Interview with MLR Press

Describe your desk
My desk is a 1940's oak office desk from Kodak. It's huge, heavy and awesome. In addition to the very large top, 3 ft. x 5 ft., it has two sideboards that slide out to give me more room. The top of the desk is covered with paperwork, series bibles, notepads, pencils and pens, 3 computers, one printer and four desk lamps.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small Pennsylvania town in the western border. While my childhood was a comfortable middle class with 2 working parents and 5 siblings, I wanted to go out and see more of the world. I was thrilled when I graduated with my career as a nurse, and moved away from home to start a life exploring the world. I ended up married at 25 and living in California. From there we moved to New Hampshire briefly, and then New York. I still travel for my job as a writer and enjoy the new places I go, if not the actual travel to get there.
When did you first start writing?
I began writing when my youngest was 2 years old as a hobby. 18 years later, I'm still doing it, just now full time. I started writing fanfiction and more to original stories once I learned more about the craft.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is the sequel to one I wrote 14 years ago. I read a challenge on the SyFy website that wanted a pirate treasure story in a sci-fi setting. I immediately thought of making the pirate the actual treasure instead of making it the usual gold and sliver. That led to creating an alien bounty hunter who is tasked with returning to Earth in the 18th century to kidnap a pirate. That led to a m/m romance that continued in the second book. It was a challenge to writing in historical pirate terms while building an alien culture, rituals, laws and personalities, but the first book earned an EPPIE finalist award and readers fell in love with the characters.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I write m/m erotic romance which was a hard sell 18 years ago when I started, especially as a straight woman writing m/m romance. But I have persisted and will continue to do so as long as readers enjoy it.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I find Smash words to be a get partnership to allow me access to more distribution channels with less time invested. It gives my work exposure and gets it into channels I might not have access to as a single author or small publisher.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy as an author is getting feedback from a reader that enjoyed my work. It makes it all worth it to know I touched someone or gave them a few hours of enjoyment.
What do your fans mean to you?
Readers are the reason authors write. We put words down on paper (computers) so that we can share them. There is little joy or satisfaction for an author in an unread story.
What are you working on next?
A short holiday story about a reindeer shifter and one of Santa's elves. It's about hope, faith, magic and a lot of love and joy.
Who are your favorite authors?
I'm a mystery buff myself. I love P.D. James and Agatha Christie. I write a romantic suspense series (Reese Holt) to get that out of my system. LOL.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Usually a ringing cellphone. With an active family and an entire press depending on me, there are lots of reason to get moving in the morning. Life is waiting!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Helping my youngest with college paperwork, having sleepovers with my grandson, traveling with my husband or sitting in my char with my feet up. It all depends on the day and how late I stayed up the night before writing.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Recommendations from others. Looking for my favorite authors, their author websites, and following them on social media.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was fanfiction, written in a email because I didn't know how to use an editor. I have it on my hard drive. LOL. That was a lot of stories ago.
What is your writing process?
I'm an outliner, a plotter, for lengthy stories. I like to loosely work out the the story progression in the forma of very brief paragraphs or a sentence or two. The fill in or diverge as my inspiration takes me. It helps keep my focused and makes sure I don't miss a sequence in the story development, especially if I'm writing suspense. Contemporary short stories I can sometimes just start and write with the basics of the story in my head. World building stories like sci-fi require detailed outlining, as well, for me. I write story bibles for every novel, in case I want to pick the characters back up again with a sequel. Having all the details in one place I can refer to is invaluable for me as a time saver and for story detail.
Published 2017-11-28.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.