Possibly at birth? I was certainly very young. I won the writing award for my grade when I was in the fourth grade, and I know I was writing long before that, so early elementary school would probably be the most accurate answer. I wrote more and more throughout middle and high school, but I slowed down as I got older. I didn't follow my dream of writing a book until last year when I started my debut novel, The First.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I have always been interested in mythology of all types. Archetypes and their patterns are a fascinating subject for me, and I love to think about the story behind the story. Finding an interconnectedness among ideas is like finding the toy in the cereal box, only far more gratifying and useful. I wanted to create a story that was a complete enigma at first but slowly unravels to reveal the hidden meaning.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Honestly, I spent about a week (a very long, tedious week) researching the pros and cons of both traditional and indie publishing. Maybe a publisher would have snapped up my story. Maybe not. But just thinking about the time, effort, and heartache involved gave me a massive migraine. I spent many, many weeks after that changing my mind over and over. Despite this, I always came back to the idea that I wanted to do this myself. I wanted to learn the BUSINESS of writing, publishing, and promoting. I'm a quick learner (I love to learn), and I have an amazing fiancé who is a graphic artist and web designer, so I felt like it was meant to be. This process has been nightmarishly difficult, and there is a very steep learning curve, but I feel that my next novel will prove to be a slightly less harrowing experience.
What are you working on next?
A series, I think. It will be some form of fantasy, possibly a little bit of steampunk. I have a lot written down, but it's too early to talk about it yet.
What do your fans mean to you?
The world. Literally. I thank them continuously for believing in me and supporting me throughout this entire process. And for their patience. Bless them!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Sharing my story. That's it. There is no greater joy. Not money. Not fame (though both would be great). Leaving my legacy in the form of my stories is the biggest accomplishment I can imagine.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I don't have an answer for this yet. I'm still in the early stages, so I guess we shall see. In terms of site traffic, Facebook and LinkedIn have been my two most effective social media strategies. The highest exposure I received was through my Kickstarter project, so I'm happy for the followers and fans I received through that endeavor. I'm also a member of several writing forums, though my attention has been primarily on writing my novel lately. Word-of-mouth is always one of the most powerful ways to have your book promoted. There are eleven free chapters of my book on the website so that people who are interested can get a feel for my writing style and the content. They, in turn, can share this with others. Reviews are the key to success, I my opinion.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
My hobbies include reading, cooking, traveling, sleeping, and playing video games (yep).
What do you read for pleasure?
For the most part, I enjoy fantasy and science fiction novels. If you were to sneak a peek at my Kindle reader, you would also see quite a few young adult books as well, though they still tend to be on the fantasy side of that genre.
Who are your favorite authors?
That's difficult to limit, but the top ones would be Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Ursula Leguin, Douglas Adams, J.K. Rowling, Sarah J. Maas (she's fairly new, writes YA fantasy - LOVE her), and Garth Nix.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle! I love my Kindle, though I originally balked at the idea. As an English teacher and avid lover of books (the look, the smell, the feel), the death of the printed book makes me very sad. However, for most of my reading, I do find that the Kindle is extremely portable and convenient, especially on vacation. I still purchase print copies of my favorites, though.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I've discovered some great reads through other indie authors I've met or interacted with on the internet. Sometimes I find books through Goodreads recommendations from friends. Sometimes the advertising on the Kindle is spot-on with my interests. And occasionally I just surf through the categories I like until I find a book cover that looks interesting. If the description is just as enticing, I'll download a sample. I always read the sample before I buy, a precaution that has saved me time and money on several occasions. I'll purchase the e-book if the price isn't too crazy and the sample is interesting.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.