Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My earliest recollection is Rudyard Kipling's "Jungle Book". I carried it around with me for days. I even slept with it. The cover was colorful and captivating. I must have read it a hundred times, and that is a habit I still hold onto, rereading a favorite book.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the South, not deep South, but Virginia. My dad was military and my mom worked for the government. Being the only child I read, imagined, and made up stories(Mom called them fibs). The environment didn't influence me, being alone a lot did.
What do you read for pleasure?
I am a big fan of Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody series. She is brilliant. her characters jump off the page and she is a master at twist and turns. I read everything from Rowling to Roberts, Tolkien, you name it, I love to read.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I gave myself 8 months to shop for an agent. I knew the odds were against my finding one right out of the shoot. I studied the market and thought Indie was the way to go. It is important for me to share my stories. I like to think of myself more as a storyteller than the title "author." I am an author, however I envision the old storytellers sitting around and sharing history. That is so much warmer, at least I think so. If you are rejected by an agent your work goes into a slush pile never (well maybe) to be seen again. I just find that kind of dismissal horrid. I'm not saying I expect everyone to like what I write, but writers toil over their work. It is part of their souls. It takes dedication, passion, and a tough skin to put yourself out there.
Describe your desk
Wow! Paper and notes everywhere. Of course my PC and reference books stacked in a cubby. My other desk has plants, candlesticks, photos, stationary and the like. My files are there as well. Yep I have paper files aside from my thumb drives. I'm manic about losing things, so I will double and triple save everything.
How do you approach cover design?
I have a background in the performing arts. I have been around costumes, scenery etc. my entire life. I am an extremely visual person. My graphics artist and I understand each other very well. I will convey an idea to him pulling from the story and then the art process begins. I have driven him crazy more than once, but we are always satisfied with the end result. "Vanished" really conveys several elements from the book, I was very pleased.
What are you working on next?
I am in the middle of the third book "Union The Lost Children of Managrail" series. I would like it out before the holidays, but I won't rush it. It is important that the last book be strong and not a OK I've finished the series. I also have two novellas, hopefully one will be out for the Holidays.
What do your fans mean to you?
I am just now getting a solid fan base. It takes a long time to build and let people know who you are, and about your work. Recently I have been overwhelmed by the response and sincerity of my fans. It means everything to me. Without their feedback and support, I'd be stuck in cement. They validate what I'm doing, and it encourages me never to give up.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My pets. I have been involved in animal rescue for years. I have a small pet family that were all neglected, or abused. They have no voice, just like many children. So I am their voice, and the voice of many others that still need help.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am a workaholic, so there isn't a great deal of downtime for me. I love being outdoors, gardening, having a great glass of wine and traveling. The traveling has been put on the back burner for some time. I hope 2014 will allow me to become an adventurer again.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Indies Unlimited is a great blog, and I hope I have become part of that family. The writers are par excellence. I pick up a lot from there, and I have author friends on Twitter that have great suggestions. The pity is when you write it is difficult to read as much as you'd like. It is a trade off. I do read every night, but I can't devour as many books as I did previously. I also read the trades.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.