Actually, I don't really have a process. Once I start typing, I just keep going. When I get stuck and stop typing, that's the time I put it away, but as long as I have my story outline, it doesn't happen too often. It's the story outline that can hang me up sometimes--coming up with ideas. I often write while the television is on. When I tell people that they don't understand how I don't get distracted. I think it's just having the background noise.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
One of the first stories I remember that had a major impact on me was The Count of Monte Cristo. This story impacted me on a very emotional level. I could feel the betrayal and the Count's struggle to get back what he lost realizing in the end that revenge wasn't going to make everything better. The most recent series that impacted me was the Harry Potter series. J.K. Rowling's series amazed me as she intertwined and wove everything together from the first book to the last. And of course, who doesn't like a good book where good overcomes justice.
How do you approach cover design?
I kind of have an idea as I write the book of what I would like the design to be. Sometimes it changes. I also use the suggestions of friends and professionals. My number one approach is to make sure that when someone looks at my cover, they know what the book will be about.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
That's tough, but I'll try to name some. As I mentioned earlier, The Count of Monte Cristo, Harry Potter, The Odyssey and The Illiad. I enjoyed Nancy Drew mysteries when I was a child and I still enjoy a good mystery or suspense. I love fantasy and science fiction.
What do you read for pleasure?
Mysteries, Fantasies and Science Fiction
Describe your desk
Wood with two monitors, a carved wood plaque that says Believe, a glass paperweight, notepads, a Disney mug with pens and pencils and a bag of Milky Way Midnight Mini's. :>)
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in New York-they call it upstate, but it's more to the west side of the state. It didn't really influence my writing. The movies and books I enjoy are what really influenced my writing.
When did you first start writing?
In high school. I wrote songs/music. I started playing the guitar and sang with my sister. We would write our own songs. I still do today. I also wrote journals and I wrote my first novel in college which is a kind of urban fantasy or magical realism. Someday I'll go back to it. When I think about it, I knew back then what genres I would enjoy writing
What's the story behind your latest book?
The Whispers series started with the first book, You're Not Alone. I wrote it based on what happened to my mother. The man she was with for twenty-five years died of a heart attack. They didn't marry and his family came and took everything from her. I wrote the book wishing he had come back from the grave and helped her. Then I met a gentleman at a fast food restaurant that my mom and sister and I frequented. We became friends and he began to tell us stories of his family-they were the Mafia of our city. It was so intriguing, I decided to make the spirit in the second book a bad guy--a part of the mafia. I have continued that thread through book three and four and I'm having so much fun writing it.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I couldn't get traditionally published. It's tough out there. But don't let anyone tell you different-it's tough being an Indie author too. The best and the worst thing about it is you have all the control. You decide the story you want to write, the cover you want which are the fun things. You also have to do the marketing and find your audience. It's work, but I hope it pays off. Of course I would like to make a living at it, but mostly, I really want people to read my books and enjoy them. That's the best feeling.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I just signed up with Smashwords so I don't know yet-give me a few months and I hope to answer that question as follows: Smashwords has opened up a world of readers for me and that is the best thing anyone could do for an author.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When a story really comes together. When I read over something I've written and it brings out the emotions in me that I want to bring out in the readers
What do your fans mean to you?
What are you working on next?
I just finished a Young Adult Magical Realism novel that I want to publish. It will also be a series. It's about a teenage girl who finds she has the power to heal nature. It's a good vs. evil novel and I hope it awakens an interest in young adults for the outdoors.
Who are your favorite authors?
I've enjoyed J.K. Rowlings, James Patterson, Stephen King, Dean Koontz and more
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
All that life has to offer. There are so many opportunities and so many wonderful things in life. My friends, my family, my writing, my guitar, my 2 geriatric dogs, national parks, lakes, rivers and oceans to name a few.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I like to be outdoors. I like to walk, hike, bike, kayak, garden, be with friends, travel, watch movies and of course, read.
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