Next up is book 3 in the "Like A Girl" series, "Fight Like A Girl"
Who are your favorite authors?
Wiley Cash, Harper Lee, Donald Ray Pollock, Flannery O'Connor, Joshilyn Jackson, Mark Childress, Daniel Woodrell, Jonathan Tropper...
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Life.... and the pursuit to enjoy every minute of it. Take nothing for granted...
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Absolutely... the "practice novel" and if I'm not mistaken it's still sitting in the drawer I hid it in more than 15 years ago...haha.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Tough one. MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL because (to me) it had some of the best characters I have ever read. I seriously wanted to meet every one of them.
A LAND MORE KIND THAN HOME, I loved the story, description, imagery... well-written and I didn't want it to end.
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. No reason necessary, it's TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.
THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME. If you're squeamish, probably not for you. It is gritty and in your face. Many authors struggle with writing the story in their head because it is either dark, controversial, or just plain 'out there'. This book was raw, but honest. Pollock had no fear.
OF MICE AND MEN. Another classic and high school required reading. A truly sad, but beautiful story.
What do you read for pleasure?
I tend to gravitate toward southern fiction, usually by southern authors. Many people write books, but IMO, no one tells a story like a southerner. (No boasting here, I'm a bonafide Yankee!)
When did you first start writing?
In or about 2000. After a serious riding accident, reading was about all I could manage to do without issue. After reading one particularly lousy book by a very well-known author I told a friend, "Hell, I seriously think I could do better than that." She said, "Then do it." I've been learning and writing, writing and learning ever since.
What is your definition of success, and have you achieved it?
I believe success is achieved by degrees. It's really nothing more than setting goals, and achieving them. Before I had ever written a word, my idea of success was writing a novel start to finish. I have achieved that multiple times. Then, I wanted to try my hand at cover design. I created my last four covers, which have been the subject of wonderful reviews. I started to enter one of my earlier books in contests (2). I thought that if I beat out all the other submissions, it would somehow validate my writing (even if only to me). I won first place in one of them, which gave me a publishing contract with the house that ran the contest. My goals now are for bigger sales, and thinking big, maybe a movie adaption (specifically for CRY LIKE A GIRL - if you read it you'll understand) :)
Describe your desk
My house is ordinarily neat and clean, but when it comes to my desk, I am an anal, OCD, neatnik who at a glance can tell if a pencil has been moved. Anything that is out-of-place serves as a distraction.
What is your writing process?
Thinking, note-taking, first draft in Scrivener (and the second), export to ProWritingAid, a read-through, compile and export to Word. I use the find/replace tool heavily at this point and because I created in Scrivener, my formatting is never lost. Once I am satisfied, it's on to my beta readers...
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
It was a children's book and although I don't recall the title, I do recall it opened up a whole new world for me. It was the first time I felt like I had traveled without leaving my living room.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle Paperwhite, and like it; but to be honest, I much prefer the feel of a bound book in my hands.
How do you approach cover design?
I used to hire that aspect of the book's creation out, but I've designed the covers for my last four books and not only was I happy with each outcome, but I have received many more compliments than I ever would have expected. Maybe I'm in the wrong business... haha.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. Every word I write, I write for them.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The next book to come out will be FIGHT LIKE A GIRL. It is the last book in a series that began as one book. FIGHT LIKE A GIRL was the original idea, but when I hit roughly 40,000 words, I realized it was too much story for a marketable novel. So I decided to separate the three main characters and give each their own story with subplots and secondary characters. Looking back and having written them, it was definitely the right choice.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.
Fight or flight? When a homemade sex tape falls into the wrong hands, Marti Jerome jumps to conclusions and chooses the path of least resistance by running far and fast, a skill she has mastered as well as a pirouette.