Deirdra: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
Afton: When I was 12 years old my older sister, Wendi and I would spend time every night before bed writing in our journals. I didn’t have a lot to say then but I discovered the satisfaction of writing. As I continued to write through the years, especially in my teens, I discovered I wanted to share my voice through writing stories.
Deirdra: What is your writing and educational background?
Afton: I’ve written a variety of genres from children’s fairytales to adult fiction and memoirs. My published work consists of newsletters and my personal memoir, Enduring Miracles. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Education from ASU and a Master of Education from NAU. I’m a licensed registered contractor and licensed resident manager for assisted living.
Deirdra: What makes you passionate about writing?
Afton: Real life communication and connections give me passion about writing. Many people don’t know how to express their thoughts and feelings written or verbal. I enjoy expressing thoughts through characters and dialogue.
Deirdra: What is your writing schedule like?
Afton: Mostly late in the evening from 10pm to 12 or 1 am.
Deirdra: Can you tell us about your book Enduring Miracles.
Afton: Enduring Miracles is a book written about my late husband, Juan’s battle with cocci meningitis or better known as valley fever. Our family lived through an unbelievable nine year journey with the physical affects of a life threatening illness that changed each of our lives. I carry my readers through the normal life of a young family and then pull them into my journey as a 30 year old wife and mother of 3 young children with a husband who has lived beyond doctor’s expectations or explanation. We learned to rely on God, faith, and the power of enduring miracles. I published the book three years before my husband Juan lost his life to the affects of the horrific disease. I’m working on a sequel to conclude his journey in my book Enduring the End.
Deirdra: What is Valley Fever? Is it something people in the southwest should be worried about even if we aren't farm workers or construction workers?
Deirdra: How many beta readers do you have review your manuscript before you send it to your editor?
Afton: Typically 10 readers review my manuscripts. Most readers don’t edit it with a fine tooth comb as needed. That’s when you need to pay an editor to work it over a time or two. I still find errors in my published manuscript that need a little work.
Deirdra: What do you hope readers will get from your books?
Afton: I hope my readers gain inspiration to continue to live life to the fullest. Life is hard. Life is beautiful. Life is a wonderful journey to share. I hope that through my writing, I will give my readers a new outlook on life and carry a positive spirit about their own.
Deirdra: What’s your secret to making the character’s in your books come to life?
Afton: Dialogue. Several conversations between characters bring them to life.
Deirdra: What is your favorite snack to have while you are writing?
Afton: I don’t eat when I write. Usually a glass of water is my only culinary companion.
Deirdra: Besides writing what other talents or hobbies do you have?
Afton: I love to teach in the classroom. I substitute teach public school and LDS seminary. I enjoy business. I own a few businesses in window coverings and assisted living. I enjoy walking and exercising as well.
Deirdra: What words of advice do you have for other writers who desire to have their manuscripts become books in print?
Afton: Keep trying. Don’t lose sight of your dream.
Deirdra: What are you working on now?
Afton: A memoir entitled Enduring the End. I’m working on getting a fairy-tale published entitled The Rescue.