Way back in 2012, I received a Kindle Fire as a Christmas gift from my husband and my mother. I'm still using it today, although I have begun reading more from the Kindle App on my phone. E-readers are great for when I travel, but it doesn't compare to curling up with a paperback.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I've mostly relied on growing my social media network via organic opportunities. When I first found the book community, I made so many friends online. It was incredible and humbling. To this day, it's the relationships I've built with readers, bloggers, authors and other book professionals that mean the most to me. It just so happens I've been able to write books that my friends can enjoy.
Describe your desk
I share my writing desk with my husband, who is also an author. It sits in a corner of a room on the top floor of our home, bordered by windows with a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. The scenery can be both inspirational and distracting.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I've lived in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States my entire life, although I love to travel whenever and wherever I can. The geography is quite dramatic - oceans, valleys, high desert, and mountains - and there are numerous wide open spaces with very few people. I've always found that my imagination can take over quite quickly whenever I'm roaming outside.
When did you first start writing?
I was 11 years old. The writing bug landed on me from out of nowhere one day. I wrote stories all through my teenage years, but set the hobby aside when I reached adulthood. It was my husband's interest in writing that drew me back in. He asked me to edit his projects, and it all progressed from there.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Constellation is a dramatic, May-to-December, contemporary romance set against the backdrop of the Cascade Mountain range in Bend, Oregon.
The initial inspiration for the novel is the first chapter of the story, and is a twist based on something that happened in real life. Sometimes life is stranger than fiction ...
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I was lucky with my debut novel, Exposure. I co-wrote it with my husband, and it was accepted by the first publisher we approached. Ultimately, the book was distributed by Simon & Schuster. The experience was incredible, but when it came to writing the Constellation series, I wanted to tell the story in a particular way. I'm also a bit of a workaholic and relished the opportunity to experience all the ins and outs of being an indie author. I've really enjoyed having a larger hands-on role in all aspects of publishing.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Constellation is the first book I've published on Smashwords, so I can't answer this question quite yet. But, I was impressed by Mark Coker when I attended a couple of his panels at RT 17 in Atlanta. I have total faith that I'll grow as an author by publishing with Smashwords.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love character studies, so to me it's about creating compelling characters that everyone can relate to. As a reader, a strong connection with a character is essential to my enjoyment of a novel. I want to care about everything that happens to the characters I read - the good, the bad, and the ugly.
What do your fans mean to you?
I have a hard time believing that I have fans at all. I really think of everyone I interact with in the book world as a friend. Building relationships with readers is one of the best things about being an author. Because of the people I've met in the writing community, my life has been changed forever.
What are you working on next?
I've just finished writing the second book in the Constellation series. My editor is working on the manuscript now, and I'm looking forward to its release in May 2018.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.