Why did you become a writer? Because I had a story to tell. In all honesty, when I wrote my first novel, I thought it was a short story. When it was finished it was over 100,000 words and I knew the story wasn’t finished. That was the birth of my first series. I haven’t stopped writing since.
Where do you get your ideas? My ideas come from everywhere and everyone. Sometimes its as simple as something someone says to me, other times it might be a dream I can’t stop thinking about after I’ve woken up.
What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing? I have self-published all of my books, so I’m a huge advocate for taking things into your own hands and making them happen if you really want to. Now, that doesn’t mean that I would turn down a traditional publishing house if they made me an offer. I just don’t feel that you have to be traditionally published to do your best work. I’ve read a number of self-published books that were amazing, and plenty of traditionally published books that were total flops. How your novel is published shouldn’t determine it’s success.
Does writing energize or exhaust you? The simple answer is, both. There are times when I’m on a hot streak and I can’t type fast enough and my energy level tends to rise to the occasion. Then there are times when the story is so emotionally draining, or the ideas aren’t coming as quickly as I’d like them to, that’s when writing can exhaust me. Luckily, the latter doesn’t happen nearly as often.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym? I did consider it, when I first started writing, but I decided against it. I wasn’t going to publish anything I would be embarrassed to claim as my own, so I didn’t see the need.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? When I hired my first professional editor. She has been amazing and we’ve worked together on every one of my novels. I love telling stories, but I hate having to worry about grammar and other editing issues. When I’m working with an editor that understands my writing style and has a passion for grammar, I don’t feel like I have to worry about those things.
What does literary success look like to you? My ideal definition of literary success would be to wake up one morning and find out I’m on the New York Times Best Seller list. However, in reality, so few authors make it there. So for me, the fact that I’ve published not one, but multiple, novels which all have some pretty amazing reviews on Amazon, I already feel like a success.
How many hours a day do you write? I’d love to say I write full-time, but I don’t. As a mom, who does have a full-time job (not as an author), I have to take time when I can find it. That might mean I write for an hour a day or it might mean I write for an hour a week. When I’m first starting a story, I write more sporadically. Then, when I deep into the weeds of a story, I tend to write more regularly, 1-2 hours a night.
How do you select the names of your characters? Some of my characters are based on people I know, others are names I’ve always liked, and I’ve even used an online name generator for a few of my characters.
If you didn’t write, what would your ideal job be? That’s easy, I’d want to be a film/television actress. I actually got my degree in Theatre Arts. I even made it all the way out to Los Angeles after graduating. I spent just over 5 years pounding the pavement going from one audition to the next. I worked a little, appearing in a few films and lots of commercials, but then I met my husband and we ended up leaving California and starting a family. Writing just happened, as a way to release some of that creative energy, and I’ve never stopped.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones? I try not to, but I won’t lie and say never. I think every writer probably reads their reviews from time to time. The thing I remind myself is that I can’t please every reader. If I’m proud of the book I’ve released, then that is the best I can hope for. I’m never going to release a book I’m not proud of, but that doesn’t mean everyone who buys a copy will like it. However, I will say I have more positive reviews than negative ones, so that has to mean something.
How long on average does it take you to write a book? That depends on how busy life is at the time I start writing. I’ve had books take me 6 months to write and I’ve had books take me a year to write. Then, the editing process is typically one to three months. I don’t like to rush, especially the editing process, so I don’t really worry about how long they take me to finish. I just want to publish the best books I can publish.
Do you believe in writer’s block? Yes, of course. Any author that tells you they have never gotten stuck, isn’t telling the truth. Now, with that said, writer’s block can be different for every author. For me, I might get stuck on a single scene, but that might not stop me from working on something else. Or, it may just mean my mind needs a break. I can usually get through writer’s block by stepping away from my computer for fifteen minutes, doing some breathing exercises, or taking a short walk.
If you have a specific question you’d like to have answered, feel free to comment below.