Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Southern New England. It is an area that is close knit but unwelcoming of outsiders. I went to many different schools as a child; my family had to move a lot because my mother was a single mother and she couldn't really afford much. This has affected the way I write because my characters don't come from happy home lives. All of my characters are struggling with fractured home lives. Some grew up without any family and others had a "normal" family but lost it to tragedy. I was affected more by my hectic childhood than the physical location of where I grew up. That being said I tend write stories that have forests and hilly locations. Deserts and hot locations rarely appear in my writings. I'm sure as I progress as an author my answer to this question will change.
When did you first start writing?
That's a good question. I was about seven or eight years old and I received a create your own story American Girl doll. I remember trying to write her story and finding it difficult to write it. So, I decided to figure out how to write. My next foray into writing happened when I tried to write fanfic for Unicorns of Balinor. I threw it all away because I thought people would think I was trying to plagiarize. I was in middle school at that point and we had just learned that plagiarizing was bad. I wrote a bit through middle school but always thought I wasn't good enough. I'd take writing classes but other students were better writers and I guess I just thought no one would want to read what I write. That didn't stop me from writing but it did slow my progression as a writer down.
What's the story behind your latest book?
On my blog I described my writing process as having a million books floating in my head. Often I write bits of stories down and then forget them. Duchesses of Dark and Light has been a four year process. I started writing it because I needed to do something after I swore off dating and romance. The character felt alone and uncertain of the power flowing within her. I related to that. From there I wanted to know more about Laila and then I realized I was writing two characters and Sula came into being. The series is about learning to accept yourself and to believe in yourself. Each person has something to contribute to history whether it is a poem or a ballad. Each person affects the harmony of life. Not only that but both the dark and the light contribute to the harmony. In short, this is a story about learning to be more than you ever thought you could be.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Rejection and the way my brain works. My current series is in the works. All agents want polished pieces of work and I don't have one of those yet. My series started off as several blog posts. I was motivated to keep writing because people were reading the blog posts and liked what I had to write. When I jumped away from the blog format my writing suffered. Creating a serial is a nice way to keep in contact with readers in a more formal format. I want to be a successful author and since agents don't want works in progress I found a place where works in progress were acceptable.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I'm still pretty new to Smashwords. My four serials have been downloaded by a few readers and that encourages me to write more. At the moment all of my books are free (because they are serials) so financially speaking, this is a labor of love and devotion. Ask me again in a few months.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When people say they like what I wrote. I guess that is a huge boost because it means that I'm doing something right. A lot of my stories are tragedies and I guess that comes from my past but my characters all have the potential to be better than who they were and seeing that potential is also a great bonus.
What do your fans mean to you?
They are extremely important. Without them I wouldn't write. When a fan says they want more I will gladly write more because I love that my fans relate to the story and the characters in the story.
What are you working on next?
I have a story cooking that is related to the Duchesses of Dark and Light. In serial number four I put in a bit of an easter egg regarding the story. Right now, I just want to get this serial finished and then we'll see where we go from there.
Who are your favorite authors?
There are so many; right now the ones who have the most influence on me are Ilona Andrews, Anne Bishop, L.J. Smith, Kelley Armstrong, and Kim Harrison to name a few.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My alarm clock. On a more serious note- I own horses and I plan on having a small Trakehner breeding operation in a few years. My horses are extremely important to me. They are, in a sense, my familiars.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work full time so most of my time goes there. I also spend a lot of time caring for my horses and plotting my future. I also love to sleep so I am usually doing one of the previous mentioned tasks if I'm not writing.
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