I have written incessantly ever since a was a child. My life-long aspiration to be a published author was shelved years ago due to the usual story I'm sure you've heard time and time again: life got in the way. I was working, sometimes at multiple jobs at once, I started a family, went to college, and so forth. There comes a time in your life when you realize you need to do something for yourself and that time came for me. And so, here I am!
What's the story behind your latest book?
CHEFREE is a special book to me. After writing an erotica novel with some intense action and sex scenes, I wanted to write something gentler, kinder and loving. CHEFREE fits the bill. It is a very traditional romance novel with all the elements you would expect: a heroine you can relate to; an Alpha-male hero who sweeps her off her feet; challenges to their union and their love eventually finding fruition. It's the type of romance I started reading years ago and a genre that is still going strong. I feel the book market is being over-run by erotica at the moment and so I wanted to write something that was sweet in addition to being sexy. Additionally, as a trained chef, it was fun to write a protagonist, Bree, who is a chef. Bree has the career I might have had if I had an earlier start in the culinary arts.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
After years of pushing my dream to be an author aside, the need to share my stories with others has prompted me to self-publish. I love to write, I love my characters and my stories and I am certain others will too. My beta-readers love my work and have encouraged me to publish it.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on a horror novel, PAISLEY. The beginning of the story finds my protagonist, Danny, disillusioned with his career as a novelist and eager to write a non-fiction book about a famous witchcraft trial that took place more than three-hundred years ago. Danny's editor is non-too pleased with Danny's insistence on writing the book but realizes Danny is in a rut and needs a change. He suggests that Danny go to Scotland to research the book in the place the event took place. Danny soon discovers the town of Paisley has a dark history, one that has plagued residents for centuries with what they call 'The Troubles'. What Danny first scoffs at as superstition soon becomes frighteningly real and Danny finds himself facing an evil he never believed could exist, one that threatens his sanity as much as his life and one that targets Danny for uncovering its sinister agenda.
Who are your favorite authors?
Wow, tough question! I have been reading Stephen King since I was a child. I can never get over how accessible his writing style is and how easily he draws me into his written worlds. As an avid fan of the genre, I love to read his work along with Robert R. McCammon and Clive Barker. For quick thrills, my go-to author is Stephen White. He spins a tale like no other and never fails to have me up all night to read one of his books in a single sitting, biting my nails the entire time! There are many more, Margaret Atwood, Douglas Adams, Greg Kramer... yeah, actually the list would go on and on.
What is your writing process?
I have an extremely organic process. I just write. I usually have a clear path in my mind of where I am going before I begin but I cannot sit back and plot out the work in a really structured way. I've tried that approach and found it stifling. My way often results in me writing myself into a figurative corner but that itself has two possible outcomes: one, I come up with a cool way to get my protagonist out of the bind, or two, I find I've messed up big time and have to go back and fix things. Usually the former happens so I stand by my process.
Recently a friend, fellow author Denyse M. Bridger, turned me on to the idea of using Pinterest boards to collect photos of inspiration for stories. What a fantastic idea! I do that now, just to have a visual of my characters and settings. My boards are on Pinterest if you're interested in seeing them.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Not the first story I ever read, but I read Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell-tale Heart" when I was eight years old and it scared the crap out of me! I promptly read a few more of his shorts and then started on my mom's Stephen King paperbacks. I guess that's where my love of horror started. I love being scared and scaring others. And although it takes a lot to scare me at this point, I keep looking for that book or film that will do it. It is a rush I will never tire of.
How do you approach cover design?
I try to create a cover that embodies the strongest emotion of the story. I prefer that to doing a cover with a photo of people who resemble my characters. I figure the reader will always picture the characters how they prefer them to look anyway and so I strive to create a cover that appeals to readers emotionally. It makes sense to me; I hope to connect with them emotionally in the body of the work, so why not tease that emotion on the cover?
What is your e-reading device of choice?
This is probably the wrong place to say this but I despise e-readers! I do have a Kobo and I do use it, just like the Kindle reader on my laptop. I understand and appreciate the convenience of e-readers and the technology has appealed to many who would not read otherwise. But for me, I love the feel of a book in my hands, the weight of it, I love the motion of turning pages, the sound of the page flipping and how my fingertips slide on the smooth pages. I love the smell of books, old and new. I love everything about them and a lot of what I love is lost when a book goes digital.
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