It's hard to limit the numbers down to five books that are my favorite, but being I have to choose. First would be "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee. This is one of my favorites because though the moral of the story is equality and civil rights, the story mechanics, and character arcs in score make "To Kill a Mockingbird" a great read. Second would be "Thirteen Reason's Why" by Jay Asher. This book (and current Netflix Series) is a great story, with a valuable lesson. Asher teaches us that the Snowball Effect while very real, is also very dangerous, which portrayed to the audience throughout the various chapters and why Hannah Baker felt suicide was the only way out. Third is The Chronicle's of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. This book may be the second in the Chronicle's of Narnia series but it still is my favorite out of the entire series. Going from thinking your an orphan to traveling through a magical wardrobe to find out your lost kings and queens of the land, is quite an adventure to go on, and I love adventures. Fourth is the complete Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Since I was a kid in the sixth grade when the first Harry Potter book was released, until many years later after I had graduated highschool, I made sure I could follow Harry andhis friends on their quest to defeat He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, Lord Voldemort. Diving into the wizarding world, and discovering the abilities and magics that could be found at Hogwarts, Hogsmeade and even Diagon Alley were eye opening and one of the biggest inspirations I have that fueled my love for writing. Lastly, there is The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman. The Golden Compass gave me my first real look into the use of daemons and mythical companions, and is told exquistely well. Lyra is my favorite character and I love to join her on her journey over and over again.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read just about anything, but when it comes to pleasure reading then I stick to fiction novels. I could spend hours upon hours in a book store or library and find as many books as I can find. They may not all be in the fantasy category but as long as I can connect to the underlying story, and see what the author was trying to portray, I am more than happy to curl up somewhere and read for hours.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
When it comes to e-reading I mainly use my macbook, but sometimes when I am not near my laptop my smartphone or tablet will suffice.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
In a world full of technology I think that book marketing is a lot easier now then it was 30 years or so ago. The most effective techniques that I use currently is the use of Social Media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I am also somewhat of an old fashioned and therefore I also like to use good ole snail mail fliers to promote promotional marketing events for my books.
Describe your desk
My desk is ALWAYS messy, but I heard it was a proven fact that the most creative people are slobs...
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Brentwood a town on Long Island, NY. I lived there for 18 years of my life and graduated from St. John the Baptist DHS in West Islip. Growing up on the island didn't influenece me much with writing, but more so gave me the setting, of where I was able to sit ina quiet spot and start writing. My first real crack at writing was in high school with a really good friend of mine, Veronica. We were total nerds (and still are) and were fans of many different Anime shows. We stayed up late many nights on the phone or on AIM (Aol Instant Messenger) brainstorming different scenarios for our favorite shows, before we eventually decided to put them on paper and we both co-authored our very first fanfiction. Once we started we couldn't stop, until graduation where she ended up going to college, and I settled down and started a family and continued to hone my writing skills in my spare time.
What happened to your friend, Veronica? How does she influence your writing?
Veronica and I parted ways in 2011. We haven't seen or spoken to one another since, and I do truely miss her, but it's the memories of writng our first fanfiction together, and sharing our dreams of becoming famous authors one day that fuels the fire within to keep persuing my dream. Veronica will forever and always be a huge influence on my writing, and I feel that I personify her a little in a certain character in all of my stories.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords contributed to my success, by allowing my the skills and knowledge to self-publish my own e-Book and hopefully in the future publish both paperback and hardcover editions as well.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy about writing for me is being able to not only escpe my own reality, but to also build and create new worlds, and people who live in them. Have you ever had a story to tell, and no one to hear it? It's not a great feeling, and writers have a lot to say, so how else can we get our story out for others to enjoy? By jumping feet first into the pool, and create the best story we can, one that can take the audience out on the wildest adventures imaginable.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean everything to me, because without them I am just a woman who likes to write her ideas on paper. Without my fans, I can't even begin to fathom what I would do with all the things my imagination could possibly come up with. I may write for the sake of getting an idea out of my head, but I also write for the joy of watching my fans enjoy the blood, sweat, and tears I put into each and every book I write.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I am not writing, I spend a lot of time reading other author's books, and even offer advice on editing or proofreading. Sometimes when I'm not writing or reading I enjoy sitting on the couch with my family to enjoy a little bit of television or a movie. The main thing I do, however when I am not writing, reading, or watching tv, is sleep. Unfortunately writing isn't always abut glamour. There are plenty of endless nights of wanting to finish this chapter, or finish this last scene, and next thing I know it's 6:45 am and I have to get the kids off to school. So when I'm not off creating new worlds, characters, and plot lines I definitely catch up on some much needed sleep!
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.