I started to write later in life after my mother passed away from cancer. I was an avid gardener, but that was something we did together. After she was gone, I just couldn't do it any more so I struggled finding something to occupy my mind. I tried reading, but I got tired of stories about weak female characters. After throwing my hundredth book across the room, my son teased me and said that I should write my own stories. To my shock, I did and I found it to be a wonderful escape. I NEVER planned on publishing anything until my best friend convinced me to give it a try. The first personal note I got from someone that read my book made me cry like a baby. I decided at that point if my stories could help others escape for a few minutes from whatever is troubling them, it was all worth while. I haven't stopped writing since that day.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I was forced to do creative writing in grade school and hated it. I was painfully shy back then and was petrified by the idea of anyone reading something I wrote - - even the teacher. I didn't start enjoying creative writing until my forties. I guess I needed life to teach me how. The first real creative writing story I've written and shared with anyone is the Blue Fire series... all 750,000+ words. It started out as a short story and just kept growing and growing. Blue Fire ended up as a 5 book series that includes over 175 illustrations. The next book was Knight Shift and it has over 208,000 words. I am now working on Mistyx which is a story that I'm splitting into 2 books, each just shy of 300 pages. I can't write a short story if my life depended on it.
How do you approach cover design?
For all of my books, I do my own cover art and, for the Blue Fire series, I included my own illustrations. Art has been the love of my life since I was very young. Writing is a new hobby for me. I approach cover design similar to creating any artwork. I break down what I want to portray into individual design elements - - much like creating keywords for the story. Then I decide what image and/or color best conveys each keyword. The end design is a combination of those elements blended together into a cohesive work of art. My approach gives my covers personal meaning but, since I write romance novels, they do put me at a slight disadvantage because I don't have half naked people on the cover.
What are you working on next?
My last book, Knight Shift, I focused on whether I could elicit emotion in my readers. I was told that an entire Kleenex box is required, so I guess I overshot my goal. I've decided that my next story will make you smile. It's called Mistyx and is a lighthearted love story between two polar opposites that get trapped together by a curse. I've created a song list that follows along their journey together. Music and a love story...seems like a good combination to me. We shall see.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Full time worker, mother, wife... writing gave me MY time away from it all.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My iPad. I never leave home without it. It's also where I do all of my book editing.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
This is a real challenge for me. If I ever find an effective technique, I'll let you know. Being one of millions of independent authors out there, it's difficult not to get lost in the crowd. Right now, I'm not worried about it. I write because I love to write. Period. I'm thrilled that a few people have found my books and I hope that they've helped them escape reality for a while. I'll never be rich and famous, but what good is a story if you can't share it with others?
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love to draw, paint, and do just about every craft on the planet. If I were to start life over, I would open a craft store where I would help people finish all those craft projects that seemed like such a good idea at the store, but are collecting dust on a shelf at home.
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