How would you classify your latest work, what inspired its inception?

I’ve had a hard time classifying it. It definitely is a business/reference book, but on the flip side, it is also a book of reimagined fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and fables. My overarching goal is to help people understand a bit about the claims and insurance process when they have a loss.

Once Upon A Claim was inspired by a comment my editor made during the editing of my first book, The Art of Adjusting—she asked me if insurance consumers understood the issues and complications that could occur in a claim. It inspired me to write this book.

How long did it take you to complete? 

Once I came up with the idea of taking stories that we all knew and applying insurance concepts to them, I completed it relatively quickly.

Who are some of your top 5 authors or writers you look up to & admire?

I very much like authors who have built an entire world. These worlds don’t have to be all in one book, like Tolkien. Karen Slaughter is such an author, and I admire her. Ken Follet and James Cavell do the same.

Why do you write?

Right now, I write to educate. Although Once Upon A Claim is humorous, I hope people learn about the claims and insurance process.

 What’s the biggest take away you want your readers to come away with after reading your latest work?

 Insurance is a lot more complicated than the advertisements lead you to believe. No one wants to learn about insurance. I get it. Truly, I do, but I think I can educate consumers and entertain at the same time. And if you learn just a little, and it helps you get the correct coverage so that you don’t pay a lot out of your pocket when you have a claim, then I’ve done my job.

Why is insurarce “a lot more complicated”? (New Question Added)

There is a belief that a claim can be settled in 5 days. Once Upon A Claim has flowcharts illustrating steps the adjuster takes to move the file towards closure. The majority of these steps are in the background, which the insured doesn’t see. People want to be paid quickly, but the carrier may not be able to wire transfer the claim settlement funds if there are multiple parties on those checks. All of the parties have to sign the check for it to be negotiable. Once people see that, they get it, but no one has ever taken the time to explain the process.

How is the writing/reading scene in your locale?

Kansas City has a strong writing scene with several writing/author clubs and a strong partnership with the public library through the Heartland Book Fest.

When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?

I am not sure that I consider myself a writer, despite having written three books and numerous articles.

How have you evolved as a writer over the last year?

I feel that my writing has matured as I become more comfortable with the thought that I’m a writer.

If you could meet, have dinner, have a drink with anyone (writer/non-writer) (dead or alive) who would it be? 

Molière, a French comedic playwright from the 17th century. His plays are brilliant, and naughty, and hysterical. He knew Louis XIV, the Sun King, who would defend him against the Catholic Church when Molière would say blasphemous things. I want to know all the gossip of the court. I bet it was scandalizing.

What’s next for you?

I am writing a trilogy, which is inspired by a true story. I continue to teach risk management and insurance at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) so people can understand insurance and what it entails.



End of Interview