I am really excite to share some book stuff this week, plus “Lessons From the Lane” and some reviews! In the meantime, I was lucky enough to get the chance to ask a fellow writer some questions about herself, her new release and more. Enjoy!
Well, I’m married with two kids and a dog that’s quite old but still loveable! I worked as a District Sales Manager for a large pharmaceutical firm for years before launching this career. The humorous bio that’s on my website and other places has a grain of truth to it, but the whole story is that the company I worked for was taken over by a larger one that basically chewed up my division and left most people without jobs. I was in a unique situation where I could take advantage of being unemployed and pursue my dream career, which is what I am now doing. And, by the way, I’m loving it! What could be more fun than creating new worlds with characters to inhabit it?
2) Who has influenced you as a writer?
When I was in grammar school I used to steal my mom’s books and sneak away and read. I was the kid with the flashlight under the covers. My mom was always reading books by Rosemary Rogers and Kathleen Woodiwiss. They were the reigning romance authors at the time, I believe. (And not very appropriate for 12 year olds, but YA Romance didn’t really exist then!) I always thought then how cool it would be to write novels such as those. I always loved vampire movies and science fiction and would dream up stories in my head. In college, I majored in Public Relations/Marketing and minored in journalism, but I followed a different path in my career. The desire to write a romance novel was always lurking in the back of my mind. I would tell my friends, employees—really anyone who would listen (LOL), but never did it until I wrote Survival. I love to read just about everything from suspense to YA romance. So I don’t really have one favorite author but many, and they all in some way, have inspired me to write.
3) What’s been the biggest challenge for you in getting your books published?
Learning the ins and outs of self-publishing, how to utilize social media (I never tweeted anything until Survival!) and getting to know e-marketing. It’s a completely different game than straight marketing. I studied marketing and it was a major part of my old career but this was entirely different. Initially, I felt like I had moved to a parallel universe. All this stuff was happening and I had been completely unaware of it!
4) Have there been any pleasant surprises in pursuing your writing career?
YESSS!! It has been an AWESOME experience for me. I can’t even begin to tell you everything. It started with Goodreads. I somehow landed in the right place at the right time and made these amazing contacts. I feel like these people are my closest friends now. I can’t say enough good things about them. They are bloggers and readers and other authors. And they are extraordinary people that have gone to great lengths to help me. And then there is Twitter. I absolutely love Twitter. When I’m on Twitter, I feel like I’m on the floor of the NYSE watching the ticker tape to track my investments (LOL). It’s a phenominal piece of the puzzle. I could go on and on about all these social media platforms that not only have helped me launch The Guardians of Vesturon, but have been so much fun too.
5) What is the one piece of advice you’d wish you’d gotten before publishing your books?
I wish I had joined Goodreads a year ahead of publishing and had known and understood what a beta reader was. When I wrote Survival, I never really intended to publish it. But I had some urging from friends and said, “What the heck!” Now I want to go back and rewrite parts of it because my writing was immature. I wanted it to have that “tongue in cheek” humor, but I don’t think it came across to eveyone like that. My character, Maddie, was intended to be poking fun by using crazy lingo. Lots of people got it, but lots didn’t. That’s where a beta reader would have helped. Also, my background was journalism and business writing—very concise and succinct, which is the opposite end of the spectrum from fiction. So I could have used a beta reader for hard critiques. But the good news is that I’m learning and improving (I think) and trying to become better every day.
All the above! Some days I love music, some days I need silence. I can’t write with anyone (my hubby) in the room because he wants to chat and that doesn’t work too well for me. When I get stumped, I put on my iPod and go for a run. During a run I work out all sort of plot lines, coversations, and so forth. Ideally, I’d love to write every day, but sometimes it doesn’t happen like that.
7) I see you’re a skier. What got you started in the sport and what do you like best about it?
I’ve always loved the outdoors and I learned to ski not too far from my home. I live in the upstate of South Carolina and learned to ski in North Carolina. Once I learned how to parallel ski, I decided to go out west. I was hooked… I mean really hooked. I love the thrill of going down the mountain. I love the scenery. It’s so much FUN! I’ve been all over the west and even to Europe, but my fave is Vail. It’s immense and has such varied terrain. I love the back bowls… they’re amazing.
8) Do you watch the sport on TV? If so, who is your favorite skier?
I do watch it some on TV—like the world cup. But mostly I watch it during the Olympics. (I don’t watch a whole lot of TV anyway.) I love Lindsay Vonn… she’s incredible and I love Bodie Miller. But I’ve been to “Birds of Prey” which is the course they run for the World Cup (At Beaver Creek) and it’s unbelievable. When you’re on that run and then realize how fast the pros ski it you’re thinking, “How do they do it?” They fly—I mean these skiers are going up to 90 miles an hour. They water the slopes to make them icy too. They must be made of steel is all I can say.
9) What are you reading at the moment?
“Lure” by Brian Rathbone. He is a friend of mine who normally writes in the fantasy genre, but Lure is a paranormal romance—a new venture for him.
10) Kindle or Hard Copy?
Definitely Kindle (or iBook) on my iPad. I can take my library anywhere!
11) Favorite kind of coffee
STRONG!! My special indulgence is Starbuck’s Double shot Latte 😛
12) What is the one show you can’t miss (if any)?
I don’t watch a whole lot of TV but I have a new show I’ve locked into call “Person of Interest.” It’s a good guy/bad guy but with a different twist. I really like it.
13) Do you have a favorite quote?
Yes! My mom would always say, “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar,” and “No one said life is fair!” And boy are they both the truth.
14) Can you give my readers a little hint about your future projects?
I am currently writing my 3rd full-length book in the series—not to confuse anyone, I just released a 3rd publication—a novella (short story) called “Beginnings,” and it’s a prequel to the The Guardians of Vesturon. I wrote it because there is a scene in Survival where Rayn’s (the main MC) father enters the story and is very stern with his son. Several readers said they thought he was really mean, so I thought I’d give him a chance to tell his story. After they read it, I think they’ll change their minds. But… the 3rd full-length novel should be out in late June or July. It’s about Rykerian, who is an extremely HAWT and sensitive male. And that’s all I’m going to say!
15) Do you have any parting thoughts for us?
Yes! Survival and Beginnings are both FREE. Survival is free everywhere and Beginnings is free on Smashwords. Thanks for this opportunity to stop by and chat—it’s been lots of fun!