My cover design was brewing in my head for a few years before I tackled it. I tried to capture the crucial elements of the story while not making it too cluttered. I asked my photographer friend, Jody Smyers, to help me put my vision into reality by showing the power of the storm and the time travel elements in a moody and tension filled image. I love how it turned out, in fact, it has become the basis for my book cover business I run with Jody called Blondie's Custom Book Covers.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Stealing Time was hatched a year after I went through a similar summer. Three days after I moved to Florida Hurricane Charley hit. Four other major hurricanes hit Florida that summer. It wasn't until I had some time to chew on it that I began writing the story. I've always been inspired by time travel stories and I'd recently read the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon for the second time when the idea hit me to combine hurricanes and time travel.
Nine years later I was ready to publish the first book in the Stealing Time trilogy and I have a majority of the second book outlined.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Four years ago I sat down with a publisher friend of mine to get the inside scoop from him. He gave it to me straight and I left the coffeehouse with images of my books stacked up in my garage unsold and me out a lot of printing costs. It was a year later that I joined twitter and met a few independent authors who educated me about another way to go. One where I have control of every aspect of my book and my publishing journey.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I began writing when I quit my job to stay home with my two kids. I'd spent the previous years in a busy career as the Director of Marketing. My writing saved me from losing my mind with the transition. It gave me goals and dreams that had faded away with the loss of the busy career and provided me with imaginary adults to converse with and new worlds to create.
Now it is my creative outlet and has become such an important part of my daily life. I'm always plotting and scheming the next part of the book in the quiet moments of my day, even if I'm not actively writing.
What are you working on next?
Right now I'm reworking the second book, Stolen Time. Hurricane Francis, the size of Texas is barreling down on Central Florida and my characters are scrambling to recover from Charley just a few weeks prior. The time travel continues in book two where more is revealed about how the process works. I have written about half of it, and outlined the rest. It has been such a joy to get back to the creative writing process after all of the editing and promoting of the first book.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite author is Diana Gabaldon of the Outlander series. In her overview book, The Outlandish Companion, she describes her writing process where she develops a scene and then later connects them. I always thought authors were super structured in their drafts. When I realized that someone as successful as Diana could free form put a book together and have it be sensational it gave me the courage to give it a shot. Turns out I use a much more structured approach but it gave me the freedom to make an attempt at writing a book.
I also love Robin Cook and his medical thrillers and Michael Criton and his reality based science fiction.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love the water. I unfortunately live in a small town I like to call Dirtville. It's hot and dusty and I'm nowhere near a decent body of water. Because of this I began a blog called Blondie in the Water where I relive some of my more interesting water adventures. When I'm not writing I update my blog with author friend spotlights and write some more water adventures. You can check it out here www.kjwatersauthor.blogspot.com.
I have children and really enjoy making them laugh so we spend a lot of time together being goofy and hopefully instilling a joy of life. I love to travel in the summers to locations that have lovely watery places to explore. I've blogged about Cape Cod, Maine, the beach, and my most popular one Blondie in Bermuda.
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