The first story I ever wrote (worth reading) was a short story in college. I wrote it for a boy I was dating and it was about a dream...or not. That was part of the fun.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love James Patterson. I will read pretty much anything he puts on paper. I also enjoy the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz. I like his quirky characters and how he makes them seem so normal.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
On the bus en route work, I tend to read books on my phone more than anything else. I do have a Nook and a Kindle which I prefer to use at home or when traveling. I love that you can make the font bigger. Sigh, old eyes.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Champion, Ohio with 4 siblings. I remember my mom taking us to the library every week, but we were limited on the number of books we could get. My sister Kelly and I read the same types of books so we would check out ones we both liked, and we got in double the reading! We would take turns reading aloud to each other. This is something my husband and I have kept going with our two daughters--weekly trips to the library and reading out loud. Even when I'm traveling with the Air Force, my 13-year-old and I will get on the phone together and she'll read to me from a book we are sharing. I love that time together. I think because of my love of reading, I've always wanted to be a writer. I'm sorry I waited so long. I have a lot of stories to tell.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I'm getting ready to go to print with the first Junior Fiction book in the Lady Tigers' Series, "Trish's Team." The Lady Tigers are a girls' travel softball organization. In the first few books, the girls are 11-12 years old. My plan in later books is to pick from an older team in the organization. The girls learn that being part of a team is more than about what happens on the field. I'm excited about this series. I played travel ball growing up and both my girls played for the WIlliamsburg Starz organization. It is a great organization and we spent a lot of time with those other families. I miss them when we go too many weekends without a tournament. I loved Matt Christopher books when I was younger, but it was all about boys' sports. I feel it's time for girls to have their day!
What are you working on next?
I hope to get 10 books in the Lady Tigers' Junior Fiction Series. Book 1 is with the printer; book 2 is with an editor; and I'm writing book 3. I also have a third Jackie Austin Mystery started, "Truth Has No Agenda." Jackie is now stationed at the Pentagon working in the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) office where she discovers things aren't always as clean as they seem upon first look. She'll need to ferret out the truth.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I realized how hard it was to get noticed by a big publisher. Even the query letters were hard! Then they take such a large percent of your profit, while you also give up many decision making rights. In the end I decided to go it alone. Then I learned so many lessons the hard way, that I decided to establish my own publishing company and help other people through the struggles I had already faced. Now I have 10 other authors whom I have walked through the process. Everyone's goals are different, but it's nice to have someone to work through it with.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has extended my reach far more than I could have done on my own. With their strict formatting, it has also forced me to tighten up my presentation. Now I try to get it right from the beginning rather than fixing it at the end.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I'm in the Air Force working at the Pentagon. I won't deny, I like being "in the know." I feel more engaged with what is going on in the world, in Congress, and with our military by helping to shape policy and legislation that can make a difference. Sure takes a long time though...
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work full-time for the Air Force, have two teenage girls, and run a publishing company. That takes most my time. But I also love crafts--quilting is my latest craze, but I'll see something and just have to try to make it. I may only make one and then I'm on to the next thing, but I made one!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
My 15-year old steers me to quite a few. Both my girls read a lot--easily 8-10 books a week, more on breaks. My oldest daughter is constantly telling me, "You have to read this." No way I can keep up, but I get in a few for her.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.