I am all over the place with my favorite authors. I will start with my childhood favorites. They are Dr. Seuss (a genius to me), C.S. Lewis (The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe), and Lewis Carroll (Alice In Wonderland). As I matured, I came to love Terry McMillan, Chinua Achebe, Stephen King, Toni Morrison, J.K. Rowling, BeBe Moore Campbell, V.C. Andrews and too many others to mention.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I have always been the one who read books and magazines from back to front. I cannot wait to know what the ending will be. I say that to say that I am always very anxious to see where my life is going. So, what inspires me to get out of the bed in the morning each day is my "curiosity" of knowing what and where each day will lead me.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Wow. I could be doing a plethora of things. I recently volunteered with a women's business center as a volunteer coordinator. I also created and taught a Microsoft PowerPoint class for individuals who were looking to re-enter the workforce and/or start their own businesses. I love watching television shows and movies, so that is the obvious answer. However, I love going to Lowe's and doing home projects. My mother is usually my partner in crime, so we are both doing something that is craft related. I helped my parents rebuild after a huge tornado and we are still remodeling. (No, we had contractors do the important things). I paint, put up wallpaper, and decorate.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I peruse through online bookstores and read the topics and maybe a first chapter and if it sparks my interest, I will read. Though recently, I have been following a lot of authors on social media and I learn about their works and if the topics inspire me, I read them. Lastly, my old favorite books are now becoming ebooks, so, if I loved them in the past, I will re-read.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
No. I have written so many stories that I cannot remember my first. The one that stands out to me the most is the one that I wrote when my nephew was born ten years ago. I am currently working on getting it published. (It is about my love for him)
What is your writing process?
My writing process is to sit and write the first thing that comes to mind. If I like it after reading it over and over again, I keep it. If I don't like it, I scrap it. So, there really is no process. Writing my weekly blog inspires a lot of ideas for potential books.
How do you approach cover design?
I would not recommend doing your own book cover design unless you are an artist. Always have your own idea, but make sure that you hire a professional to get your vision across. It is what they do. I met a wonderfully talented book cover designer Karen Ronan (http://coversbykaren.com/). I knew what I wanted because I always envision the book cover when coming up with the topic and title of my book. To me, it all goes hand-in-hand. It's something like coming up with your logo when you start your business. You know what you are trying to convey and you want your logo to reflect your purpose. I tell her (Karen Ronan) what my book is about and we collaborate on what the cover should be. I had the best experience with her. It was as if she could read my mind.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
My five favorite books are as follows: 1.The Bible: Actually, my children's bible. It is one of my favorite books because it was my foundation. My parents read it to me every night. The stories were incredible and easier to understand. When my mother opened her day care center over thirty years ago, I read these same stories to the children who attended. A lot of them (grown with children of their own) visit me today and reminisce about how I would read them the children's bible. My mom is now retired and the tradition continues with my niece and nephews. 2. Dorothy Dandridge A Biography by Donald Bogle: This is my most cherished book because I admire this woman. She was someone who was so beautiful, yet had such a complex life. Her story was the first one to teach me that just because you are beautiful does not mean life will be easy. 3. Battlefield of The Mind by Joyce Meyer: My aunt gave me this book. Like most, I have had so many obstacles at my own hand. This book gave me a better perspective on how I should move forward with my life. 4. The Iliad and the Odyssey books by Homer: I attended a liberal arts class in college. It was mandated that all freshmen had to take a Humanities course. The assignment were these books. While reading them, I fell madly in love with Greek and Roman mythology. I watch the History and Discovery channels every time the Trojan War or any god (Athena, Zeus, Hercules, etc.) are discussed. 5. Carrie by Stephen King: My aunt used to read all of the Stephen King books and when she was done, she would give them to my mother. As a child, I would sneak and read these books and have nightmares for weeks. This book taught me that reading scary stories is much more scary than watching scary movies. It is as if, the vividness of the words gets seared into your brain.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love to read biographies. It is very interesting to learn the stories of others. Everyone has gone through things. We can all relate to the human experience for this very reason. For instance, you may never know that you and your favorite celebrity share a similar life experience. Or, you can never judge a book by its cover.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My e-reading device of choice is my laptop. I have Window's 8.1 and I can download books to my apps of choice. A tablet can also be great because it is slightly larger than a mobile phone and the words are larger for viewing.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Social media and word of mouth have been very helpful for me. I am on various social media sites like, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest to name a few. However, word of mouth will forever be the best marketing strategy. It never gets old.
Describe your desk
My desk is my lap, my bed, my couch, or my dining table.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the South. Though I moved to the East later in life and back home to the South. My life experiences from everywhere I have lived, have influenced my writing. I would say that my parents and my familial experiences influence my writing more than my geographical locations.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing when I moved to the Northeast. I had talked my family and friends into a frenzy over a break-up that happened years before. They were so tired of me that I had to start writing my feelings instead of telling them anything anymore. I understood. I had gotten on their nerves and they wanted me to move on already. It wasn't until I started writing that I began to move on. It was very cathartic for me.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My book is about my life. It was always instilled that a woman should be married and have children by a certain age. The fairy tales played a major part in me thinking and believing this idea. However, there are no fairy tales that tell little girls how to live happily ever after if you never have a chance to get married. I missed my opportunity to be married because my college sweetheart and I broke up after eight years of dating. I beat myself up for years and never dated again. So, I assumed that one should be unhappy if you are never married or had children. I made myself miserable based upon this notion and later found that this is not true. You make your own happiness. I guess you can now understand the title of my book - Unhappily Never After. (There is a lot more that happens in-between all of this).
What motivated you to become an indie author?
A friend of mine who is also an indie author of several books, Dianne Swann, read my book and told me that I should publish it because it could help women get over relationships. That struck a chord with me because I always believed that I was the only one who went through this. Then I thought about it - I couldn't be the only one. So, I decided that if this helps at least one person, I have done what I set out to do. After hearing her words of encouragement, I took the plunge and started researching how to publish my book. I have a business background ( MBA), so I decided to do this on my own and I did.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has exposed my book to many other ebook sites. It helps indie authors put their works in places that we may not be privy to. They want indie authors to succeed. They raised the bar for indie authors to put out a stellar work of fiction/non-fiction. People who may not have ever seen my work, can now purchase it - thanks to Smashwords.
What are you working on next?
I have several ideas that I am working on but the next one will be a children's book.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing for me is releasing all of the pain and struggles that I have written. As I have said before, writing for me is cathartic and whenever I write, I release what I am feeling. All of the heartache and heartbreak disappears when I type my very last sentence. It also takes me away from my troubles of the day. It helps me sleep at night.
What do your fans mean to you?
I don't have fans. I am not famous and even if I did become famous, I would have friends. I do not like the word fans because it is the shortened word for fanatic. That means that the person who likes me and my books are extreme, militant or simply put, crazy. I don't like that notion at all.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Yes, I remember reading Cinderella. The impact on me lasted until this day. I wanted and expected to live Happily Ever After. However, it just didn't work for me ( based upon society's expectations). It is one of the reasons why I wrote my book and started my blog. (I am laughing)
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.
Real life is not a fairy-tale.
A young woman wants her happily ever after, but what will it cost her when she realizes that her dream may not ever come true. Will she have her chance to have a happy ending?