I am writing a paranormal romance about a woman who meets a man who might be just a bit too charming. Calista has a seizure, something she hasn't experienced since childhood. It re-opens a door that allows her to contact her mother, father and sister, all deceased - at least in this world. She's offered a special vision and a purpose. To help her charming new man find himself.
The theme is really about living in the moment. This moment, right now. Right now, you are not all of the stupid things you have ever done. Right now, you just are and that's a good thing.
Who are your favorite authors?
John Wyndham is one of my favourite classic authors, my favourite book being the The Chrysalids. That guy was ahead of his time. His work was completely original and unlike many of the other classic sci-fi books I've read.
I struggle to name a favourite current author. As an example, I have read the Twilight series but still wouldn't putStephanie Meyer as a favourite even after I read "The Host", which I enjoyed quite a bit. My favourite poet is Bruce Meyer (no relation to Stephanie Meyer) who I also know and love. I'm currently reading a lot of classic sci-fi, so my head isn't in the contemporary writers at the moment. When I come up with someone more current I'll keep ya posted!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My cat. She is the softest alarm clock I ever knew and she knows exactly where my bladder is.
My writing and visual art projects are usually piling up on me as well. I hope that with my art I can put a smile on someone's face and with my writing and art, inspire and maybe even incite some spark within. I have always felt I had to make a difference, it just took a long time before I had enough faith in myself and the power of creativity. If I didn't think my work could do anything meaningful I would be happy to lay in bed and daydream. I love sleep!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I'm not sure if this is the first story I ever wrote, but it's pretty close. I was in grade one or two in CFB Bagotville Quebec. My dog was being chased by this big dog, so I ran to get my Mom to help me save her. She sat me down on the porch and gave me my first birds and bees talk. Out of that came a little book called "Humping". I drew pictures of the dogs and wrote a little bit on each page and stapled them all together.
What is your writing process?
I generally write my first draft by hand. The story comes quickly and this way it feels organic. It flows to me as if from somewhere else. I am also a horrible typist. I have a bit of dyslexia and tend to continually type the same words wrong in exactly the same way. I drive myself nuts. When I hand write I don't make those same mistakes, and I also don't care. Not worrying during the process makes it a free experience.
Then I type it. Then I edit several times. Then it goes to some beta readers. Then I edit a few more times. Then it goes to an editor. Then I edit again. Then it goes to a proofer for those typos I am so good at making. My favourite part of the process is the first draft. Just getting that story out.
How do you approach cover design?
I've been a graphic designer for over 20 years. I love books and I love book covers. I try to approach each one differently. I won't give my first pass at it until I've been done the writing and editing process for at least a few weeks. I look at other covers I like in the genre for inspiration. I try to be open to ideas until the right one flows into this brain of mine and off I go.
With "Ashes", I saw an image of ashes with a word written in it while online looking for something else. That's when I knew I needed to create that cover. Actual ashes from the fire pit didn't work in the photos, so I used some other art supplies that would pass for it and it worked well. And of course, photoshop is one of the best programs ever invented!
I find it interesting that people are surprised that I went in this direction. I am a visual artist as well, so I suspect they expected I would draw or paint something. I have the feeling I'll be doing a painting for the paranormal romance I'm currently writing.
Describe your desk
My desk, when writing, is anywhere my lap is. I tend to want to be free of the studio space for writing. I can work in almost any room of the house but there.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I am a military brat. My dad was in the Canadian Air Force. Although we didn't live abroad a great deal, I enjoyed the benefits of growing up with a bunch of other kids who were forced to be flexible. Many moved every two years, so we made friends fast and many of us stayed friends over the distances. We lived with lots of different cultures and suffered the odd bigotry experience outside our crazy fold. This kind of environment taught me a myriad of great things I am not sure i could even express here. And what did it do for my writing? It taught me to see the world and people from a unique perspective.
What's the story behind your latest book?
"Ashes" was written while I was going through a spiritual crisis. I had dreams of my mom and dad since they passed away, which I always believed were actual visits from them from beyond. And then I started to pay more attention to the content of my more recent dreams. My parents and I always seemed to be having lunch, and I was doing all of the talking. THAT never happened while they were alive. Never. I was born into a family of talkers. So I began to doubt my dreams. I thought they must just be wishful thinking. I was lonely for them and wanted it to be real. So what else was I deluding myself about? Life after this life? God? It brought everything into question. It left me feeling quite empty. And so like any writer, I worked through it by writing "Ashes".
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I finished writing my novel and was seeking publishers, getting zero response. I researched all my options and when I read, time and time again, that authors with publishers still pay to get their book edited by an editor, that they have their own websites designed and implemented, that they set up their own readings and do most of the marketing themselves I wondered what on earth I needed a publisher for. I also read some horror stories from other authors whose publishers didn't do the edits they promised and put out poor quality books. I thought I could give this indie publishing thing a shot. Since, I have learned tons and continue to do so.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not writing I'm working on something creative. Drawing in ink or pencil, painting in acrylics or oils... I've been learning to sculpt a bit. Or I'm adding to my blog. I do try to get a walk in once a day in the summer. Balance is one of those elusive things for me. It's all about doing creative work and catching up on all of my ideas.
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