Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I read my first romance novel at twelve years old. 'True Blue' by Ingrid Weaver has always held a special place in my heart. It's a contemporary romantic suspense with a motorcycle-riding, bad boy hero and a wallflower, schoolteacher heroine. After reading this book, I decided I wanted to write my own stories about two people finding adventure and falling in love. And so I did. I finished my first novel within six months and I've revised that book several times over the years. Now, over a decade later, I have one novella published and a second in the editing process. I credit 'True Blue' with opening the door into modern romantic literature for me. Without it, I may not be writing today.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small town in western North Carolina. I remember being one of few kids in my class that actually liked to read and write. By the time I was 12, I was reading college textbooks on history (for my novels) and was totally bored in school. Yes, I was a total nerd! I always wrote about faraway lands and places that I wanted visit, places I wanted to escape to. I was desperate to get out of my small-town, simple-minded environment. Even though I still live here (different town, same county), I learned that intelligence is all around me. I just had to find it. I still write books about different areas because I love learning about different cultures, not because of my desire to escape.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I don't have any favorite books. Instead, I have favorite authors and the series I prefer from them.
Christine Feehan's 'Carpathians' is my all-time favorite series. Sherrilyn Kenyon's 'Dark-Hunter' series rivals for a close second. Lara Adrian's 'Midnight Breed' and Gena Showalter's 'Lords of the Underworld' are wonderful too. Stephanie Laurens' 'The Bastion Club' is amazing, as well as Sabrina Jeffries' 'School for Governesses'.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a 3G Kindle which is now obsolete and can't even be found on Amazon anymore. Still, I love it! There are like over 750 books on it along with dozens of songs. It really comes in handy!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Most of my ebooks come from friends' suggestions or just something that I found interesting online. I used to follow just certain big time authors but now I'm branching out and finding so many gems in the sea of indie authors. Goodreads and Amazon are my go-to places to find books and readers' opinions of them.
Describe your desk
The desk itself is made of stained wood. It's long and rectangular in shape. It's always very neat even though slightly cluttered. As of right now, I have pens, pencils, tape and glue in a small swivel container on top. Post-its, an electric pencil sharpener, paper clips occupy opposite corners of the desk. Page hole punchers, calculators and scissors are in a small rack hanging on the wall just above my desk and is in easy reach. Most importantly is the laptop I'm using right now, a bag of popcorn which is my lunch and the purring tortoiseshell cat in my lap keeping me company.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
My blog, Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus are wonderful marketing sources but the most effective for me is Facebook. I'm able to reach a large number of people and my friends and fellow authors are always kind enough to share my posts to reach more people. I always share for them as well. The friendships and connections made on social platforms are great ways to reach, meet and befriend new readers.
How do you approach cover design?
I usually think of the most important scene in the novel or the most used outdoor backdrop and have that for the cover design. I always want at least one person, the hero or heroine, of course, on the cover and he/she must resemble the character in the book.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing is the sense of accomplishment when I'm done, especially if the book was difficult to write. I have an overactive imagination and putting it all down on paper frees up my mind for new ideas. I love creating life out of nothing. It's just the greatest feeling of awe.
What do your fans mean to you?
Without fans, I wouldn't be published. Fans are one of many reasons that writers write, me included. I write to entertain and share my imagination with others. I love reading and writing but if there weren't people who shared the same love, my books wouldn't be out in the world. Thank you, all of you, who have read and supported me so far in my journey. As a new author, the journey is just beginning and I'm hoping you'll come along for the ride!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love to read--as a writer, of course I do!--but I don't do it often enough. There are hundreds of books on my Kindle and on the shelves in my office collecting dust. I also love scrapbooking, hiking, watching movies and gardening. I don't do much of these activities because I write so often. When writer's block hits, however, I turn to my hobbies to occupy my time. Of course, I'm always plotting and trying to figure out ways around the problem while doing something else. Taking a break from writing is a great way to clear my mind and doing something else get my creative juices flowing.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.