I was drawing stories long before I knew how to write. I was probably 6 or 7 when I wrote my first story that I clearly remember. It was about a wolf family that goes on a picnic. When I was in 6th grade we did a project where we wrote and illustrated our own books and then received hard copies of them! I've been coming up with stories ever since.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My current project is the 3rd book in my More than Magic series, which was inspired by a cruise that I went on. After this I'll be moving on to a series that came to mind while I was wandering around a creepy antique shop by myself.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Smashwords was just hitting the radar when I finished my first book. The idea of having all of the control to myself was very appealing. I also took two years to write my book, I didn't want to wait another year or two for the slow traditional publishing process. SW made it look so easy and I saw tons of indies who seemed very happy with it. I decided to go for it and am so happy I did!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Because of the distribution through Smashwords I have reached the top 100 on iTunes, iTunes UK, and B&N. I don't think I would ever have published to these venues without the help of Smashwords. The coupon system also makes it very easy to give books as prizes and the promotion SW does for discounted and free books is fantastic.
What do your fans mean to you?
I LOVE my fans. To be entirely honest, I think I would probably still write without my fans, but I wouldn't be nearly as prolific or enjoy it as much. My fans motivate me to finish books and encourage me when I feel like my writing isn't up to par. I was incredibly nervous when I released my 2nd book, but the fan reaction was so positive that I went straight into writing another!
Nothing gets my day off to a good start like seeing a message from a fan telling me they enjoyed my books. I love my characters and the worlds I create and it brings me so much joy to see that other people enjoy it too. There is nothing quite like the feeling of being immersed in a good book and thinking about it when I'm done reading. It's a great feeling to know that I am bringing that same emotion to other people.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The dog barking at me to go outside.
I kid (mostly). To be 100% honest, I am NOT a morning person. I open the back door for the dog and go straight for the coffee maker. If I had my way I would snuggle down under the covers until noon.
But, I am probably taking this too literally. I've got my husband, my dog, and my turtles to take care of. I have two fantastic, supportive parents who always encouraged my creative side. I feel like more and more I see horrific things on the news, but I also find the little positive stories as well. I like to think that somewhere out there is someone who just read something awful in the news, and then picks up my book and feels a bit better.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I currently have a day job at a university, so I spend the standard Nine to Five at my desk. I spend weekday mornings walking my dog down by the lake and doing the boring household chores like dishes and laundry. In the evenings my husband makes dinner - I feel no shame in admitting that he is a better cook than I am. In fact, he's a fantastic cook. After we eat I usually do end up writing, unless there's a game on. We're both hockey and football fans, so September through December are my least productive months, as I spend a lot of time watching games.
But, if I'm not doing any of that AND I'm not writing, I crochet, I bake, and I love to garden. I also spend a lot of time trying to recreate the decorations I see on Pinterest! And, of course, reading!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Before becoming an indie author I really didn't read very many ebooks. I had my standard bookstore run where I went to the same shelves and grabbed new books by the same authors. Now most of my ebooks come from other indies that I interact with. We trade them, or I snag them on 99 cent or free days to support my fellow indie authors. Some are recommended to me by bloggers and some I just stumble onto being advertised on Facebook.
What is your writing process?
I am all over the place! I generally start with a paragraph or two that describes the basic plot. Then I come up with short character bios for the main characters. I plan and expand from there, both plot and character development, until I can write a 2-3 sentence blurb about each chapter and have a few solid characters.
Then I sit and write each chapter and just let it flow! I usually send each chapter to my alpha readers as I finish and then go to work on the next. When I'm done I put them altogether in one big file and edit. Then off it goes to my editors!
Describe your desk
In order to describe my desk, I have to describe my entire writing space. I call it my writing nook. It's a tiny little thing, tucked in under the stairs in the basement. I have a big comfy pillow I sit on and one behind my back. I have a wooden square, not a cube, it's 4 pieces of wood all nailed together, that I put my laptop on. I usually have coffee and a bowl of snacks on the bottom 'shelf'. There's just enough room on top for my laptop.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.