeks. For those asking for free dating or entrepreneurship advice, I post all of my answers publicly either at my dating or coaching sites. If you require a faster or guaranteed response, I will occasionally accept paid consulting work along these lines. Please email me if you’d like more information. If you are a PR person who has sent me something you’d like me to write about, I’ll contact you should I require more information, or if I write about the company/service/product you’ve sent me information about.
I have a question about the rights to your work or another business-related question. Who do I contact? Send a note to [email protected].
I’d like you to speak at my school, conference, presentation. Do you do those sorts of things? I love speaking – almost as much as writing. An email to [email protected] should get you a prompt answer as to my schedule and availability to travel. Local-to-me events get first priority, which means either Vancouver Island or metro Vancouver, BC, Canada.