I think i was in the 4th grade. It was as soon as I could read and write well enough to form an actual story. They were usually a few pages, hand written on notebook paper, and horrible.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Gracie Allen is 18 and a recent high school graduate with no real hope for a good future. She lives with her mother in a government apartment living on Food Stamps. She can only work a set number of hours to keep her mother from losing her Food Stamp Benefits and government paid for apartment and it’s not enough to get her own place or replace her worn out car. She knows of Witchcraft but not much more than that. One night while sitting in her car staring at the rising moon, she casts a spell to change her life. In the next 48 hours, her life turns completely upside down and she finds herself stranded in the mountains, alone and barefoot, running for her life.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've wanted to be a writer since I was 5 years old. I didn't know how to read and write back then so you can imagine how frustrated a little girl I was. I didn't actually start sending books to publishers until my early 20's. Back then, they had to be printed and mailed off with return postage and it was expensive. It cost me 20 dollars for each copy of a book I made and another 20 dollars to mail it. I could only afford to send off one copy at a time. It was too expensive to continue to spend money on it just to get rejection letter after rejection letter so I gave up on my lifelong dream and tried to live my life. Two years ago, I read about Amanda Hocking, I bought my first eBook and read it on my Android. I've bought a couple hundred eBooks since then. By this time I had two successful businesses online (and I won't tell anyone what they are because I want to keep them and my writing separate) but I still had the desire to write and I saw an opportunity through indie publishing.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
When I first started researching Indie publishing, I thought I was going to be limited to Amazon and Goodreads since those were the platforms I purchased books on. Then one day I downloaded an eBook to read and saw Smashwords in the credits and checked it out. I saw that by using Smashwords I would have the opportunity to sell my book on a lot more than just 2 platforms.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I guess that would be telling the story. I'm an introvert and since I work at home I don't socialize much, but writing give me a chance to get these stories out of my head and into a place where others might see and enjoy them.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean a lot to me. We all enjoy approval.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on an Erotic, Science Fiction, Slave fantasy about a Witch sold into slavery by her own government for being a Witch. Its called Witch Slave. It might sound far fetched to some, but I've been fired from jobs when my employers found out I was a Witch. I've become a target in Social Groups for it. My husband has lost jobs when his employers found out I was a Witch as well. I live in a Right to Work state and we can be fired for any reason at all without proof so if they fire me for something they cant legally fire me for then they make up something else.
Who are your favorite authors?
Amanda Hocking, Emily Goodwin, Johnny B. Truant, S.L. Baum, and Joseph Turkot so far. Their all indie writers. I think a writer with creative freedom writes a much better story.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Getting out of bed is something that difficult for me to do because I have been blessed by the universe with having Epic Dreams. Often several a month. There so entertaining that when I wake up I want to go back to sleep to see whats going to happen next. The thing is I often stay up late also to work or just to read so I may not get up until noon. I'm not the only self employed work at home person who has this problem. Its really a terrible habit, but I do eventually get up. I have a Mastiff that wants to go potty and 4 cats that want my attention.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm reading, or working on one of my two stores. My husband works at home with me so we spend a lot of time together. I also love to garden, go 4x4ing in the mountains, hiking, and kayaking when I get time (which isn't often)
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I buy my eBooks from Amazon these days. They usually pop up in he recommended reading list and I will read whatever catches my attention. Sometimes they stink and sometimes there amazing. Truthfully I found a lot more stinkers when I was buying print books put out by publishing companies.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was a one and a half page story written on notebook paper about a horse that led another group of horses onto the side of an erupting volcano to save people. I think I was 8 years old when I wrote that. The first book I wrote was about the daughter of the goddess Venus sent to Earth for her protection. When Hades found her, her mother sent a bodyguard who looked like Jon Bon Jovi to protect her and a romantic relationship formed between them. I had loads of sexual tension in it because my heroin was only 16 and he was much older and he wouldn't touch her sexually until she was of legal age. In addition, I was only 12 years old myself. I wrote that before Rick Riordan wrote his Percy Jackson stories and I didn't rip off Greek Myth to do it. I still have every detail of that story in my head and one day I will write it all out again, publish it, and Jon Bon Jovi will still be the body guard.
What is your writing process?
I start with a dream I've had. I'll write that dream down and I store it in a file. If that dream lingers in my head (and sometimes they do) then I will start to flesh it out into a story. Sometimes I add personal experiences to it and sometimes I'll attach another dream to it. I think the most interesting stories in my head are the ones made up on 2 or 3 dreams. Then I sit down with my lap top and start writing. I write for as long as possible without stopping to edit or correct anything. I've found that's when I write the best.
How do you approach cover design?
That was something that was very difficult for me. I read a book on eBook cover design and then I downloaded and learned to use Gimp. It took me a full afternoon to get through a very basic exercise the first time but I practiced and kept watching short videos adding to my knowledge until I finally created something that appealed to me.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love science fiction, post apocalyptic, and distopian books.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I really love my Android Tablet phone.
Describe your desk
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born and raised in the foothills of the Ozark mountains and this is where the main character in my stories is usually from.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.