Frequently Asked Questions

Q.   What's so great about reading and writing, anyway?

A.   In a word? Everything.

 I read to learn about myself and others, their hopes, adventures, challenges, experiences and how they touch my heart, expand my thoughts, perspective, opinions and inspire me to become more than I am. (Who wants their brain to stagnate, anyway? Not me.) I love reading good books, being caught by surprise when a character or circumstance makes me sit up, breathless and say, "YES, that's EXACTLY it!"

Or even better when I stop reading, stunned, excited and say,  "Wow, I didn't know that!" or "I never thought of it that way!"

Worlds upon worlds unfold in books, layers of new thoughts and alternate points of view,  exciting discoveries both external and internal, realizations, adventures, exploring... Just everything.

It's also why I write fiction. 

To step out of my own life experiences and into someone else's,

to imagine and create, to learn, and to understand.  

Favorite quote on reading: 

"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them."

-- Mark Twain

Q.  Are the people in your books , like Such a Pretty Girl, real?

A.  No, my characters are never based on real people. Using a real person as a character is far too creatively-limiting and it's one of the reasons I write fiction. I like making them up.

On the other hand, when I build these fictional characters they become very real to me and while I'm writing I end up seeing, feeling and experiencing what they're going through, in my mind.  I'm right there with them.

Q.  What does 'Welcome to the Asylum' mean?

A.  My favorite definition of  'asylum'  is:

'a refuge, a safe place, a secure retreat, a sanctuary.' 

I believe every living creature needs a place to exhale, rest and feel safe. I like the word asylum, and what it offers. (Of course, it also gets a little crazy around here when I'm writing, my animals are acting up or a bear wanders onto the patio, so there's that, too. ) 


This is Etta. She always has a lot to say.


Give me strong coffee, good conversation

and friends who make me laugh,

and I can hang out for days.

On two completely separate occasions

-- and not while camping or on purpose --

field mice have hidden in my hair.

I have fallen down the stairs wearing

stilettos and a dress.

No experience is wasted.

Everything is grist for the mill.

I need elbow room to be happy.

I do not do well in captivity.

Live, and let live.

Laura Wiess

Welcome to the Asylum