When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend it with my family and those I hold close to me, especially my precious grandbaby. I also do a lot of work for American Cancer Society's, Relay for Life. I am the Captain of my team and I am also the Survivor/Caregiver Chair person. I have been a cancer survivor for four years now.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I usually search for a certain genre, look at the description, and if I think it is something I may be interested in, I purchase it. I don't like to go by the ratings, I have found some great stories from books with low or no ratings. The way I look at it, everyone has their own opinions and they are not always the same as mine. I also have a few favorite Authors, if I know they have a new book coming out I will search for it.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Of course! It is one that I never published and at this time do not plan on publishing. It is something very personal to me and I have only shared it with three other people. The first story I ever wrote that I published was, A Faerie Tale: Leigha's beginning.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My Kindle. It was a Christmas gift to me from my husband.
What has been your most memorable vacation?
In 2011, my husband and I took a cruise to Jamaica and Grand Cayman. We stayed in a room with a balcony and every morning I would sit out there and watch the sun rise over the water and every night I would watch it set. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. When I am having a bad day, or going through something, I close my eyes and picture myself back on that balcony. The islands were beautiful and the locals were some of the nicest people I have ever met. I can't wait to go again.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on the fourth book in the Grey Vision series, Grey Vision: Interventions. I am very excited to see where things go for Greyson.
How do you approach cover design?
I try to find something that will connect with the story. Sometimes, I find the perfect one right away, other times, it takes awhile. In fact, the book I am working on right now, I have four different ones I am trying to choose from. After I find the perfect cover photo I begin working on the title and Author positioning.
Describe your desk
Ha! Well, my desk consists of, my recliner and my laptop. I guess I am not really a desk kind of person.
When did you first start writing?
I have always enjoyed writing. I guess I started around the age of 10, I used to write as a sort of therapy. My father was in a bad accident and eventually lost his life. It was a pretty hard couple of years, writing made things a little more bearable. I wrote a couple of short stories in high school, they were assignments.
What is your writing process?
I get an idea for a certain character and before I even began to type, I let the character come to life. Sometimes, they change few times before I even begin typing. Once I begin, I let my characters take over and tell their story. =)
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I have always loved to read. When I went through my cancer journey, it was a pretty bad time in my life. I had everyone around me telling me how little of a chance of survival I had. To escape the stress of that, and the pain and suffering that came with my surgeries and chemo, I would read. It was a way of escaping my reality and living in someone else's. Thankfully, I beat the odds! When I write, I am able to make up my own world, with no rules, I can do whatever I want and I am in control of the outcomes of my characters. It brings me joy to think I am giving my readers an escape. I don't know, I just find it peaceful and relaxing to write.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have so many different favorites. I don't think I could even list them all. Some of them are H.T. Night, V.C. Andrews, Suzanne Collins, J.K. Rowling, Jessica Sorrensen, James Patterson, P.C. Cast, Krista Wick, Nicholas Spark, Karen Marie Moning, E.L.James, Stepanie Meyer, Erica Stevens, J.A. Templeton, Nicky Charles, Steven King, and many more. I told you I had a lot. =)
Tell us a little about your family?
Well, I am happily married to my very best friend. I have known him since I was 13 years old. We started our family at a very young age. Together we have a very beautiful daughter, and an adorable grand daughter. I have a younger brother. He has given me two beautiful nieces and a very handsome nephew. We lost our father when we were very young. He was in an accident and a couple of years later died of a brain aneurism. In a way, I think this brought us even closer together. We miss him more every day. My mother is one of my biggest fans and she is by my side with everything I do, cheering me on. She is one of my best friends!
What is your favorite color?
I love Purple, but I love Purple and Black together even more. =)
What are your ten favorite books or series?
These are in no particular order. 1. Harry Potter Series. This is the first series of books that I read with my daughter, so, of course it would be a favorite. 2. The Hunger Games Trilogy. 3. The Host 4. The Fallen Star series 5. Midnight Fire series 6. The Mystic Wolves 7. Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy 8. Mate of the Werewolf 9. The Blood Haze series 10. Shade of a Vampire series
What is your favorite comfort food?
Ha ha! I would have to say, Ice cream. My favorite is anything with peanut butter and chocolate. =) Orange Cream comes in at a very close second. =D
Do you have any furry family members?
Yes, I have a 4 year old Shih Tzu, that I love to death. His name is Jasper Jackson and he is my baby boy. He loves to be cuddled and give lovins. He really loves to jump up on my lap and cuddle when I am writing. =)
What is your favorite season?
I have two, fall and spring.
What has been your biggest challange so far?
