In this, I rely on my husband, who loves his e-book reader and is always reading something new. I know that if he recommends it, it's probably good.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Absolutely. It was a ghost story.
What is your writing process?
There is a lot of thinking behind my writing. I play the scenes and dialogues in my mind and only start writing when I am satisfied with them. I write about the places I know - when I have trouble imagining a particular scene, I will physically go there and describe what I see, hear, smell, feel. I try to live the story before committing it to paper.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My parents would give me collections of fairy tales, myths and legends as presents. It certainly fired up my imagination and I draw on those archetypes to this day.
How do you approach cover design?
I am really fortunate in that I found an artist who knows what I want. I hope she never leaves me. If you are looking for talented artists, try DeviantArt.com.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Hobbit - this book was a gift, a light which came to me when I needed it the most. I will always treasure it.
Jane Eyre - I identified with Jane early on, as a teenager. I admired Jane's unbreakable noble spirit and, of course, the mysterious Sir Rochester. I even loved the dark and spooky Thornfield Hall.
The Witcher - I read Sapkowski's short stories about Geralt of Rivia when they were only available in Polish and Czech. I know it was turned into a video game, but I always tell people to read the short stories first to understand who Geralt really is.
Wyrd Sisters - pretty much anything by Terry Pratchett is bound to crack me up. I had not really liked Shakespeare until I read Wyrd Sisters! Granny Weatherwax and Death are the top 2 characters. I'd love to visit Death's library, where books of life are writing themselves, scratching faintly in the dark.
Crowbone - Robert Low is my champion of historical novels. He is a master of atmosphere, pulling you into the story and a particular era with a few strokes of his pen.
What do you read for pleasure?
Terry Pratchett if I need to laugh, Robert Low or Conn Iggulden if I want to go sailing with Vikings or riding with Mongols, non-fiction about the Knights Templar and Clan Sinclair.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Networking, word of mouth, being on good terms with librarians and teachers who can recommend my book to kids.
Describe your desk
A busy intersection of cats, kids, piles of receipts, empty cups and so forth. But I always clear it before I sit down to write.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Behind the Iron Curtain. I witnessed the fall of Communism and was among many who chose to leave to find a new start elsewhere. I will always miss my first home, especially the mountains and the castles, which often find their way into my stories.
When did you first start writing?
When I became a mother.
What do your fans mean to you?
I am rather shy - I was surprised to find out I had my first fan. Of course, I was secretly glad and afraid it would get into my head. When someone praises the book cover, I tell my cover designer - she deserves to share the good feeling.
What are you working on next?
Book 2 of Adventures of Nicky!
Who are your favorite authors?
Robert Low, Terry Pratchett, Conn Iggulden, Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Andrzej Sapkowski ... and many others.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Ha! I never get to sleep in. There's always someone dragging me out of bed (family members) or scratching at me (cats).
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I assume this is time away from chores? Then: thinking, observing, walking, star gazing. In winter: felting.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
For myself: freedom to roam the realms of my imagination. For my readers: ability to give them joy, to touch their heart.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Another unsolved mystery from history.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Thanks to Smashwords.com my book reaches far corners of the Earth.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.