Interview

Tell me about your family?

I am one of four siblings –
the middle child. “Two sisters: one older, one younger, plus an older brother.”

Growing up, I was a bi-coastal child. My mother lived in the Bay area of California and my father lived in Pennsylvania.

I am happily married to the love of my life and have three teenage boys.

 

Any pets?

Yes, lots. We have one dog: Julie. And the last time I counted lots of cats, all rescued. We started out with two from the shelter and the rest just showed up at the back door.

 

What type of jobs have you had in your lifetime?

My very first job was a hand me down – a newspaper route that once belonged to my brother. From that point on, I never had to ask my Dad for pocket money. Other jobs: Department Store Manager, Field Sales Executive, Author, Wife and Mom #2.

 

What other profession would you most like to try?

You mean when I grow up?

If I had to choose something else
I would say a successful freelance graphic designer. During this creative process, I discovered how much I enjoy book design and typography. Plus, you get to be your own boss – and you get to color!

 

What are a few things people don’t know about you?

I wake up singing – everyday. I make up songs for anything and everything.

I was once told I had the imagination and palette of a six year old. I believe that’s true.

I trap, neuter and release stray cats in my neighborhood. I also do rescue work when I am on vacation. I love all animals, and I really love cats.

When I was in my teens, I wanted to be a Marine Biologist or Oceanographer.
I grew up watching Jacques Cousteau and Mutual Of Omaha Wild Kingdom; that’s probably where I developed my love for the ocean, diving and animals.
My husband tucks me in bed every night, we play “room-service.”

 

What was your favorite book as a child?

That’s a difficult question! Off the top of my list would be, Dr. Suess’s”Cat in the Hat Series”, James and The Giant Peach E.B.White – Charlotte’s Web and Laura Ingalls Wild “Little House on the Prairie.”

 

What was your favorite subject in school?

World History, still is.

 

 

What are some of your hobbies or interests?

Fishing – anywhere, and diving are two of my top five. (I saw my first seahorse last year that was really special.)

I love gardening, mostly flowers although this past Spring I planted my first full fruit and vegetable garden. Apparently, the fruits and veggies were a tasty favorite for groundhogs. I would catch and release them, somewhere else of course, but as soon as one moved out another moved in. I have to admit, they are generous creatures, they left me with the cucumbers!

But most of all, I LOVE doing anything with my husband.

 

What’s the single most important lesson you learned since you wrote the book?

Keep a journal and leave a pad/pen by your bed. Eventually I got with the program, as my notes were scribbled everywhere.You never know when inspiration will stirke, best to be prepared.

Where do you vacation- beach or mountains?

Our vacation destination is Cabo San Lucas, MX, it has it all. However, Jackson Hole, WY is another of our favorites. I love the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park.

 

Do you consider yourself shy or outspoken?

Seriously outspoken.

 

Are you serious or funny?

My B.F.F. and I think we are so funny we are ready for stand up!

 

Sporty or not?

Definitely sporty. I was a tom-girl growing up and still am.If my husband and I are out riding bikes and we see children playing kick – ball, I will get off my bike and ask if we can play.

 

Are you a leader in the group or not?

Umm…L E A D E R.

 

If you could live somewhere else, where would it be?

I would love to experience Italy.I love architecture. Italy has a very broad and diverse style. The arches and domes, some of the finest works of Western architecture; the Colosseum, the Duomo of Milan, Florence cathedral and the building designs of Venice. Also, I love Italian food.

Where in the world would you like to travel?

Jerusalem – I would love to make the pilgrimage to the “Old City” and walk
“The Via Dolorosa” – “the stations of the cross.”

Since baptism is a basic in Christianity
and part of the great commission Jesus gave to His followers.
Traveling to the Jordan river to be re-baptized is a must-see and do.

Tahiti is another destination on the “to do list.”

 

What some are your favorite movies?

I am dating myself here: Jaws, Trading Places, Arthur, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Forrest Gump, Braveheart and The Passion of the Christ.

I remember when I was eleven, I experienced my first real heartbreak while watching “Brian’s Song.” I was so touched by the movie, I cried for a week.

I have alot of favorites, but if I have to choose one…Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!

 

Favorite cartoon?

SpongeBob, of course!

 

Book?

The Bible.

 

What kind of music do you enjoy?

I really love all generes, including Broadway (anything Andrew Lloyd Weber) and Latin music. I am proud to say that I grew up in an era that produced “the best of classic rock.” 

Growing up, my life was influenced by the music I listened to.

Marvin Gaye – “What’s Going On?” How clever of him to present a prayer in a form of a question. His music expressed his social consciousness; the ravages of the Vietnam war, drug abuse, urban decay, civil unrest, injustice and ecology. “Mercy, Mercy Me”  and “Ain’t  No Mountain High Enough” are other favorite picks. I still remember the day and where I was when Marvin died.

One of my favorite classics is, “What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life” but, the most romantic song I have ever listened to is: “Clair de lune” by Claude Debussy, and of course Johnny Mathis.

 

What is your favorite quote?

“For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life”. John 3:16

 

Where is your favorite place to write?

The family room; it’s close to everything, especially the kitchen.

 

I have a few speed questions, ready?

 

 

Food?

 

Still Pizza!

 

Pepsi or Coke?

Coke

 

Right-handed or Left?

Left

 

Football or Baseball?

Baseball…Go Phillies

 

Favorite flower?

Peonies

 

Favorite Holiday?

Easter “He is Risen.”
Plus I love candy.

 

If you were a crayon what color would I be?

Purple like jellybeans.

 

What is your favorite city?

Cities – I have a few.

“Dubrovnik, Croatia,” an old historic Medieval, aristocratic place that was a republic from the 12th through the 19th century. It is a stunning walled city, with incredible architecture, spectacular churches, monasteries, and fountains, all with an amazing view of the Adriatic Sea. A definite “bucket list” item. I give it 5 stars.

Our vacation destination – Cabo San Lucas, MX.
Still love Jackson Hole, MX

 

Do you belong to any Groups or Organizations?

Yes, I am a Board Member for a local chapter of The Optimist International Club.
An organization dedicated to: “Bringing Out the Best in Kids.” I act as a Chair Person for the Academic Growth Award Program, which rewards students with the most improved school grades through out the school year. Additionally, The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, FanStory, The BillFish Foundation, The Humane Society of the United States,
Los Cabos Humane Society, Reading Humane Society, and The Veteran’s Fund to name a few.

 

You have chosen a few charities to donate to, tell me about that.

Donations are being offered to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem,
G O D first!

The Veteran’s Foundation, I am a proud American, with deep respect and honor for those who served and fought for our country’s freedom.

The Humane Societies of the United States and Los Cabos, MX. I LOVE CRITTERS.

 

So what inspired you to write a book?

God’s splendor and majesty!

Although I felt insecure about writing a book, I believed the Holy Spirit was working within me and felt I could achieve whatever God desired. I was not going to let my feelings of inadequacy get in the way of accomplishing God’s will. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phillipians 4:13

Having said that, “Austin” is a pen-name to reflect that “All things are created new in Christ.”

My initial reaction was really a state of disbelief… you want me to write a book? WHAT? Once I got passed that, I was truly overwhelmed with honor that God was using me as a vessel to tell His story.

I secluded myself for three years and a half years and turned to the Word of God.

Will there be a sequel?

There are many “Keys” to the Kingdom of Heaven. I did recently pen an outline of something just to keep the momentum going, however,the Lord will let me know when it is time.

Out of His everlasting love, omniscient wisdom, and sovereign power, I am honored to present:
E v e r l a s t i n g The Kingdom Key. A Great Christian Children’s Book