I have characters that have traits and special stories behind their history. I use them to develop a new story in the saga of the new world being built. I begin with the idea and the characters and I work to describe them, bring them to life for me. I ask them what life is like for a typical day and imagine the things they might do or say. Then with research, as needed, I can begin to tell the story.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I'm not sure it was the first story I ever read, but I do remember my favorite teacher "Mrs. Horton". She read from 'age appropriate' books, tales of adventure and interest. The one that intrigued me was "Balsar and the Bears of Blue River" by Charles Major. Loved those stories!
How do you approach cover design?
I typically try to find a memorable moment from the story and use pictures to build the scene. Sometimes I use my own pictures, or stock images, as needed. I want it to be colorful and intriguing, but with features (like the wolf spirits) from the book.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Oh, I have so many. I'm a reader of varied tastes...not just paranormal or romance, but certainly including those. Some of the writers I've collected are: David Eddings, Anne McCaffrey, Dean Koontz, Christine Feehan, Andrew Greely, Lora Leigh, J.R. Ward, Katherine Woodwiss, J.K. Rowling...and the list goes on and on...
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything that looks or sounds interest and I can get my hands on!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My computer! However, if I need to go beyond my office I use my phone with both Kindle and Nook apps.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I think blogs have helped. I like The Reading Café, Aestas Book Blog...oh this could be a long list. Facebook and Twitter ads have been relatively successful as well.
Describe your desk
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a rural farm area of Muncie, Ind. then while still very young, we moved to Loveland, OH. The imagination sparked during my youth, certainly inspired my love of wolf shifters.
When did you first start writing?
I began in 1988, after the death of my oldest son. However, I wasn't focused enough, so that fell to the side as I listened and worked with my best friend who was also writing. Then in 2016, I published my first story, Heart of an Alpha.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The world has been mostly destroyed, super volcanoes, plate movements.... not as awful as the predictions, but bad enough most of the people and civilizations were destroyed. After surviving for about twenty years, people have begun to emerge from their caves or other dwellings and look around. It turns out shifters were not myth, just hiding to help themselves survive. Now, they have the most numbers of survivors. Some are good, some are not...same with the surviving humans. My books are about rebuilding a new world. Some would like it to be peaceful and shared, others want to rule and do whatever they want...makes for some interesting tales, along with the natural dangers in a newly formed world.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The publishing world is a very hard one to get into. You have to know someone, or have a great agent. I'm not crazy about deadlines, my life is busy and I love writing, but I don't like to hurry the stories. I don't need to be a millionaire. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to win the lottery! But I'm happy writing what I love and even happier when others love it too! There are some wonderful authors in the Indie world.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords gave me the ability to publish my books where they can be found by anyone interested. They allow me to have the freedom to be me and still write!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Seeing the characters come to life. In my mind, they move and talk and show me pictures. I may control a small part of it, but they tell the story.
What do your fans mean to you?
I love them! It's wonderful to hear about people who love my world and characters as much as I do. I love hearing from some that they're waiting for the next book...so go write!
What are you working on next?
Right now, I'm writing the story of Gary and Nia. This will be a pre-destruction story. Actually, we'll get to see and feel what they did when it all began to happen. I love these two characters, they have a lot of back-story that will be told as well as their love for each other. But the story will show the pain and heartbreak of the destruction of the world, with little, if anything, that can be done to save others.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have so many, and I've already told you of my collections...some of my favorite contemporary authors, mostly indie, are: Jacqueline Rhoades, Victoria Danann, J.M. Madden, Theresa Hissong, Theresa Gableman, Amy Kessler...oh I could name hundreds!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Writing the next chapter or two....
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have a large family, four children with families of their own, 9 grandchildren, and a few good friends.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I review for The Reading Café blog, and have discovered many new authors I like there. My friends books, their recommendations on books they've read, etc.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Oh goodness... English class, I think my Junior year. We had a teacher who encouraged us to find something that interested us and write a story. I remember seeing a TV show depicting some characterizations of famous people. It really made me think. I did a piece on the people around me, teachers and school staff. I imagined their cartoon images and wrote about it. Lord, did I get in trouble! It wasn't vicious or anything, I just thought it was funny. The principle asked me questions on how and why I did the piece. There was no punishment, because it was just imagination, and not mean. But what a lot of excitement over it!
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.