What genre/s do you write in, and why?
I primarily write in YA/NA, but I do have books in other genres. Generally speaking, I tend to cross genres within my work as well. I don’t actively write in a certain genre. I just write the story unfolding in my mind, and I like to try new things.
When did you begin writing, and was it something you’ve always wanted to do?
Though I didn’t start publishing until the end of 2014, I have written my whole life. Yes, I have always had a passion for literature and dreamt of being a published author. It is still surreal to think I actually am!
What type of research goes into your writing?
The research depends on the tale. I use Google Earth to help me with location topography and descriptions – LOL. For my dystopian series, Fears of Dakota, I researched a lot about edible plants and for my Bigfoot story, The Snoqualmie Valley Sasquatch series, I researched Coastal Salish Native American lore and various medical conditions. I enjoy researching and learning new things.
How do you develop your characters, plot, and setting?
I listen to the voices in my head – LOL! I actually play the story out in my mind like a movie and I will even act out the characters verbally. I feel like this helps me to keep them more realistic and accurate.
What is your creative process (i.e. inspiration, where do you write)?
Just as “energy creates energy”, I feel that way with my creativity. If I am drained or stuck, I will read or watch a movie, which reignites my own passions and imagination. I tend to write in quiet on my laptop. I live in a RV so I just sit at the dinette with my coffee.
Have you ever dealt with writer’s block? If so, how do you find your creative flow again?
I don’t usually have writer’s block. When I do, it is literally because I am too soft to push my cat out of the way!
Are you self-published or traditionally published?
I tried the traditional route and though I had some positive feedback, I didn’t get the golden ticket to enter through the front door. I finally decided to self-publish, but then I found my small press, Creativia, whom I love!
Can you give us your experience in either or both of these types of publishing?
Major publishing houses and printers don’t want to deal directly with an author. They want you to use a literary agent, but that is a frustrating row to hoe! Not only does each agent have a different genre they want – sometimes very specific story lines – they also have unique submission guidelines. It is a very personal process and quite subjective. Of course, it also gives you the best exposure. This is also the option that gives you the best technical support, such as editing, promotions, and cover art.
Small press publishers, like Creativia, give indie authors more clout, better services, and more exposure than you’d get on your own. There are certain promotional opportunities that are ONLY available to a publisher, not an author. Though this offers a lower level of technical support, you have a family of authors at your disposal. This is my favorite level of publishing because the most valuable aspect for me is the wealth of friends I have within the Creativia family and indie community. I feel very supported and connected.
Self-pubbing gives you the most control and best direct profit, but you lack the same support and exposure you can get from a publisher, no matter how large or small they might be. To me, this is a lonely way of existing in the business. It’s also easy to miss things or make mistakes when you don’t have the resources a publisher can give you at your disposal.
Do you market your own books?
If so, how easy or difficult is this for an author? I do market my own work, as well as others. I don’t think it is difficult, but rather, time consuming. Still, it can be rewarding as well – and not just financially. The best part of publishing, for me anyway, has been the people I have met and befriended.
I am honored to be friends with my favorite authors, Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear, who are well respected and famous in the industry. Even after publishing over fifty books with large press houses, such as Tor, they’ve had to maintain a strong presence in social media themselves. Taking their advice, I try to do the same. Whether you are a self-published or traditional author, you are nothing without your readers. Therefore, you need to go to the people!
What advice would you give other writers/authors about receiving negative reviews?
You need to read all the feedback you receive, balancing the critiques with the praise in order to grow. I always say it doesn’t matter if the review is good or bad because it’s an honor to know someone is taking the time to not only read my work, but respond to it. My advice is to be true to the story you are writing, but use praise as encouragement and a bad review as a challenge to improve.
What advice would you give to wanna-be writers who are trying to get a book published?
Honestly, my advice will depend on the route they want to take. You have to decide what works for you and where you feel most comfortable. However, my overall advice would be to learn as much as you can about the business to protect yourself, be available to your readers, and stay true to your art.
If you had a chance to meet one of your favorite authors, alive or dead, who would it be? And what questions would you ask?
I am actually blessed enough to be friends with my favorite authors, Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear. They are amazing people and always open to my questions. The best advice they’ve given me so far – “Show, don’t Tell!”
List your book links and where we can find them to purchase:
The Snoqualmie Valley Sasquatch Series - YA/NA supernatural romancce
BEREAVED (Coming Soon)
LEGACY (Coming Soon)
A PRISONER WITHIN - YA/NA psychological thriller
SOUL SEARCHING (with the inclusion of the erotic short story, EMERGENCE) - romantic poetry with a steamy sci-fi supernatural romance
FELINE FASCINATIONS: The Adventures of Boris and Olga
The Fears of Dakota Series - YA/NA dystopian suspense thriller and romance
A RIPPLE OF FEAR
FEARS OF DARKNESS
A WINTER OF FEAR (Coming Soon)
The Wounded Warriors Series co-authored with Simone Beaudelaire - Steamy romance with depth