Interview with April Rankin

When did you first start writing?
5th grade. I wrote my first story in the 5th grade. Granted, it wasn't spectacular, and now that I think about it, I'm sure it was much like whatever book I'd been reading at the time.

I continued writing stories through high school. None of them will ever see the light of day. And then, I finally published 7 years ago, during the middle of my college career.

I've been publishing ever since.
What is your writing process?
Sporadic. There's no rhyme or reason to my process. It changes from one book to the next. I have over 15 works in progress, and any given day, I may chose any one of them to work on, or start something new. It just depends on where my muse takes me.

Sometimes I plot out every chapter. Sometimes I just write a sentence or two, sometimes it's really lengthy. Then other times, I just stare at a blank page and start to write, word for word with no idea where I'm going.
How do you approach cover design?
I design my own covers since I have tons of training in Photoshop (thanks, Bachelor's degree in Web design and Interactive Media).

My first step is always to envision what mood I'm trying to portray. Then I decide which photographs and stock images I want to use. I often use photos I've taken myself if they apply. Then I create a cover, tweak it, critique it, tweak it some more, stare at it a while, tweak again, and then call it finished.
Describe your desk

It's littered with little paper notes, flash drives, a glass of half-drunk wine (I'm working on it!), my tablet, tv remote, 3 computer screens, chapstick, the kitty-spray water bottle (for when the cat gets irritating), a POP figurine of Captain Jack Sparrow, a tsum-tsum Doctor Strange and Vision, red lipstick that I never put away, the mouse to my laptop and the one to my desktop, scissors, about 50 pens and pencils, a hair brush, my cell phone, speakers, eyeglass case, two cabinet knobs (lol, we've been remodeling the bathroom), and general chaos...

Thanks for reminding me I need to clean my office again...
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the woods in South Mississippi. We lived on a gravel road, with the nearest neighbor about 5 miles in either direction. At any given time, we had a few cows, tons of chickens, pet turkeys, rabbits, geese and whatever else my parents thought was a good idea. No cable tv, no internet, no satellite for the longest time. My family is true southerners; they hunt, they fish, they are outdoorsmen... I am not. I shoot wildlife with a camera and not a gun...

I liked the peace and quiet. I liked the feeling I could get when walking the woods alone. I liked reading books in the hammock outside in spring, and walking a mile to the river to swim in the summer. I did not like eating the animals we raised (that I fed every day!), I did not like watching my dad bring home a deer from the woods, and I did not like the fact that our electricity went out every time the wind blew hard enough.

But without the internet, and cable, and all that quiet, I had lots of time to read. In fact, it was the only thing I really could do until I was a teenager and my parents finally bought their first computer... Living there, just a few hours from New Orleans, invoked a love of books, which in turn gave me a larger imagination to use when writing.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm not a full-time author, but rather a writing enthusiast. Writing is a hobby, one I like to consider my alter-ego's job, and not mine. When I'm not writing, I'm typically working as an instructional designer (building online college courses, and corporate training modules and such). I'm also a mom and wife, which is endless work in itself.

Aside from that, I enjoy reading (of course!), swimming, planting flowers and maintaining my rose gardens, and art of any sort. I also have an addiction to Final Fantasy (all of the games!), and play when I find time.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I've read so many books over my lifetime! I've always been a reader, so the first story I chose to read for myself was probably one of those little golden books. As a young child, I loved '"There are Rocks in My Socks!'" said the Ox to the Fox' by Patricia Thomas. To my young mind, it was a real problem, and where I lived, it was common for me to have rocks in my shoes!

In middle school, I remember reading ALL of the Goosebumps books I could find, but it was the Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis I really fell in love with. That was when I began to realize that books weren't just words on paper, but worlds to explore. I followed CS Lewis books with Mercedes Lackey, RA Salvatore, Terry Goodkind, and so many other books. This is where I really fell in love with fantasy.

Then, in high school, I enjoyed epic poems (LOVED Gilgamesh!), and began exploring the world of romance. And now as an adult, I just consume everything I can read!
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything! I do read non-fiction, but love fiction more. Preferably something witty, with elements of romance, a good plot, and nail-biting suspense.

I read everything from horror to suspense to historical romance. If it looks good to me, I read it!
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Not happening. I don't have just 5 favorites. If I read a book more than 1 time a year, it's safe to say it's a favorite, and I couldn't rate them in order to get the top 5, so I'll just have to list my five favorite authors (in no specific order).

Karen Marie Moning - the Fever series is a to-read from beginning to end several times a year.

