- When did you first realize you wanted to become a Writer/author?
The only time I wrote as a child and a teenager, that didn’t have to do with school, was poetry. All throughout my teenage years and early 20s I wrote poetry and even had some published, but didn’t think of it as more than a hobby. Then, in my late 30s I attended a work function where you were given ten minutes with a palm reader. She told me that eventually I would become an author, that it was what I was meant to be. I thought that sounded wonderful, but had no idea where the time or ideas would come from.
Flash forward a few years, and I was laid off from my job. I had a decent severance package and was trying to decide what I wanted to do. I read a lot during these months and one night was reading a romance that was so horrible I complained to my husband that, “I could write better than this crap.” He told me to do it and stop bitchin.
Hah. I started looking online at some of the requirements in 2001 for submitting a book. I was reading a lot of Ellora’s Caves books, and clicked on their submission guidelines. Wrote three chapter of a book (Zylan Captive) and emailed it in. No one was more surprised than my husband when they emailed me within a day or two asking for the rest of the book.
I didn’t have more than the three chapters. I asked for a couple weeks to “finish” it, and did nothing but write.
When I wrote the three chapters for EC…that was flowers and fireworks and an, “Oh my God…I love doing this!” moment. That is when I realized I wanted to be a writer.
- Where do you get your ideas for your book?
Ideas have never been a problem. I sit and stare out the window where I write and come up with a couple every time, I watch the news and get ideas, read magazine articles…listen to people at the next table in the restaurant, walk my dog in the neighborhood. Sometimes the germ for an idea is just two or three words that resonate, and sometimes it comes to you as an entire scene or plot. I keep an idea notebook with me at all times.
Sometimes ideas come from my habit of playing a silly “what if” game with myself when I discover something I think should be changed. Several years ago I was reading a biography on Marie Antoinette. That woman had a horrible life where EVERYONE told her what to do. And she wasn’t anything like what history has turned her into. As I read, I kept wishing she had a chance to just rebel a little, and thought she needed an opportunity to kick some ass and do what SHE wanted to do.
So…what if…I gave her a chance. What if…Marie Antoinette was a vampire and lived through her beheading. Then she could do what whatever she wanted to, have a life she wanted versus one forced on her as a child. The result was Let Them Eat Cake.
When my first grandson was born, I went to San Francisco for 6 weeks to help take care of him while my son finished school and daughter-in-law worked. I pushed his stroller down the street looking at all the fun houses and buildings. Intrigued by all the gargoyles and Sphinx statues, I wrote out the ideas for several stories while I was there.
I have 15 partially written books that have between 200 to 25,000 words each. Five of those books came from the 6 weeks I spent in San Francisco. I plan to publish several of those stories this year. Ideas have never been a problem, finishing the entire story before another idea crops up? That’s a problem. But I’m getting better at it!
- What kind of things do you enjoy when not writing?
Time with my grandchildren and family tops that list. Being silly with them, watching movies, having sleepovers. Especially during the summer when we do afternoon BBQs and are outside.
I love to read. I schedule writing breaks around reading time. I love to travel. Road trips to nowhere, weeks in Hawaii, train trips from one point to another…any kind of travel. When I’m home, one of my favorite things to do is lay in my hammock and read, write, or just stare up at the leaves and think…what if?
I go shooting with my husband once a month. Target practise with several different guns. Ruger, rifles, and something he used for protection from the bears when he was in Alaska…it’s a BIG pistol.
Last year we remodeled the main floor in our house—kitchen, living room and family room. I loved that! And when I say we remodeled it…we took apart the kitchen, tore up the carpet and flooring, painted, put the cabinets together and installed them, finished butcher block countertops, cut them to size and installed…tore down the old fireplace rock and put up a “used” traditional mantel that I refinished. My husband is an electrician, so we did all new can-lighting and fixtures. The only thing we didn’t do was the plumbing, and changing the fireplace from wood to gas. I loved it! But my husband hated every minute of it. So, smaller…me only projects are in my future!
- How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I currently have 11 published titles available. Some of these titles have multiple stories in them, and I have a couple of free books available for promo purposes. I also have two previously published books that will be re-released in April and May, after I’ve finished edits and cover design. So I guess my answer to that question is 16. LOL. Sixteen completed books and 15 partially written manuscripts with two of those brand-new books close to completion.
My all time favorite—up to last month, was Let Them Eat Cake. I love that book. It has lots of laughter, a little horror, a bunch of crazy characters, and I just like it. Since Supernatural Speed Dating was finished and published last month, it has edged into my favorite spot for the same reason. It is funny, a little scary…and has a bunch of crazy people in it.
As I think about those two books, I realize they have another thing in common—the amount of research I did before writing them. I put a lot of the real Marie Antoinette in Let Them Eat Cake, and did research on mythological villains for it. In Supernatural Speed Dating I did a ton of research on muti (doctors, killings, history). So I feel like I really put more than just my imagination into both books.
