I've been writing since I was a kid, mostly documenting the day to day of life in journals, but in 2008, I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time and wrote what became Goodbye, Magnolia. A year later, I wrote The Truth About Drew. It took me five years to decide to pull those novels out and start editing them for self-publication. Now, I can't imagine doing anything else. I'm in love with writing and sharing my stories with all of you.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The idea of trying to find an agent and publisher and dealing with that kind of rejection did not sound appealing to me. I knew I had a couple of solid stories and the skills to edit and design the book layout myself, so I went for it. I'm learning more and more each day that this community of indie authors is amazing and so supportive. I'm proud to be among them.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I wrote Goodbye, Magnolia in the thick of wedding season back when I ran my own wedding photography business. It was my first time participating in NaNoWriMo and I knew I wanted to write a story about a wedding photographer who hadn't been so lucky in love. A lot of the character of Maggie is based on myself, my experiences shooting weddings, and my own past heartbreak.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Being able to take characters that are alive in my head and place them on the page to see what they will do is amazing. And when I get to the end of the book and find that lessons have been learned and things have come full circle and my characters are better from their journey, that makes it all worthwhile.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Photography is a big part of my life. And reading, of course. I'm also a scrapbook lover, documenting our life using the Project Life system of scrapbooking.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Not sure if this is the first story I wrote, but in third grade, I won a young writer contest with a medieval romance story about two brothers and a princess. I think my mom still has it tucked away in a box somewhere with old school papers. :)
What is your writing process?
What works for me is to crank the first draft out as quickly as I can. My most recent work-in-progress took me two weeks. The first draft is always a big mess, but the important thing is to get the story out of your head. Then I spend many months writing to fill in the story, give it layers, rewrite, edit, repeat, before it's to the point where I let trusted critique partners read it and weigh in.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything and everything. Contemporary romance, young adult, classics, dystopian. I'll read just about anything.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Recommendations from friends, Facebook friends, book bloggers, other authors.
What do your fans mean to you?
I am blessed to have such wonderful readers. The sweet comments I have received about my books have been so uplifting and encouraging and motivational. I love sharing my stories with all of you.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on a prequel/sequel to Goodbye, Magnolia. It begins years before Goodbye, Magnolia, but catches up to that timeline along the way, only it's told from another character's perspective this time. I also have another young adult novel in the works as well.
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