Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born and raised in the city that is known as the "Live Music Capital Of The World" and annually hosts SXSW. My wonderfully diverse hometown is the city of Austin, Texas. Basically, making me an Austinite. :) My stories are fiction but the people I've known and the places I've visited have influenced me creatively. It's made me want to dig into ideas that can be both emotionally and mentally pleasing. That is the goal, anyway. I love where I'm from and where I've been because it's made me open-minded and want to create without limits.
When did you first start writing and finding your love for creativity?
I began writing when I was in third grade. The first story I wrote was for social studies about Native Americans and the first settlers who arrived to what is now the USA. It was a deep story for a third grader, I must admit. Since then, I've written my own lyrics, songs, poetry and short stories. Writing has always been one of my favorite creative hobbies, next to drawing and designing. :)
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing is finding the ability to create a story for others to enjoy. With writing, I get to do what I love and I'm able to share that with everyone else who takes the time to read it. Being able to delve into my imagination to make stories come to life in between the chapters of my novel/novels, will always bring me great satisfaction... even if I never make it to a best-sellers list. ;)
What motivated you to become an indie-author?
My motivation is simply my love of writing. I have always wanted to pursue this avenue but something always got in the way or the time wasn't right. I am choosing to begin my writing career as an Indie-Author because I enjoy knowing that if I fail or succeed, it will be "All on Me." :) Honestly, I don't see how this will ever fail because the main challenge to me is actually just doing it. And of course, I just love to write. My way of thinking is "glass half full", so I will never fail because the initial pursuit of getting my novels out to the public was the hardest step. So, I consider it a win already since it's happened!
What is your writing process?
I'm definitely a "Pantser." I write a short rough-draft of the story as the idea comes to life in my mind. After that, I dive right into the story and begin my first full-length draft of the novel, while writing a list of my characters and who they are on a separate page to keep track. Once that's complete, I revise and proofread the heck out of my story at least thirty times or until I'm satisfied with what I've created. Then, it's off to an editor. :)
Who are your favorite authors?
I have so many authors that I love and adore for individual reasons. But to name the ones that have influenced me in one way or another and the ones I just love to read from, here's my list: Author Tillie Cole (for writing some of the best books I've read & for reminding me to write as dark, emotional and intense as I can go because stories that hit deep are the best), Author Ginger Scott(Indie-author who writes amazing stories & for helping me with tips), Author Gary Jennings(wrote the first huge novel I fell in love with), Author Jamie McGuire(for her great stories & for offering tips to aspiring authors), Author Penelope Ward(for writing some incredible stories), Author Richelle Mead(for writing one of my favorite YA series), Author M. Robinson (for writing dark romance and reminding me to write deep no matter how dark it gets), and Author Stephen King(for showing that writing stories that reach far "outside of the box" is something to be proud of). :)
What's the story behind your debut novel?
There is no real personal story behind it exactly. I just felt the need to tell the story of a fictional-character who has experienced a terrible ordeal and struggles to overcome it. Many people who have experienced assault in their lifetime, always have a story beyond that horrible moment in their lives. Their life doesn't end there and they have to strive to survive passed something like that. After hearing and reading about so many cases where women have been taken advantage of at parties or on dates, it influenced the flow of the story in my novel. I wanted to tell the story of the woman who survives the best that she can, tries to rebuild her normalcy and becomes the person she wants to be. She may not always be perfect but she's definitely a survivor.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm always raising my rambunctiously-adorable kids and homeschooling them most of the year. I also make time to care for my husband so knows he's loved, too. He's my handsome military man who reminds me daily that romance is a real life thing. :) When I get those late-night "me" moments, I'm either blogging, working on book reviews, reading or playing catch up on the TV shows that I'm always behind on. lol. ;) When we get free time as a family, we travel, travel, travel!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Getting a chance to do it all again. Each day is a new shot and if you get the chance to wake up to another day, it's just another opportunity to do whatever it is that makes you happy. I also love getting to spend time with my children and husband each day. And then or course, I look forward to writing and creating every free moment I can find. :)
How do you approach cover design?
Since I love to create and design, the cover design is as important as the story itself is, to me. :) I'm a hands-on type, so the cover designs have been my creation as much as the story inside the novel is. When I'm contemplating the cover design, I think about the key points of my story and try to convey that on the design without giving away too much.
What are you working on next?
I already have multiple story ideas waiting for me to expand their storyline and bring them to life as their own novels. My 2nd novel "The Long Road to Serenity" is available now! I'm so excited for readers to meet Astraea & Gabriel. Their story touches on serious issues such as cancer, the loss of loved ones and PTSD. It's also about living. Making choices that help my protagonist find herself and what she seeks the most in life. I will be re-releasing my debut novel "What She Lost and Found" in the summer of 2018, newly revised for your reading pleasure and with a fresh new book cover! <3 And of course, I will be working on my next story soon after! ;)
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