Did you always want to be a writer? This question always makes me laugh. There are some people that say that they were born writing. They wrote short stories as a child, knowing that that was the only thing they ever wanted to do with their life. That wasn’t me. I grew up wanting to be an Egyptologist. After studying Egypt in 6th grade, I was hooked. I dreamed of hot deserts, golden statues in musky tombs, and even wearing khaki (which is hilarious because I can’t stand to wear it now). In fact, I hated reading until I was nineteen. Oh sure, I read. I was required to read the usual books in high school, but I never enjoyed them. The only books I read for pleasure as a teenager was the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. At nineteen, I read my first romance novel, quickly devouring my mom’s entire collection thereafter. I LOVED them. I loved reading about love, families, happy endings. After reading hundreds of books, literally, I decided to try my hand at writing one of my own. My first book, Hidden Treasures, which I’m sorry to say will probably never see the light of day, was a contemporary romance set in England. She was an Egyptologist. He, a stuffy duke. What a combo.
Where do you get the inspiration for your characters? Usually from people I know or from a combination of people. Sometimes even strangers. I’ve modeled characters off of childhood best friends, movie stars, and even some guy from the grocery store. I try to never make an exact replica of a person in my life. Instead, I prefer to take physical characteristics from one, personality from another, a random profession, and so on.
Where can I buy your books? As of now, they are only available on Amazon.
When will your next story be out? I wish I could tell you exactly which month my books will be released, but I can’t. As a mother of three young children, my schedule can sometimes get completely thrown off. The joy of self publishing is that I can be there when my family needs me. I can set my own deadlines, work as fast or as slow as I need, be in charge of the covers, promotions, releases, etc. The downside of all that is that I don’t have a firm cutoff date from a publisher when I’m required to have a manuscript completed by. Please know I'm working as quickly as possible to get my books out. Besides my family, writing gives me the most joy in life. I am thrilled I have you with me on this exciting journey!
What romance genres do you write in? Currently, I have both historical (Regency and Western) and a few Contemporaries, but I might surprise you and throw in something completely random someday.
I’ve written a book. I want you to read it and give me your opinion on it/help me make it better/send it to your agent or editor for me. Will you? First off, congratulations! I know how much time, energy, love, and frustration you have poured into that book. Unfortunately, I don’t read unpublished manuscripts outside of contest judging. My time, or lack thereof, does play a part in this. But the biggest reason I don’t is because I am just a reader. ONE reader. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had one person love my book and another absolutely hate it. Everyone’s opinion is different. I would suggest joining your local RWA chapter. I’ve met so many wonderful women who have helped me on my journey, women who were willing and excited to share their knowledge about craft and the industry. Another suggestion would be to take classes or check out books on craft to help strengthen your technique.
Any last advice for an aspiring author? Keep writing! Social media, websites, blogs, lectures… none of those matter without your book. Practice will refine your technique. It will help you learn how to show instead of tell. It will make your dialogue flow easier. Your stories will become more complex, richer as your imagination begins to flow. Editing is important, but don’t spend years editing the same piece over and over. Eventually, it needs to stand on its own. It may not be your best work. Your second, third, fifth, or tenth may not even be your best. But eventually, you’ll get there. Just keep writing.