Describe your typical day. I'm typically up anytime between 7 and 9 (mostly depending on how late I was up or if I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't go back to sleep). After feeding and walking the dog, it's time for me to wake up (read emails and news online) and get ready for the day. Mornings are typically dog walking interrupted by editing. After lunch, the dog walking slows down and I can focus more on editing. Dinner is either the start of my winding down or just a pit-stop before more editing. That depends on deadlines and whether or not the hubby is home. Some nights I've got meetings (church, town, and professional). I hit the hay around 11 and am hopefully asleep by midnight.
Favorite books growing up: our town library was so small when I was a kid, I feel like I read everything they had. I wouldn't be surprised if the total square footage was less than 750 square feet (and it was a big deal when it moved to the basement of the new town hall - 2,000 square feet of luxurious rack after rack). But I was super fond of the Adventures of Tintin, all of the Little House on the Prairie books, and the Bobbsey Twins. As a teenager, I found science fiction and fantasy (thanks, big brother!) and picked up Heinlein, Robert Silverberg, and Anne McCaffrey. And what childhood would be complete without the works of Steven King to freak you out (or reassure you that you weren't the weirdest kid in the world)?
What would you tell your younger self? You won't die if you speak out loud in public. People might actually be interested in what you have to say. It took me until I was about 30 or so before I became comfortable speaking in public. Some people would say they preferred it when I wouldn't talk, because now they can't get me to shut up! I am still shy in social situations, but I've really gotten much better at asserting myself when I need to.
Any writing ambitions? As any regular reader of this blog knows (and thanks, by the way!), writing is not my best skill. I am much better at editing. I really admire my authors—you create new worlds and characters and make them come to life. I've never really had a story or characters stuck in my head, driving me crazy until they came out on paper (or screen, as the case may be!). I will say I can write some interesting stories about things that have happened to me, but my life isn't so interesting every day that I'd try to write a collection of stories. The occasional blog post is about the best I can do on that front.
Is the Atwater Group really a group, or is it just you? It’s just me. It has grown and morphed over the years in purpose and “employees.” My husband is one who continually has great ideas and wants to start all these “small businesses.” So, at first, it was a way to corral all of his ideas and ventures. But then he got laid off from his real job and had to start a rep agency while he was looking for work. “The Atwater Group” sounded solid, dependable, more than just a one-guy outfit, and wasn’t specific to his name or industry. He did find another job, but it required that I quit my job (I was working for a rep agency that is in direct competition for my husband’s new job). So I putzed around a bit, started my own company (Atwater Chocolates) under the umbrella of The Atwater Group, but that proved to be time-consuming and not profitable. Once I started proofing and editing, I took over the name (after all, it’s a pretty good name and we had all the tax ID stuff set up). We’ve toyed with my husband providing voice-over work and audio books, so if he ever does that it will be under services that The Atwater Group provides. So…no, there’s no farming out, no big corporate backing, no small, dedicated band of brothers/sisters who work here…just me! (The hubby provides moral support and technical support when needed; the dog provides distraction and a reason to get away from the eyestrain of the computer screen!)
I hope you've enjoyed getting to know me a bit better. And next month, I promise to have the Author Interviews back on track!