Darynda Jones - Charley Davidson series - I read every time I need a laugh.

Gena Showalter - Lords of the Underworld, Everlife, White Rabbit Chronicles, etc. - she writes a little bit of everything, and I read them all! I love her writing style and her witty humor.

Kresley Cole - Immortals after Dark, Arcana Chronicles, etc. - Another author who writes several genres that I love! It's difficult to find authors that write several series that I love equally!

Rick Riordan - Percy Jackson, Kane Chronicles, Tials of Apollo, etc - I've loved these since I was a kid! Rick is on my list because I have now shared my love of his books with my two girls, who love him as much as I do.

I have a ton of other favorites, but you asked for 5...
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Any way I can! Of course there's always my go-to authors, whose books I absolutely HAVE to have. Then I have several newsletters that send me emails about what I should read based on what I've rated before. Plus, I'm on several facebook book groups, and the members recommend books. And I'm a Goodreads member, so I get recommendations there also.

The truth is, I love books. If I see a cover I love, or read a description that intrigues me, I buy it. And I always check out recommendations from friends!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Samsung Galaxy 10.1 Nook edition (the giant 10" screen is amazing).
Published 2017-07-16.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Curse of a Demon King
Series: Warriors of the Veihl. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 65,570. Language: American English. Published: July 16, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
"What do you call a demon who can't come? Dead." - Brynna, witch extraordinaire "Witches are deceitful, conniving bitches and are good for only two things: Fucking and target practice." Rhys, Overworld Demon Prince
Keeper of the Veihl
Series: Warriors of the Veihl, Book 3. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 95,680. Language: English. Published: April 28, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
A HEARTBROKEN WARRIOR SHE CAN'T RESIST. A WOMAN THAT TEMPTS HIM LIKE NO OTHER. A MADMAN BENT ON THEIR DESTRUCTION. Together, can Roahn and Kat find a love worth fighting for or will they fall prey to the man who destroyed both of their lives?
Through the Veihl
Series: Warriors of the Veihl, Book 2. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 102,210. Language: English. Published: December 9, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Through the Veihl (#2 in the Warriors of the Veihl series) He was her savior. She would be his salvation. But can she defeat Death itself to free him? Will they fall prey to their own desires and find strength in one another, or will they let the world burn?
Into the Veihl
Series: Warriors of the Veihl, Sequel to Undercover Desire. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 115,930. Language: English. Published: March 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
My name is Mackenzie Grae. I am fighting a losing battle to discover who-or what-I am. Supposedly, I am the lost heir to the throne of Atala- better known to you as Atlantis. I don't want it. Despite my claims otherwise, dark and dreamy Cael believes in me, making me want to be what he needs. He beckons to me with those mercury eyes, while repelling me with a violent darkness within.
The Fantasy Box; Book 2: Sexual Appetites
Series: The Fantasy Box, Sexual Appetites. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,990. Language: English. Published: September 30, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Menage/Multiple Partners
After years together, Darron and I seek to liven up our sex life by writing fantasies on index cards. Each month, we draw a card and act out the fantasy. This time, I become the object of several men's desires, forced to allow them to slake their lust on my body. This is a short story created just for adventurous sex and the exploration of desire and carnal pleasure.
Undercover Desire
Series: Undercover, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 106,930. Language: English. Published: September 14, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
For five years Amy Howell has struggled to maintain a normal life, while attempting to forget the one man who has ever laid claim to her heart. But when she unknowingly accepts a job that threatens her life, her blast from the past Alex Nichols is assigned to protect her. Will he be able to save her while healing her broken heart, or will they both be more heartbroken than before their reunion?
Undercover Attraction
Series: Undercover, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 87,480. Language: English. Published: September 3, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Erotic
Jenna didn't trust men, especially since she had learned from her past mistakes. But after meeting the delicious stripper on her birthday, she finds herself drawn to him in ways she couldn't deny. Jacob hates his assignment: undercover cop posed as a stripper. Yet when his assignment brings him closer to Jenna, he finds himself battling lust while trying to bust the criminals who want her dead.
The Fantasy Box
Series: The Fantasy Box, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 19,470. Language: English. Published: August 28, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Menage/Multiple Partners, Fiction » Erotica » Couples Erotica
After eight years of marriage, there was little that we haven't done in the bedroom. Now, seeking a way to add spice, one couple creates a fantasy box, full of their deepest, darkest fantasies. The fantasy we choose is one that will lead us into a world of bondage, orgies, and more excitement than we could have anticipated.