Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I'm a native Texan and grew up in Mineral Wells, a small, dusty west Texas town. As a kid, I dug up ant lions (we called them Doodle Bugs) just to see them make new dens, chased Horned Toads and dodged monster-sized grasshoppers. My Granny lived next door to us and there was a large family on the other side. Pen pals during WWII, my parents had a sweet love story and weren't adverse to PDA around the house.
Perhaps that's why I tend to write about the twists and turns of families and friendships, always with a large dose of romance and often with a healthy helping of heat.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I got tired of editors loving my voice, loving my stories, yet I'd come within a hair's breadth and still no contract. I won numerous contests, sold several short stories to compilations and magazines. Still no contract on a novel. Then the stigma of indie publishing lifted and I went for it, first re-publishing a short story and novella (written as Annie Rayburn) which had previouly been e-published. Then I sold one book, also by Annie Rayburn. It was a lot of work for very little return. So I figured why not gain control of my career?
Believe me, it's still a lot of work, hiring an editor and cover artist, dealing with copyright and ISBN's and such, but it's a relief to finally have my work out there for readers to enjoy.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I cook at least one meal every day. Hubby and three dogs also demand attention. Hubby has two large, male bird dogs and I have a Cockalier female, my lapdog. Since we're empty nesters, the furbabies have become our 'kids.' Bless their hearts, they eat like teenagers and act like toddlers. Never a dull moment. Between writing and famiy, I love to read, redocorate our home and crochet.
What do you read for pleasure?
Several sub-genres of romance, the occasional thriller, police procedurals, cozy mysteries, and a few non-fics thrown in.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I started with a 2nd gen Kindle, then my daughter bought me a Kindle Fire HD for Mother's Day. I'm a visual person, so I love being able to scroll through the cover art rather than a bunch of titles.
Describe your desk
A total wreck. Yep, that's the bare bones truth. I rarely sit at a desk, even though I have a beautiful matching desk, credenza, hutch and bookcase in my office. Most often, I'm sitting in an armless chair, the futon or a bed with my laptop.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything! Without my fans, I don't sell books or make a living. I appreciate every e-mail, review, and blog comment I get. In return, I try to reward them by writing the best book I can for their reading pleasure.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
You mean, like way back in grade school? No. Haven't a clue. I have the worst memory for things like this. For most of my life, I preferred to read rather than write. Rarely was I seen without an open book in my hand and my nose shoved inside.
How do you approach cover design?
With excited anticipation. I look for something professionally done. I once thought I wanted to be an interior designer and studied art, color, composition and spacial planning. As a result, I know what works for me and why. But I'm also frugal, so I scour my favorite artist sites for premade art. If I find something that will work with minimal tweaks - great! If not, I try to give the artist enough info about my vision to make their job fairly easy.
I'm so visually oriented that I've been known to buy premade cover art and build a story around it.
Do you have a favorite author?
I do, actually. There are several high up on the list, but I read J.D. Robb with relish. I have to limit myself on a couple a year just so I won't run out of new material. I hope she never stops writing them for I do dearly love to read about the live and times of Eve and Roarke.
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