I've been writing my whole life - song lyrics, poems, a dabble into fanfiction, etc. It was kind of my 'hidden talent', my secret refuge, and while I was out going to college and attempting to get a big girl job, it was that thing I did when everything else was done.
Everyone always told me that I was a good writer, but writing is kind of one of those passions that doesn't make money until it does - sort of like music or acting - so I never considered it a job. It was more like a dream to chase. And, in some ways, it still is because I still have a full-time job.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I'm a sports lover by nature and have been for most of my life, so it wouldn't come as a surprise to most that know me that I would write about sports. In fact, when I started my Facebook Author page, one of my longtime friends commented, 'I can't believe it's not about hockey." I've also been reading romance since before I probably should've been. So coupling the two was destined to happen.
I had the characters for Love Aced in my mind for years, but every time I sat down to write it, I never liked the outcome. Until one glorious day...I sat down in front of my computer and everything just seemed to click into place. I think I wrote the first five chapters in a day. Of course the final product looks nothing like those chapters now, as it's been edited and reworked more times than I could possibly count, but it was enough to get the ball rolling and to motivate me to continue.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I did the whole agenting thing...for about a month, but I am an impatient person (I know, not a good quality to have.). I got some form rejections from agents stating that 'it's just not what I'm looking for right now' or 'sorry, I've currently got too much on my plate - a lot of 'it's not you, it's me' type stuff - and I thought, why not just self publish? I read a lot of romance novels and I can be a harsh judge and I felt confident that my novel stacked up. In short, I felt confident enough about my characters and my story that I didn't want them sitting on a jump drive collecting dust. If ten people purchased my novel, that's ten more than if I sat and waited on an agent to reply positively.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I think Smashwords is a great outlet for indie authors and readers. I like the idea of a book enthusiast being able to go to one place and download whatever version of a particular book that they want.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love the fact that when you write, the possibilities are endless. You may think in your real life 'wouldn't it be cool if I could do this?' and then your mind is flooded with a million reasons why you can't - whether it be a monetary limitation, a logistical thing, etc.. But with writing, your characters can go and do or be anything. That's a powerful thing. There's so much freedom in that.
What do your fans mean to you?
I respect my fans. They're what motivates me. I write for myself, but always with them in mind. I like when I write a good scene - like a sex scene and think, 'Damn, they're going to love that.' It's like I can't wait until I can share those types of things with them.
What are you working on next?
Currently, I'm working on the follow-up to Love Aced, entitled Love Strung. Love Strung will focus on Kole's sister Kennedy who is a struggling musician in Nashville. She ends up in a love triangle that excites me just thinking about it!
Who are your favorite authors?
I love Sandra Brown, Carly Phillips, Jaci Burton, Susan Elizabeth Phillips & some of Nicholas Sparks' older stuff, just to name a few. I'm also interested in finding other indie authors like myself who have a fun, sexy story to tell!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My daughter. Period. End of story. She's the single greatest accomplishment of my life, hands down. After having her, I was that much more motivated to make an attempt at my writing career, because, for me, it's important that she follows her dreams. It would be a tad bit hypocritical of me to encourage her to follow her dreams and not give up her passions if I hadn't followed mine.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a sports nut, so my year tends to flow by sports seasons. If I'm not yelling at a television screen, I'm spending time with friends and/or family. I also love a good glass of wine or trying out new beer flavors.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
As I'm sure most readers do, by going to whichever book site that you prefer and typing in whatever I fancy that day. My tastes tend to change drastically from book to book. One day I might want to read something contemporary and the next I might go all savage-captures-woman-and-forces-her-to-fall-in-love, but I typically always stick to romances.
What is your writing process?
I generally have a beginning, middle and end with enough situation/scenerio ideas in mind to constitute writing a novel, but I tend to shoot from the hip beyond that. The characters oftentimes lead me into unexpected directions - which I love. In Love Aced, Jane was never intended to be a main character. Honestly, my intentions for her didn't extend past the first chapter, but if you read the story - and you should! - you'll know that she becomes something much bigger to Kole.
How do you approach cover design?
I have a degree in Marketing so I'm constantly thinking about the creative side of things - the 'How am I going to package this?' syndrome, but I actually paid for someone to do the cover for me. I gave a lot of input and we went from there, but I loved the finished product. The idea behind the Love Aced cover stemmed from Kole wanting to walk away from tennis. The girl in the photo is 'walking away' from a tennis racquet. She's also on a beach, which is a big part of the book because Kole 'escapes' to Marbella, Spain and ends up living under the same roof as Santiago - the male lead - who has a mansion on the beach.
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