Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a suburban small city in the Pacific Northwest region just outside of Seattle. Much of my earlier titles are featured in this geographical area and use the vernacular of the area.
When did you first start writing?
I began writing in 2007 and self-published my first novel in March of 2011. I am also published traditionally through Simon and Schuster.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book, BLOOD CROWN, is book 8 in the Blood Series and the idea for that came to me after I read the now-iconic TWILIGHT series. There was one line in the first book, I believe, that said something along the lines of: "her blood sings to you."
And that one line was the catalyst for the primary idea of my first book, BLOOD SINGERS.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Initially, I was just plain impatient. There was a traditional agent that wanted to see my "pages" of my then-unpublished book, DEATH WHISPERS. But at the last, possible second, my husband mentioned the legendary Amanda Hocking and how she took the bull by the horns and published her own novel. I went ahead and did the same and the rest is history.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I love Smash! In the beginning, there wasn't really a cohesive, reputable company to handle the transference/metadata-content hassle like Smash could. The customer service is there - as is the trust. They got my books worldwide and I didn't have to worry about it. A much-needed option for a beginning indie, especially.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When readers love the work.
Either the book moves them, entertains them, and in some cases, my work has transported a reader away from a painful circumstance or been a catharsis for pain of the past.
It's very rewarding that my work is a vehicle for something positive.
What do your fans mean to you?
Without fans, there is no one to read your words and for that work to make a difference.
What are you working on next?
I'll be working on the DEMON series, adding the next, long-awaited installment. Then I will begin a spin-off novel in the Alpha Claim world.
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King. I buy anything he writes.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
That I'm alive, and lucky to be here.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have a lot of hobbies and am generally considered, "crafty."
Beachcombing is a big love, and I enjoy collecting seashells and sea glass. I like to sew and make jewelry and other things like bookmarks and other useful, artsy things.
I read 3-4 books a week and it would be the last thing I would ever give up.
I'm not crazy about exercise but enjoy walking 3-4 times per week and socializing with my family, with whom I'm very close.
My husband and I travel a lot and have a nomadic spirit!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I subscribe to Bookbub and a few other services. It's a wormhole I happily go down and find myself looking at the book that peaked my interest, along with other books that come up in the search.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I finished a story in 7th grade and it won a modest, informal contest. It was the epiphany of early adulthood that let me know that maybe, I was on to something!
What is your writing process?
Writing is about half my work load. With admin/edits/correspondence/advertising etc. taking up the other.
Generally, I write 5 days per week for 2-3 hours per session. I never write past 2 unless there's some kind of crazy art streak where every word is channeling directly into my brain and voila! I go overboard. These days, I find I'm very systematic.
I estimate that I work between 35-50 hours per week. On new release weeks, it's always on the heavy side.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I loved The Chronicles of Narnia. I was always a fantasy girl and the imagination and symbolism within the works inspired my mind and my imagination.
How do you approach cover design?
I hire it out, for starters. And it must look professional. Also, depending on the genre the fine line is that the art must represent the genre to the readers eyes. (For example, it should be easily identifiable as horror by the cover alone if it it, indeed, horror.)
Having said that, there's also the desire to have your art stand out and not look too "trend." That is a challenge.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Guilty Pleasures (Beautifully mixed genre dark fantasy with thriller and mystery expertly woven) Lightning (Cool, time travel theme) The Stand (Involved, complicated plots and humanity showcasing) Easy (Relevant, real life topics) Keto Clarity (Health Improvements)
What do you read for pleasure?
Dark fiction. I also really like a great thriller or post apocalyptic.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I use a Kindle, but I could use my phone and have. I hear NOOKbooks are the bomb.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Bookbub ads are the big lever of advertising at the moment. The ROI (return on investment) with a bookbub ad can't be beat and I relentlessly submit any title I think they'll consider.
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