Interview with Frances R. Armstrong

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story I read was The Hobbit. I was so immersed in the story, I couldn't put it down. It opened my mind to the world of fantasy and stirred my imagination. I learned that persistence pays off, and I should never give up on my dreams.
How do you approach cover design?
As a graphic artist, I feel that colors should be attractive to the eye and the cover shouldn't be too busy or too dull. There is an even medium that captures the eye. Readers should be attracted to the cover first, then the blurb on the back.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, the Harry Potter series, anything by Christine Feehan, and those by Nina Bangs. There are too many to choose from, but I love reading stories that take my away to a world of fantasy.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love a good paranormal romance.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I'm a computer nut and am glued to it so I read a lot of PDFs. I have yet to get an e-reader as I'm usually writing and building my skills as an author.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Word of mouth works great, but I also use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Describe your desk
My desk is actually my lap. I write on my laptop in my living room. It's peaceful and quiet and I seldom have the TV or radio on so I can concentrate and take myself away in my stories. I'm a bit of a neat freak and have to do my housework first before I write so there is no clutter near me.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up near Toronto, Ontario, Canada. My mother always taught me to write out my feelings. When my children were small, we move a couple of hours away from the city and found a lovely place in the country. I write about cities based on my youth, but most of my stories are about the Caribbean and in rainforests.
When did you first start writing?
I've always written. I started as a child and wrote plays to perform for the neighborhood children. I actually made money, charging five cents admission to the garage. I've always loved writing but didn't go pro until I had a breakdown in 2002 and couldn't talk. Writing helped me heal and express myself.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest story is a FREEBY. I wrote about an inept witch who falls in love with a man she believes is average and poor. The hero is in disguise and is a wizard. He wants to find a woman who doesn't want him for his incredibly good looks and money. She doesn't want a man who is gorgeous and rich because of her ex husband. It's a match made in heaven and hearts blend with love regardless of what they want.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've written many books as an author of paranormal romance, but I wanted Striving For Normalcy - The Mental Illness Rollercoaster to be my own baby. I only recently began to search for a different way of publishing and I'm thrilled to be with Smashwords. There are some great educational videos on how to self-publish.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
So far, so good. Since at present I'm a newby at Smashwords, time will tell.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love being taken away in my imagination. I'd be a good hermit as long as I had my computer and was able to write. I never get bored or lonely when I write.
What do your fans mean to you?
EVERYTHING! Without fans, there is no point in writing. I love to share my imagination with them. If I make one person happy as they read my stories, then I'm happy.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on a number of works in progress and switch from non-fiction to fiction easily. For now, Striving For Normalcy - The Mental Illness Rollercoaster is my only non-fiction, but more are coming.
Who are your favorite authors?
J.R.R. Tolkien, Christine Feehan, Catherine Coulter, Nina Bangs, J.K. Rowling and a whole bunch more. I'm always trying out new author's books.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
LOL, usually my dogs, but other than that, I love getting right back to work. I only sleep enough to recharge then I'm back on the computer. My husband thinks it's glued to my lap.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Cleaning, taking care of my grandchildren, doing errands with my mother, watching TV crime shows, and playing with my pets. I write as much as I can in between.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I check out Smashwords and a couple of publishers I'm affiliated with.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Oh, yes. I wrote about my brother who passed away many years ago. It's a mystery romance. I have yet to publish it because I have a lot of rewrites to do, but it will be there for someday when I decide to invest my time in it. I'll always love the story.
When did you decide to be a writer?
I was quite ill and couldn't speak. My daughter's friend said to me, "You read so many romance books, why don't you just write one?" That triggered my need to write and I finally felt like I could get well.
What is your writing process?
My days are all the same. The minute I'm up I turn on the computer and have breakfast while I wait for my email to download. Then, I do some research and promotions before digging into my writing. I write off and on all day until bedtime. Sometimes I get up in the middle of the night and write when the characters won't be quiet in my brain.
Published 2014-03-19.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Striving For Normalcy - The Mental Illness Rollercoaster
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 37,960. Language: English. Published: April 1, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Mental health
Striving For Normalcy - The Mental Illness Rollercoaster will help you learn to live with mental illness and survive.