I've worked in various writing roles in the publishing industry. I started as a ghostwriter and got run to death trying to make money and make this a viable career.
Then along came a Kindle.
I'm changing gears completely from anything I've ever previously published and I am starting from zero without an audience. My other books are mostly conservative and traditional, which is funny because my real life story is queer. My old books were written with my grandmother in mind (and the audience I had built up).
These new books are to help build an audience for my memoir, which is the most important story I've every written. I hope you'll be interested enough in my writing to look into some of my nonfiction romance. Mark is a really great guy and I want to show you how I fell in love with him... and I hope you will to. (And Mark's big, narcissistic head will be filled with joy that so many people love him.)
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing. If I don't write, I get anxious and I feel like I am losing stories and sentences which will never come back. If I don't get out a 'perfect' sentence before I stop thinking about it, then it will frustrate me and be lost forever.
I hate losing things.
I also love editing. I love talking to fans through email. I don't like converting epub files but I also love that the conversion is kind of like a puzzle (and I love puzzles).
Also, publishing is kind of like a video game. You write. You gain experience. You gain levels (fans, book sales). And then you keep leveling up! So fun!
What do your fans mean to you?
I've sold many books and received many fan letters of the years. I've never had the kind of emotional reaction that I've had with my Patreon experiment. Part of this is because I'm going through a rough health phase, part of this is because I'm being so open about who I am as a person, and part of it is because I hope to use this Patreon audience to propel my memoir up through the charts.
Here's hoping! I absolutely love my fans and things as simple as 'likes' cheer me up a great deal.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Ask Mark, he forces me to take breaks. Often, I spend my non-writing time either watching my son grow up and going through those milestones, or berating Mark for making me take a break from my writing.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Stories! I write for at least an hour first thing every morning!
Who are your favorite authors?
I loved Elena Ferrante's Napoleon Novels.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was a story about flowers and I was in the fourth grade. The teacher selected mine to be on display. I still remember her words: "I wasn't going to choose Chris' book, but I saw how much he improved from the draft to the finished copy."
What a backhanded compliment. And that's also basically the story of my life... so I guess I don't even need to write a memoir!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Wisconsin along Lake Michigan. The Lake has greatly influenced everything about my perspective. I grew up in a conservative small town. I still have ingrained small town views, even though I lived in Chicago for a decade. I do feel like I'm straddling two worlds by living in the country near my family, but being in a partnership with my husband and having an adopted son. Most people just write us off as weird, but some can be mean.
When did you first start writing?
Immediately after college I suffered through the onset of my autoimmune disorder (undiagnosed for several years). I didn't know what was wrong. All I knew was that for at least one week out of the month my body dragged, my mind was fogged and I was completely unproductive.
I was a very talented graduate. Had this chapter in my life not occurred, or happened a little later in my life, I would be an engineer right now. But life is as it is, and I turned to writing to complain about my body and my personal frustrations. Then I tried to make it a career (seeing as I could work flexible hours). Then I made it a career.
Describe your desk
I have a bluetooth keyboard and a Kindle 10 which I use the 'blue light' setting and can type at for hours. I have a Samsung smartphone (still without a phone plan) that I use for voice to text typing. I walk with it and can be found in my local park, or walking through the house, or on vacation. That's how I do the majority of my typing.
I finalize things at my sit down desk, which has so many lists and checkboxs and reminders for best practices... and one little post it sitting directly under my monitor that says: "NO Internet Until Done With WRITING". I don't live up to that goal, but I don't get online until I've finishing my hour of morning writing.
Also, there's a photo of me and Mark and Alex when Alex was younger. It's my favorite picture. Does that make me mushy? To have them at my work station?
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.