RMFW Spotlight: Phyllis Neher

As we continue our Spotlight series, today's bright light focuses on Phyllis Neher, RMFW Secretary. Every organization recognizes and applauds the tireless work and backbone a dedicated secretary provides. So I'll dim the light, not make Phyllis squint too much, and let's get to know her a bit.

1.  Tell us what you do for RMFW and why you are involved.

I am currently the RMFW Secretary. I'm involved because I love being around fellow writers. I also enjoy a good challenge. If the writing life wasn't so filled with them, I may not be compelled to continue to write.

2. What is your current WIP or most recent publication, and where can we buy a book, if available?

My current WIP is a psychological thriller with a paranormal twist. It's showing plenty of promise and interest so far. It’s exciting.

3. We've all heard of bucket lists-- you know, those life-wish lists of experiences, dreams or goals we want to accomplish-- what's one of yours?

Well, I'd like to tell you what it isn't before I tell you what it is. My goal isn't to make millions of dollars. To me, writing isn’t something you can put a price tag on. People say writing is nothing personal, that it's just words on a page, but I wholeheartedly disagree. If that were the case, we writers wouldn't try to hang on to our prose so tightly. (Just back away slowly)

Admit it, part of us dies inside when our words are cut away. I think that’s because the page is where a writer's heart and mind reside. My bucket list or dream? In a word? Brilliance. The wonderful thing about brilliance is that it’s different for everyone. For me, brilliance is the novel that’s so good it makes you laugh and cry and no matter how hard you try you can't put it down. I love experiencing that feeling when I read. It would be amazing to make others feel that way.

4. Most writers have an Achilles heel with their writing. Confess, what's yours?

Past perfect tense. For some reason my past continues to haunt me. Yeah, I know, that was pretty bad.

5. What do you love most about the writing life?

When my characters take on a life of their own. Funny story. My protagonist kept hanging fabric strips from the ceiling of his house, and I couldn’t figure out why he was doing it. When I shared my perplexity with my husband, he looked at me funny and answered, “And you don’t see a problem here?”

So, yeah, characters take on their own lives, and it’s both interesting and funny when it happens.

6. Now that you have a little writing experience, what advice would you go back and give yourself as a beginning writer?

Endure the adversity because it can be overwhelming for beginning writers. Don’t give up. For me, adversity was where the inspiration for my novel began. When I first began to write, someone on a fan fiction site told me I couldn’t write and to jump off a *** cliff. Even though I was crushed and cried for three days, that mysterious person (I never met him/her) quickly became the inspiration for my novel, and later my protagonist. How amazing this adversity turned out to be! True story.

7. What does your desk look like?

Small desk and small amount of space with a window to peer from.

What item must be on your desk?

Coffee. And if it weren’t for my handy dandy Starbucks sippy-cup I’d be injecting it.

8. What book are you currently reading (or what was the last one you read)?

I’m currently reading a WIP for a friend. The last book I read was The Chronicles of Riddick by Alan Dean Foster.


Thanks for this little tête-à-tête, Phyllis. I'll keep the lights lowered and we can just relax with a glass of wine now. You deserve the break!

Patricia Stoltey
Blog Editor
Patricia grew up on a farm in central Illinois so naturally had to use the old farm in her first mystery. The second Sylvia and Willie tale takes place near and in the little touristy gold mining town of Oatman, Arizona. Patricia's third novel, a standalone suspense called Dead Wrong, was released November 2014. Dead Wrong was a finalist in the thriller category for the Colorado Book Awards. Visit her blog at http://patriciastolteybooks.com

8 thoughts on “RMFW Spotlight: Phyllis Neher

  1. Thanks Phyllis for letting us get to know you a bit and for all you do for RMFW. And I’m with you– coffee on the desk is needed (or tea if I’m feeling a bit righteous in my diet).

  2. Phyllis, it’s great to meet you. I like your advice to beginning writers. It’s horrible to run up against one of those mean people when you’re just getting started, but it happens a lot.

    • Greetings, Patricia!! Great to meet you too. It was horrible, but if it weren’t for him, I may not have continued to write. Fear can be a powerful motivator. Don’t just take it in the gut. Learn from it.

  3. Hi Phyllis,

    Nice to read more about you. I was luck enough to have Phyllis as my first RMFW critique partner. When she says psychological thriller, she really means it. Her MS was, at the time I read it, pretty damn intense.

    • Hey Julie!! Great to hear from you! My MS is still rattling around in my head keeping me awake at night. When your character starts chasing you in your dreams, you know you’re having mental issues. I think he’s been trying to get me to write about him. Oh, the ego!

    • You mean you’re hanging fabric too? Now, is that an interior design faux pas or are you just taking part in the lunacy?
      Lol. Sometimes characters take on a life of their own.

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