My biggest challenge, by far, was my fight with Cancer. I was diagnosed at the age of 34 years young. I was diagnosed with stage 3c Ovarian and 1b Uterine cancer in 2009. I have been through some pretty big surgeries and 6 grueling months of chemo. I have to say that was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Not only physically, but mentally and emotionally, as well. It was the hardest fight for my life that I have ever had and I had to watch the ones I love go through it as well. I have to say that was just as hard as physically fighting. There were many days that I was so tired, sick. and in pain, I wanted to just be left alone. I didn't let it effect me for long though. I had to beat the odds and survive so that I could be there for my daughter. I was determined not to leave her to go through what I did, by loosing a parent. I am happy to say, I have beat the odds and astounded all of the Doctors. The odds of survival were not to good for me, but with my family by my side, I did it. On March 10, 2010 I was told that my cancer was in remission. I have been in remission ever since. In fact as I do this interview, I am recovering from the surgery that I hope will be my last, I had my Mediport removed.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My main character, Greyson Cooper, has been able to communicate with the spirit world since he was three. When his parents discovered his ability it made them really uneasy. They tried not to treat him differently, but they just couldn't get past the fact that his best friend was his dead twin brother. Many years later, Grey goes on to become a detective. He uses his abilities to help solve cases. He doesn't trust anyone easily, making friendships and relationships difficult. His best friend is his baby sister, Katie, who is ten years younger than he. She is the only one that he has been able to truly open up with and be himself around. Their lives are about to change once again as Katie graduates high school and moves to Miami to live with Grey, while she attends college. I have always been intrigued by the thought of communicating with the spiritual world. I wanted to do something fun and not too scary with it. I am not going to give all of the story away, but I have some cool ideas in mind for these characters.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I know I have said this many times, but I have always loved writing. I was actually about a quarter of a way through writing my first book, A Faerie Tale: Leigha's beginning, when I began speaking with a family member about it. I had no idea that she had been writing, under a pen name of course, for quite a while. I knew I wanted to publish my book when I was finished and I was not looking forward to that process. I had heard so many horror stories about it. My cousin let me in on her secret. She actually helped me through most of the process to publish my first book myself. I have to say it was her that put me on that track, but I was very determined to do this and began learning as I went. In the beginning it was her that motivated me to go this route. It is a learning process for me and I don't mind it one bit. Here I am seven books later and I am still learning things, and I don't mind at all.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read all kinds of things for pleasure. I love a wide variety of things. What I read at the moment, depends on my mood at the time. I have been on a supernatural kick for a while now. The stuff just fascinates me.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I use a lot of social media and word of mouth. I just finished my first contest for an autographed book give away. I was able to build my Facebook page a little with that. I pretty much depend on word of mouth and social media. That might change the more I get into things.
Do you have any advice for your readers?
It is never to late to follow your dreams. If you want something, go for it, don't let anything stand in your way. Also, slow down in life and enjoy the small things. Life passes us by to fast as it is, take the time to enjoy it.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean everything to me. I write just as much for them, as I do for myself.
How much of your books are realistic?
All of my books, so far, have been Fiction. My characters are all made up from my imagination. In the Grey Vision series, there are a couple of places that my characters visit, that are based on real places in Miami.
Are any experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No, I do not know any real life Faeries or Homicide detectives that can communicate with the spirit world. =) In The Faerie Tale series, I wanted my main female character to be strong. Even though she would face hard obstacles, I always planned for her to find her strength and come out on top.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Nope. =) I really like how things came together in this last book. Now if I could just sit down long enough to work on the next book in this series. I have so many ideas floating around in my head, I need to get them down on screen.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I honestly haven't made it too far in this book, yet. I am working on Grey Vision: Interventions, it is the fourth book in the series. It is a dark time for Greyson Cooper. The love of his life just broke up with him because she couldn't handle loosing him. His job has brought a lot of danger into her life since she met him a short time ago. She loves him so much that she would rather end their relationship now before something has a chance to take him away from her. Grey would normally burry himself in his work, but his Chief put him off until the investigation is completed. I won't spoil it for those of you who have not read the third book yet as to why he is being investigated. Let's just say that many people want them together and will do what ever they can to try and bring them back together. ;)
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Most of the time things just pop into my head. I start thinking about it and that is when my main character(s) are born. I do a lot of research on different things before I write the story. For example, with the Faerie Tale series, I researched different types of paranormal powers. I wanted to know everything that each power could do and if anything would interfere with the power. With the Grey Vision series, I have researched a lot of different things on communicating with spirits. I also had to research what the job of a homicide detective entailed. Once I got a little further into the story and my characters did more things, I had to look into different laws and jurisdictions. When my main character made a major purchase in the third book, I had to research everything there was on this major purchase. =)
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I am currently writing my eighth book. I have to say that they are all my favorites for different reasons. The Faerie Tale series was the first thing I have ever published, so that will always be my baby. That series was a big learning experience for me. I love every single character that I have ever created, even my villains. =D
What does your family think of your writing?
They all think it is really cool that I am doing something that I love to do and they are very proud of me for following my dreams. My mom goes out and purchases my books the second they are released. I have so much fun talking with her about it too. I think she gets just as excited about my new characters as I do.
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