My desk is an eclectic array of organized chaos. Nothing is ever lost on my desk, merely forgotten about now and then. I'm also an unabashed packrat, though I draw the line at collecting actual trash. Everything else, however, has a reason for continued existence.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the country without many neighbors nearby. Reading was my entertainment, escape, and means to explore. Eventually, I was hungry for stories that I could not find, so I started writing them.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing about the age of fifteen. I didn't have internet or a computer at the time, so I developed an addiction to the stationary section of any store, grabbing packs of notebook paper and occasional binders to stuff them in. My love of mechanical pencils started then because stopping to sharpen or change out pencils would have disrupted the "zone" of writing. Most of what I wrote was fan fiction. I knew that actors were not necessarily like the characters I admired, so writing was how I got to meet them. The crossovers were dizzying because I loved far too many worlds not to pull them into one universe.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I love sharing my stories with people. Unfortunately, traditional publishers are extremely fickle, unhelpful to new authors needing direction to improve, and slow on top of that. I had been writing for decades before the advent of the ebook and print-on-demand. Knowing that others could see my work has encouraged me to improve my stories dramatically.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When a reader comes back to me to let me know how much they enjoyed my story, especially if it is not a genre they usually read. It feels really good to know that my words can resonate with others.
What are you working on next?
I'm taking a short break from the Sundered Lands Saga and working on my first novel manuscript that is now over twenty years old. I had a long stint of not writing much because the real world had demands on my attention. Now that life has settled down (relatively,) I am back to my first love and sharing it with my second love, my husband of over twenty years.
Who are your favorite authors?
Anne McCaffery and Steven Brust are the first names that come to mind. There are several others I remember more for the series they wrote than their names. I'm horrible connecting names to things or faces, unfortunately.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Hands down, my family does. They are my joy along with my writing.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Several ways. Sometimes, I will take recommendations from friends or members of the science fiction/fantasy fan group I am a part of. Other times, I will look up my favorite authors to see if they had brought out a new book. But most of the time, I will surf book selling sites and if a combination of title and cover catch my attention, I'll glance through it and nab it. The better books, I will follow up with getting a physical copy if its offered somewhere.
What is your writing process?
I am what is called a "pantser." I am constantly thinking about stories in the back of my mind. Occasionally, I will write notes, but I rarely use outlines. Fixed structures can inhibit the flow of a story and the little nuances that some would cut out as unnecessary are the small points that add to the structure and depth of the story world. The first draft undergoes many, many revisions and alterations to firm it up.
How do you approach cover design?
I couldn't do graphic design to save my life. I recently started working with the folks at Blue Harvest Creative, who have been absolutely awesome. The kinds of covers that always attracted me were those with gorgeous artwork, because I see the cover as representative of the story in a visual sense. Not that it is telling the story, but there is a feeling or sense a visual piece of art gives that can echo the written work it represents. It is a glimpse that sets the mood when I open the book and settle in.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.