I am heavily influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien, as are almost all modern fantasy writers (whether they would admit it or not), but my all time favorite author is Terry Goodkind. A close second would be R.A. Salvatore.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I have a debilitating disease which kept me hospitalized or bedridden for almost four years. I count every day as a blessing, from the time assumed I'd expire to today. I'm still limited physically on what I can do, but I have a new-found appreciation on life. Every day I want to do something that will touch the lives of my children, so that they will remember me. I also want to leave my mark on the world, and not just fade into obscurity after I'm gone.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend my time mostly with my family. I have three kids. They all have there own passions in life, so I'm constantly attending dance practices and recitals, sports (all kinds because my son can't seem to pick just one) events, and play rehearsals. My oldest loves to read and write, so we read, edit, and write books together, as well.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I am fairly open to all genres and writing styles, but I've found I mostly like fantasy. I will read anything in the fantasy genre, new or old, it doesn't matter. I'm willing to give anything a chance.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I was in 9th grade when I first wrote an actual story. It was for a writing competition for an article in a local newspaper. My story won. My teachers had always urged me to write, but I had it in my head to be a doctor, from the time I was five, so I didn't pay any attention to their urging. After I won the competition, I started writing short stories and things when I was bored.
What is your writing process?
I write down ideas I get from dreams. I guess I have a wild imagination when I'm asleep, so I try to capture the strange concepts and expand on them. Sitting down and writing a whole story off of a five minute dream seems to be easy. I just imagine telling a story to my kids.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first book I remember reading, and really enjoying, was "A Wrinkle in Time". It's was so "out there" beyond anything my young mind had imagined at that time, that it made me believe anything could happen, even if only in your head.
How do you approach cover design?
The two main characters of my series have a telepathic link with, what I call, their Soul Dragon. The cover design (which is still in the making) is half the face of the hero, and half the face of their Soul Dragon. It seemed a natural fit. They are the same soul shared in two bodies.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
"Wizards first rule" because Goodkind immediately builds real characters you can relate to. "The temple of the Winds" another of Goodkind's books which shows the deepest reaches of true love that I have never seen or read about since. It's messy and real. "Faith of the Fallen" Yet another Goodkind gold-mine which shows the very real, very tragic downfall of humanity if we continue to sit passively by while governing forces slowly erode our freedoms that our ancestors fought so ardently to procure. "Chainfire" The last Goodkind book I'll mention because just when you think you've got him all figured out, Goodkind makes you question if all of his other books were some sort of dementia sated solely in the mind of the hero. And finally Salvatore's "Homeland" because I read it during a time in my life where I felt like an outcast among all the people I should feel comfortable with.
I guess all of these books are my favorite because they do something I wish I could do as a writer. They surprise, make you feel, and make you think.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love to read anything that will take me away. My favorite books are the ones that barely touch reality, but have real characters with real emotions. That is why my favorite genre is fantasy. I like to read to escape.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.