When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Somedays it seems the only time I'm not writing is when I'm sleeping or otherwise indisposed. Of course this isn't true and I have many hobbies beyond those associated with writing. My newest is making jewelry and designing unique pieces for my friends and family. I also enjoy art, nature, and photography.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
A lot of the ebooks I read are requests directly from authors or publishing houses. I also review for a handful of tour companies and read mainly indie titles. A few traditionally published authors have caught my eye and I've become a huge fan of Suzanne Johnson (The New Orleans Sentinels series) and Jeannine Frost.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I recall writing was back in the second grade. I'd just had my German Shepard put to sleep and wrote a book about his life to cope with the experience.
What is your writing process?
I start every book with a rough outline. Since I write fantasy, the notes help to shape and mold the world. Without it, I'd forget my laws. After that I write what I call a shell. This covers brief dialogue, action, and lacks emotion. The idea here is similar to building a house.
The outline is my foundation. The shell is my frame. The action, emotion, and dialogue make up the walls. The character quirks become the furnishings.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story I read solo was Danny and the Dinosaur. I've read it over a thousand times and it never grows old. The first novel I read was Little House on the Prairie and it instilled a deep love for history in my bones.
How do you approach cover design?
I have an awesome designer who works with me. Raven Tree Designs reads my books and develops concepts. I just give minor tweak suggestions.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read a lot of Fantasy, Historical, and Paranormal Romance. The steamier the better, but I've also been known to read young adult.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My iPhone. I realize it has a tiny screen, but the tablets are bulky. My hands are actually very small and the phone is the perfect size. Plus, I can read multiple formats and access my books from anywhere.
Describe your desk
I write on a Lenovo IdeaPad. It sits on a lap board. As boring as that sounds, that's my desk. My chair is recliner and is quite comfy. Years ago I had a desk, but I couldn't sit at it for long periods of time. This set-up became my solution.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Southern (Yes this is important) New Jersey. At the time, I wouldn't have said it influenced my writing, but as I look back it did. I grew up twenty minutes from Philadelphia and about an hour or so from New York City. When you're close to the cultural epicenters you can't help but to absorb your surroundings.
My views are very open and non-judgmental. This gives me an endless supply of plots. I learned it's okay to be loud even if you're not Italian and this helps for boisterous characters. Characters can convey a lot of information without opening their mouths. It's okay to stand up for what you believe in and there's no harm in following your dreams. So maybe that's just from my family, but hey it's good advice.
The two cities, plus my home state gives me locations I know like the back of my hand to borrow from during world building or setting. Luckily my adult life has branched out to include two more states and by some odd chance it ever comes up. I still consider Alaska as my home since that's where I was born, but I'm a Jersey Girl at heart.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I suffer from bipolar and severe anxiety disorder. This means I tend to be a control freak. I submitted my manuscripts and had offers, but the moment they (houses/agents) wanted to make major changes, I just couldn't do it. These changes weren't miniscule or grammar fixes. They weren't even plot holes. Suggestions were removing the M/M love angles and changing a male character into a woman thus changing a story arc that spanned an entire series.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords allow my book to reach a wider market without hefty upfront fees. For the new author with a small budget this is essential.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
There are many joys in writing but the story creation gives me joy. From characters to the world and from food to creatures all of it speaks to the builder in me.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on a new Dystopian Dark Fantasy/PNR trilogy called Beyond the Brothel Walls.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Coffee and my children
What's the story behind your latest book?
I wanted to create my own version of the Avengers. Okay not really, but that's the tone my Midgard series takes on. This is the adult version though with violence, sex, and hybrids. It started four years ago while playing World of Warcraft. I switched my arcane mage to fire and the story came to life in my head.
What would happen if a child were born who would rewrite the history of supernatural and mankind? What would happen if she failed? The world would burn.
What do your fans mean to you?
They mean the world to me. I wish I knew who they were because i do this for them as much as for me.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.