- Do you have any suggestions to help others who have a passion for writing?
It gets said a great deal…but—just do it. Just write, just read, just join things like Romance Writers of America, or whatever writing group fits your genre and area. Read writers blogs that talk about writing, promo, self-publishing and anything to do with your craft.
I spend part of each week reading books about promo, or blogs about plotting, or learning new skills with Canva (cover and promo graphics design) or how to do something on my website. Being a writer is about the story…you have to have that first, so put it on paper…but open yourself to all the information available and learn a little each day about the business of writing.
- What do you think makes a great story?
That is hard to answer. I like to laugh when I read, but I also like a little anger or spine-tingling terror. So I guess emotion makes a good story. I want to be emotional when I read a book. I want to laugh out loud so my husband looks at me funny and says what are you laughing at, I want my daughter to walk in the room and ask me why I’m crying. I want to get the book at the day it comes out, and HAVE to stay up all night to finish it because I can’t put it down. That happens when I fall in love with the characters, when I hurt for them, or am afraid for them. So I guess what makes a good story for me…is emotion.
- Which Writer/Authors inspire you?
I have 5 authors that I read and reread all the time. I love their stories, they make me emotional, and I feel as if I know the characters inside and out. I want to be these writers when I “growup.”
J.D. Robb – (And yes…I know this is Nora Roberts. I didn’t when I started reading about Eve and Roarke…but somewhere after the first 20 or so books it came out.) There are 60 ish books in this series, and every other year I read them from beginning to end.
Christine Feehan – I like all of her books, but the love affair started with the Carpathians. I love her paranormal style and character development.
Laurel K Hamilton – She makes me laugh, scares me to death, and I close my eyes for the really gory stuff.
Sherrilyn Kenyon – the entire host of paranormal creatures and stories just amazes me.
Angela Knight – an EC author that opened my eyes to the possibility of SciFi Fantasy stories.
- What are you working on at the moment?(optional)
I always have several projects going at the same time. If I’m feeling creative, I write. I write every day but sometimes it just comes easier than others. If I’m stuck on one project, I work on another. If the writing just isn’t flowing…I edit, or promo, or take care of other business. (Like designing a new website…)
I am working on edits for Selven Refuge and Zylan Rebellion. Flushing out Vlad & Veronicas’ story for the Creatures of Myth series, and finishing Midnight’s Mystery (Dragon Witch).
- What genre are your books?
Most are paranormal. Vampires, dragons, shape-shifters of all types, and lots of magic users (Druids, witches (light and dark), eventually gargoyles, more dragons, a Sphinx…
I also have SciFi romance books, and a couple contemporary stories.
- What drew you to the genre you write?
Its what I like to read. What I enjoy. When I read I want to escape. I want to be someone/something else and live in a different world.
- Which Actor/Actress would you like to see portraying the lead character from your most recent book? (any book you like)
This is very hard for me because I don’t watch a lot of TV or go to movies very often, unless they are Disney movies with the grands. If I have extra time, I read.
I did go see The Last Word with Shirly MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried this weekend. I laughed and cried, so it was a good movie in my opinion.
In my book - Hidden Enemies, the heroine escapes to a small town to hide from her abusive ex-husband. There is a geriatric group of women and men who bring her cookies, hang out at her book store, and are a hoot. Shirly MacLaine would be perfect for one of the women in this story.
And Amanda Seyfried is the perfect Tawny from Guardian Alien, the third book in Alien At Her Door. Very down to earth, take charge, take no prisoners kind of actress.
- Do you write full-time or part-time?
Again I’m smiling. Even when I had a job I wrote/prom’d ten plus hours a day. But as of March 1st of this year I write exclusively and full-time…which for me typically means twelve to fourteen hours a day.
- What is the hardest thing about writing?
For me it is the last few chapters of a book. Because I second guess myself, worry and reread, and by then I’ve lived with the book for months, sometimes years, and think no one could possibly enjoy it because it has become a monster…
- Any tips on how to get through the dreaded Writer’s block?
Change things up. If I have writers block I move from the desk to the couch, then to the hammock. Or I get off the computer and write by hand. If its really bad and I need to finish something…I take a bath. I write with paper and pen in the steam and essential oils and I have never come out of the tub without some sort of “answer” to what is next!
- Do you read much, and if so who are your favorite Authors or genres?
I read every day. My favorite genre is paranormal, or “writing craft” books. Right now, I’m rereading The Writer’s Little Helper by James V Smith, Jr…a chapter a day. I read Christine Feehan’s new book last Tuesday from , and then a little bit over the next few days. My favorite authors are the ones that inspire me, but I read a lot of others. Lynsay Sands, Katie MacAlister, JR Ward, Karen Marie Moning, Cheyenne McCray…just to name a few.
- Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
No, I think you’ve covered it!
- How can Readers discover more about you and your work?(please provide proper links)
Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/
Instafreebie author page: https://www.instafreebie.com/
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview