A visit with Constance Walker

  1. LostRoses-Front-72dpiWhat is your favorite part of writing?

Many years ago, when I was just starting out writing novels, my husband asked me what would make me happiest about writing books.  I thought for only a few minutes and then told him it would be for a reader to write me and tell me that it’s been a “rough day” or a “down day” for whatever the many life reasons that happen and then that person sat down and started to read my book and soon was lost in it and for a few moments the day or the time was “better.”   And a couple of weeks later I actually got a letter from a woman who wrote me and told me almost the identical thing and I thought, “YES!”  Because that was my goal – for a few moments I made someone’s life a little better.  I wrote back to the reader, thanked her for her comments and her time and hoped she would have better days soon and forever.   That’s the best thing about writing a novel!

  1. What is your next project and when will it be released?

I’m working on something completely different – in genre, time and story.  It’s about senior citizens in a retirement complex and their interactions with other residents and, also, with their own families.  Most of us, in our lifetime, will have to face major changes with an aging parent or relative and sometimes those adjustments can be very difficult.  And those life-changes affect not only the elderly but the entire family.  I’ve tried to write the story from different points of views: the seniors, their children and their children so that every age group can identify with the characters.  But the novel isn’t a “downer” – in fact, it’s quite joyous in showing life and the living of it, at its various stages.   I’ve had a few people “test-read” it and they tell me they’ve fallen in love with the characters.  I hope so.  I’m editing it right now and I’ll probably release it in the early summer.

  1. What is your typical day like?

I don’t think I have a typical day – there are a couple must-do-everyday-at-the-same-time things set in stone: taking my dog, Jake, for a long walk around the neighborhood and feeding him (sometimes, much too much), but then it sort of gets non-typical.  Like a lot of us I make myriad “to-do” lists – I have lists for everything from buying groceries, household chores to be done, mail and e-mail to be answered, and even lists within the lists of things to do, fix, buy, donate, toss, etc.  And I try to do them one-at-a-time, but… I sometimes think it would be so great to be completely organized – and I admire those who can do this – but life gets in the way and the desk all of a sudden has too many circulars and odd mail on it or the clothes I washed two days ago are still waiting to be folded and put away.  So, I guess my “typical day” is really non-existent and that’s why most of my writing is done at night.

  1. Where do you get the ideas for your stories?

I listen a lot – even when it’s not my conversation.  I just might be sitting next to someone drinking coffee or standing in line at the grocery checkout.   You ever go into a coffee shop or wait to bag your groceries?  Ever overheard conversations?  Sure you have – we all have.  Someone is on a cellphone –“Uh-uh–I told Holly that that wasn’t what I would do.”   “I bought the birthday cake at the bakery near the mall.”   “Yeah, he got a new car.”  Well, those snippets of conversations stay in my mind — and then I begin to wonder what Holly was doing wrong.  Or who was the birthday cake for? Or what kind of new car was it that he bought?  And then I’ll elaborate on it – and maybe Holly was arguing with her boyfriend or maybe the cake was for a special person and maybe the new car was something the man had always wanted and soon I’ll have an entire scenario going in my mind.  And sometimes those musings turn into story lines or the conversation will figure in a novel.

  1. What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?

Write the best story you can write, edit it for grammar, punctuation, etc., and then just do it!  I know that sounds simplistic but it’s really the very best advice I can give anyone who wants to be a writer.  Yes, it’s a bit daunting and, frankly, a bit scary, but if you believe in the novel and in your ability to tell a story that people would like to read, then sit down, write it and then take a very deep breath and go ahead and publish it.

  1. Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a very strong advocate for animal rights – I try to include at least one dog or cat or horse or even wild animals in every story – and try to show, by example and by incorporating it into my novel, that everyone should be kind to them.  I’ve had dogs and cats and birds and guinea pigs and gerbils throughout my lifetime and now, where I live there are deer, chipmunks, squirrels, birds, foxes, etc.  Of course, I take precautions with my pets and for myself, but I don’t get upset if the squirrels eat the birdfood or even when the deer eat my azaleas.  It is what it is.  They have a right to live, too.

