Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
We had recently moved out to the country, being the youngest of seven I had to move from all that I knew to a new and strange place. My sister thirteen years my senior came to visit the following year, she was an avid reader of romance novels. When she returned home, I found a romance novel she left behind – a paranormal romance. Lord above I was hooked, I no doubt should not have been reading such content at the age of eleven going on twelve; and I did my best to hide it away. I held onto that book for as long as I can remember. Declining Friday night fun with friends begging off saying I wasn’t feeling well to stay home and cuddle up in bed and re-read this book. This is when I fell in love with books, and story telling... the author's ability to take me from my everyday life, make me forget about my worries and troubles... if even for a moment, was in a word inspirational.
How do you approach cover design?
Learning about your audience, finding out what they want and catering to the imagination of your reader. I know that I need to be able to connect on some level with a potential reader, that it must be able capture the attention, be appealing to the eye; be relevant to the story you are telling – a foundation. It is after all the very first thing a potential reader takes notice of and as an author you need to appeal to the visual. I feel it is the difference between someone taking the time to read the cover and learn what your story is about – and passing it by without another look.
What do you read for pleasure?
Honestly, I love a variety of romance; historical, contemporary, adult, the occasional biography and suspense novel.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I like to read on either my iPhone or iPad.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
My website is a great tool to reach out to my fan base; I also use a variety of social media to connect with readers as well. It requires dedication and time – but it is so worth it. I started with wattpad, where my unedited books are used as a tool to gather what people like and don’t like about my writing and style – like your very own focus group of avid readers… a very strong tool indeed, that connects you with awesome people from around the world.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing back when I was a young girl and moved into more serious writing in my early twenty’s. Until You – A Viking Tale written under pen name Elizabeth Petrie is the first romance I ever wrote. Granted from that day to this, you would only recognize the foundation of the story – I had always wanted to write about the cherubs in heaven picking out their own parents; the journey of love. It is funny how when we grow further into adulthood, our life experiences shape our approach in everything we do; there was a certain innocence to my writing back then – that has evolved and matured.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The Fitzgerald – Destiny’s Story What’s behind this story? A mischievous grandmother who has grown impatient with her grandchildren now all grown successful adults. She wants great-grandbabies to fill her residence with new life and the pitter-patter of excited little feet. Naturally Mrs. Fitzgerald aka Mrs. Harper is the family’s very own cupid - The legacy of a great family; one of love and the journey of life itself..
What are you working on next?
Coming up in the Once Upon a Kiss series will be the story of Jamie Fitzgerald – Love or lust? There is nothing like a good dose of love to tangle your mind in a ball of confusion. Handsome, commanding James R. Fitzgerald is a force to reckon with – known only to his family as gentle Jamie. Also, be on the lookout for the second installment in the, To Love, Honor and Cherish Series – a historical romance written under my pen name Elizabeth Petrie. It sure promises to be one exciting book; to be released sometime late in the new year.
What is your writing process?
When I am starting something new, I like to visualize it – sleep on it and when the story begins to form – the most important thing for me to do is to capture the perfect names for the characters running around in my head. Once the naming is complete and it is a process, the names really need to fit the characters; it is much like naming a child and can be just as time consuming.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is such a therapeutic outlet for me, allowing me to give a voice to taboo topics such as: abuse, drug addiction, and violence. Sometimes people pick up a book as a means of escape from the horrors of their lives, I want to let them know they are not alone and that there is help out there – that hope is a reality not fiction.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.