1. What makes you proud to be a writer from Indiana?
Hmm…tough question. Being a Hoosier is a condition. We’re more grounded, yet somehow backward hicks at other times. LOL. For example, I heard a story once about someone who went Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Quite a few of the girls around the group were going topless, and when they were asked to do the same, they all said, “Nah, we’re from Indiana.” So, I rest my case. It’s a thing. We also tend to mispronounce words, which really drives me nuts as a writer. I catch myself doing it in conversation now and then.
So, as for being proud of where I come from? There are disadvantages, but I guess one upside is that I can look at some crazy situations that are supposedly ‘normal’, and then wonder what’s wrong with people. And yet, I think I’m a little more openminded than most of my family, so it balances out.
2. What or who inspired you to become a writer?
It was probably a collective of experiences and my love of literature that first sparked my interest in it. Not to mention I couldn’t get the stories in my head to go away without writing them all down.
3. When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published?
So early. From the age of nine, I knew this was what I wanted to do. I spent a lot of time researching the industry, while also honing my craft. However, I didn’t actually get published until 2010.
4. Did your environment or upbringing play a significant role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage?
Our close family ties have inspired me to funnel the same sense of ‘family’ in many of my book series. Diversely, I would have to say that being from a small town helped to open my mind to writing about worlds and cities I wasn’t familiar with.
5. Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript?
It depends on the project. Sometimes I know what the title is in the beginning, but usually, I come up with a the temporary title just to save the document, and change it later.
6. Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre?
I usually write in various subgenres of romance, but now and then, I have surprised myself with story ideas that venture further out. One of my latest books, Chasing Ginger, is a steamy romantic comedy. It’s actually the first time I’ve ever written a rom-com, though I’m familiar enough with those kinds of books and movies.
7. What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process?
I think the most rewarding part of writing is knowing that you’ve honored your vision for the story, that you’ve held the life and tale of the character you’re writing about with capable hands. The knowledge that I did my best and then it’s time for someone else to see my work is both terrifying and exciting.
8. Have you had a negative experience in your writing career? If so, please explain how it could have been avoided?
There are often pitfalls in a writer’s career. I think the biggest mistake I made was to reach out to my favorite author in the genre and ask for a recommendation of my first traditionally published romance novel. Just a simple quote to put on the published book. I won’t name names here, but her response turned me off her work for life. She was unreasonably unkind. She only had to say no, she didn’t have the time, and I would’ve understood. Instead, that well-known author chose to not only try to read the book, but to tear every inch of it apart based on the first chapter alone, despite the fact that the book was already set to be published by a good company. It would’ve been different if I had asked for a real critique before I’d ever submitted the manuscript to anyone.
So…I would say to others to be incredibly careful if you’re set to meet one of your idols. You may be disappointed in the experience.
9. What has been the most rewarding experience in your publishing journey?
Meeting new readers has been so much fun! Plus, it’s always nice to earn book awards, or to even garner good reviews. That makes you feel like maybe all the time and effort you put into writing the novel was really worth it.
10. What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors?
Always come back to why you began this journey in the first place. Remember the reason you write stories. If it’s because you live for being ‘in the zone’, when the pen is flowing and the characters’ tales are unfolding before you on the page, then you got into this for the right reasons. Because doing it for a paycheck or any other monetary purpose won’t carry you too far for long. We all want to be able to survive financially, but you must also love writing with everything you are, or you’ll never find fulfillment.
11. Who is your favourite author?
Right now, it’s probably J.R. Ward. I love her paranormal romances.
12. Which book title would you like featured in this interview?
Chasing Ginger (Review will follow at a later stage.)
13. If you are a multi-book author, please tell me three of your favourite book titles:
Magick & Moonlight
Published books with purchase links:
MAGICK & MOONLIGHT
Release date: March 2nd, 2014. Second edition release date: April 2, 2020.
Release date: March 10th, 2020
THE MISSING PIECE
Release date: February 14th, 2017. Second edition release date: February 28, 2020.
Release date: November 13, 2016. Second edition release date: December 1, 2019.
Release date: May 30th, 2018
DIRECTIONS OF THE HEART
Release date: July 25th, 2017
SECOND CHANCE HEART
Release date: October 19th, 2015
*Always free on Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, Kobo and iTunes
A LITTLE MAGICK
Release date: July 20th, 2015
Release date: December 8, 2014
1. What is your favourite colour?
2. Are you a sweet or savoury person?
I’m pleasant with most people, but I can be salty when pushed enough. I guess savory.
3. What time do you write best?
Any time, but it flows better in the evenings, right before I go to sleep.
4. Favourite music or song?
Paramore or OneRepublic
5. How do you manage writer’s block?
I stay focused on a deadline. If I’m struggling, I’ll take a break for a while, or try writing exercises to try to get my motivation back. At other times, I must climb through the chaos of writer’s block to find my way back. Later on, I’ll realize I needed the space to figure out a plot problem.
6. What social platform do you enjoy most and why?
I think you can get to know people better on Facebook, but if I’m just posting about blogs or author news, it’s faster to do Twitter or Instagram. But if I had a choice, probably Facebook.
7. What artist’s date do you do where no one else is allowed except writing?
If you’re asking about NaNoWriMo, I don’t subscribe to confining myself to a certain date or time. However, if I am fully immersed in a project, I try to work on an aspect of the book every day, even if it’s just research.
8. What is next on your To-Do List? I still need to finish up some final details on my romantic mystery collection before I start edits.
9. Where do you like to go on holiday?
I don’t take a lot of vacations, but I prefer coastal spots to get away when I can afford it.