Hi Siggy! It's a pleasure having you as a guest with Great Minds. My first question is about your matchmaking skills. Just a rough estimate, have you had any of your couples move on to marriage?

We had dozens of happy couples that were co-habitating happily. These were mostly divorcess and had no intention of getting married again. Not to forget that Divorce was only made legal in Ireland in 1996! Until then couple had to go to England for a legal separation or if they wanted to marry again.Once burnt...they said, they would rather live together for a while. Among the younger couples, I was responsible for about 5 children...

Now you were born in Germany, lived in Ireland on a farm and now live in Florida, does it ever seem strange, and how big of a change was it for you?

Life is stranger than Fiction! My life plan was more sedate: Become a High School teacher in German, start a family and live and work there until my pensionable age. Life happens when you're busy making other plans...wasn't it one of the Beatles who said that? In that case it was my then husband who imposed the cultural and country change. I dind't have much say in it, believe it or not.Our kids grew up in Ireland, however, happy. I also changed professions while there: from College teacher to matchmaker to wine importer and seller.Ireland was a culture shock.I had been a city girl, but to become a farmers's wife is a different ball game even if you speak the language.

Ireland grew on me with all the changes that the European Union imposed on the country; it became a little more westernized and civilized like what I was used to.Definitely in the later years in Dublin.I left Ireland at the first opportunity that presented itself: when both kids had graduated from highschool, I sold house and businesses.My aim was to teach in a warmer climate, maybe France or Spain. But by happenstance,I landed in Orlando and in a new marriage.

Tell us a little more about the National League of American Pen Women.

Through a good lady friend of mine, I became acquainted with the Pen Women.Their members are writers and artists who have been published or earned money for their writings. I didn't join until I published my novel: Next Time Lucky. They were on a major recuitment drive as most of their members were in their 70s and older here in Jax. I had expected writing support like in a critique group but, instead, found the most caring and nurturing network of women friends. I have now recruited a few ladies around my own age. At the moment, I am only an International member because I 'm not a naturalized American but retain my German nationality. I serve as their sunshine lady this year, i.e. correspodence secretary that sounded too high falluting for me. It means I inform the members who is sick and in need of a little moral support (cards, calls etc.).

What other projects do you have upcoming and when can we expect your next book out?

I just started a new writers blog that is taking up my time.The idea behind it is to create a network of writers that use the new social media for extra exposure for their work and get involved by writing for this blog and then multiplying the exposure of everybody thru individual tweets, FB and Linked-In connections. My second book came out shortly after our summer vacation adventure: Intrepid Home Swapping- Insider Secrets for Successful Homeswapping, available as an eBook on Kindle.

PR, networking, and my involvmenet in a blog radio show Monday Lunch Hour ( put my next project a bit on the backburner: I once had Farm in Ireland. The story of our organic life in Ireland.But it should see the light of day in 2012!

What is one of your greatest accomplishments in life as you see it?

I hate to beat my own drums.Being German, we don't do that.But friends point out to me that I reinvented myself according to my life situation, raised and fed my children after my divorce and made my small businessses flourish. The little figurine on the cover of my novel tells it all: an old=fashioned tumbler doll: "Stehaufmaennchen": You can't keep me down!

What do you like to read when or if you have time to read?

Thrillers; Elizabeth Goerge;Irish authors: Nuala O'Failoin (God bless her soul).Cook books with photos!Travel books with Photos.

Do you have any authors that have inspired you over the years?

I can tell you the books I adored. Writing styles change however like fashion.And life stories differ.So the big philosophical authors I admired over the years aren't in vogue anymore.

Being a matchmaker, are you a hopeless romantic?

Not in the slightest.I was called top-heavy (and they didn't mean my boobs). Matchmaking is a numbers game.Opportunity and right location mixed with preparedness. Was it Oprah Winfrey who said that? You can only deal the cards you have been handed....

Do you ever think about moving back to Ireland or do you miss it at all?

I never wanted to move there, couldn't wait to leave and now I miss it. I have visited several times and our next Home Sawp adventure will surely take us back to the old sod. I also have an ulterior motif: Besides extra info on my farm book, I have another one in the back of my head in the style/topic of the Magdalen Sisters. A first hand account of my former housekeeper who is now 71!

Do you have any advice you'd like to share with other aspiring authors?

Write what you know about! Lots of people say that they could write a book about their life. Let them...and they will see how difficult it is. And that's only when the really difficult part starts: to promote it and make it a seller!Don't get discouraged, make a lot of friends on the way, don't expect big money but enjoyment!

Thank you so much for your time with this interview Siggy, I hope to do it again soon!

I have to thank you for the opportunity, Kitty! This was fun!

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