When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
With what little free time I have, I love to read, anything with vampires, shifters and weres.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, I was in the fifth grade when I wrote my first "book". There was a writing competition at our school and I wrote a children's book called, "Bobby the Bunny". My book was about the importance of friendship and asking others for help when you need it. I was so excited when I won first place! I received a wonderful opportunity to attend the Young Writers' Conference at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I fell in love with the school that day, and that is where I eventually went to college.
What is your writing process?
I have a bad habit of editing my work as I go. I'm not sure if I waste more time or if it saves time but that's how I have to write. I am also trying to use more outlines instead of winging the plot.
When I finally sit down to start writing I motivate myself with a big spoonful of vanilla icing.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first book I remember actually being able to read was a Sesame Street story about Big Bird. I don't remember what it was about. I just remember how much I loved the book with Big Bird standing on the front, and how great it felt to be able to read it to my family.
How do you approach cover design?
I usually have an idea of what I want the cover to look like and I have a graphic artist at Fiverr, Vocal Design, who will always work with me to get the cover exactly the way I see it in my mind.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
My favorite books are Kim Harrison's Hollows series, and I can't pick my five favorites out of the twelve books she's published so far.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything from Kim Harrison, J.R. Ward, Laurell Hamilton, or Jeaniene Frost. I love a good paranormal romance book.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I bought a Kindle several years ago because I hated waiting for a new release to be mailed. I'm addicted to it now and before I bought an iPhone I took my Kindle with me everywhere.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Marketing is tough. I've come to realize that anyone can write a book, actually being able to sell it is the challenge. I'm trying to increase followers on Twitter and Facebook, and I use Story Cartel to try and bring in reviews.
Describe your desk
I am pretty organized and can't stand a mess, so it's neat and tidy.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the small town of Eden, North Carolina. I was the first person in my family to go to college. Most people in our town graduated from college and then went to work in a mill, and then when they closed, a grocery store or their own little mom and pop store.
When I went to college, I felt like I was at a huge disadvantage in my writing and grammar even though I had all As in English in high school. Eden consists almost entirely of southern slang everyone, including my family, uses. It was tough to overcome 18 years of conditioning to improper grammar, and it is still something I have to work at. Luckily for me, my husband, who I met in college, is a grammar-Nazi and his proofreading is the the main reason I did so well my last two years at UNCG.
What's the story behind your latest book?
In 2011 I had just finished reading the newly released book in the Anita Blake series. I didn't know what to read next so my husband suggested I write my own. I had an idea about a woman who doesn't know her husband is a shifter, caused by a "genetic defect" until she unexpectedly becomes pregnant with his child.
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