  1. Do you have any rejection stories to share?

I think every writer has a hundred “rejection” horror stories.  One of my favorites:  I had sent out my first romance book to several agents and editors and within a few weeks I got back “sorry, but not for us” letters but one was especially cruel.  The agent had written on the first page of the manuscript that I couldn’t tell a story, I didn’t know how to plot, that it was poorly constructed, this was bad and that was bad and that I would never ever be a novelist!!!  (Her exclamation points) Cruel.  Harsh.  And you know writers are insecure anyhow – will the readers like my books?  Will they hate it?  That stuff.  So I was really down.  But then, on the weekend…and this is honest-true…it was Sunday afternoon and I was washing clothes — and I got a phone call from an editor of a respected publishing house who said that she had just finished reading the novel, loved it, and wanted to publish it.  She did…and, incidentally, she’s become one of my very favorite friends.

  1. What is your writing routine like?

I like writing at night when it’s all quiet and there are no phone calls or other distractions.  I usually write for about two to three hours but there are times I can go into early morning if I’m really involved with the storyline.  Sometimes I put on music – I love the music of the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s – but sometimes I just want complete quiet.  It depends on the mood I’m in and what I’m writing.  Jake, my mostly beagle/hound/German Shepherd rescued wonder dog, is sleeping by my desk.  I have a cup of coffee by the computer, it’s dark and quiet outside my office windows, and the world seems pretty okay.




Chapter 1


here, Miss, that be Ganymede House in the distance.” The driver pointed a bony finger beyond the turn of the road. “Ye can scarcely see the manor from here—there’s a bit of mist this morning—but wait a while and you’ll see it clear for yourself. Some say the estate is the most beautiful in the whole of Yorkshire.”

The carriage turned from the country road onto a private lane lined on both sides by tall stately elms. Once we passed onto the narrow dirt road and were within the confines of the low stone walls that faced the public thoroughfare, I felt chilled; the mist seemed not yet to have dissipated here, as it had across the distance we had just travelled, where the sun had already warmed the cool grounds. The contrast between where I had already been and where I was going now was virtually the same as clear and clouded, or as light and darkness. I shivered in the unexpected coolness and the driver, seeing me draw my cloak around me, tried to make me feel comfortable.

“The sun just takes a bit longer to get here,” he said, “but it’s something you’ll be grateful for when we’re in the midst of a hot summer. Then you’ll be glad for the respite from the heat.” Nevertheless, the man urged the horses on as though he failed to believe his own words and wanted to waste as few moments as possible within the enclosure of the darkened woods.

I had always dreamed of having my own family and my own place in London society, but alas, it was not to be. As the only child of a kindly but inefficient solicitor and his equally kindly but inefficient wife, what should have been an inheritance sufficient to allow me to live in comfortable surroundings turned out, upon the reading of the wills of my parents, to be nonexistent. The inheritance I had heard about during the years I was growing up simply never materialized. Thus, at the age of nineteen, while my friends were preparing for an endless round of parties and balls, I had to consult with my father’s partner about terms of employment that would allow me to live a respectable, but diminished, life.

“I’m afraid, my dear Miss Scott,” my father’s partner, Henry Clayton, said, staring down at my parents’ last will and testament, “that your father did not provide for you as adequately as he had wished. He had hoped that the money would be forthcoming so that he could have left an estate for you, but…” Mr. Clayton’s voice trailed off.

“I know,” I said, “my father was not the most astute of men when it came to handling finances.”

“But a warm soul,” Mr. Clayton interrupted. “He was the noblest of people. His clients came to rely on him and his word.”

“But they did not pay him, as you and I know.” I took a deep breath and asked the question that I was dreading. “And now, Mr. Clayton, what is to become of me?”

AMAZON LINK TO BUY:  http://www.amazon.com/Roses-Ganymede-House-Constance-Walker-ebook/dp/B01CH1KSL0/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1457053716&sr=1-2&keywords=LOST+ROSES+OF+GANYMEDE+HOUSE

My in-the-middle-of-revamping website:  WWW.CONSTANCEWALKER.COM

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LEC C-I_08840.JPG (2.0GB CF#6)


Constance Walker is the author of two Gothic mysteries, LOST ROSES OF GANYMEDE HOUSE and THE SHIMMERING STONES OF WINTER’S LIGHT.  She is also the author of IN TIME, a modern-WW2 time-travel romance and WARM WINTER LOVE, a contemporary romance about choices.

My in-the-middle-of-revamping website:  WWW.CONSTANCEWALKER.COM

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