Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m a native of Nashville TN. Married to a wonderful man since 2005, we have no kids only the colorful robots he collects and the Funko Pop Dolls of my favorite characters. In September of 2011, I began writing and independently published my first YA novel called Cascades of Moonlight, Book one of the Parker Harris Series the following May. My first book was a means of therapy as it enabled me to escape reality for a while during a difficult transition in life. I have 6 self published Young Adult novels. In 2016 I joined the team of authors at Hot Tree Publishing. With Hot Tree I’ve released five books with a sixth book on the way.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
A Little Spark releases on March 31, 2018 this year. The inspiration to begin it came from an open submission call from Hot Tree Publishing for a series of books about rescue workers. At first I thought about writing about some hot sexy fireman falling in love, but I decided to go a little deeper. I started researching the number of women firefighters and found it was and extremely low percentage, only 4%, so I wanted to show how bad-ass these women are, just as tough and sexy as their male counterparts. And the character of Jillian Hartford, snarky firefighter and heroic woman, was born.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Unusual habits, not really, at least they don’t seem unusual to me. I listen to music at work often and occasionally a song has inspired a book of mine, actually I have two books completely inspired by a song. I rarely use outlines. After I write a book I go back and jot down notes to make sure the timeline matches, but other than that I just sit and write.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
In high school I loved to read and I lost that love after graduating, or maybe I should say I lost the time. One day my boss came up to me and said, “You have to read this book” and showed me simple cover with two hands holding an apple on a black cover. I decided to give it a shot and I fell in love with reading all over again. Twilight by Stephanie Meyers is one of the inspirations for my first novel being a YA Paranormal Romance. From that moment on I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on. Some of the others authors who influence me are J.K. Rowling, Stacey Rourke, Felicia Tatum, Brenda Pandos, Rachel Caine…I could go on and list so many.
What are you working on now?
Southern Devotion is my New Adult Contemporary Romance series. Currently I have three books available and I’m working on the fourth and final one now. I’m hoping to have it released by the end of 2018.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Facebook is what I use the most. My author page and different groups for books, as well as having people share my books. Book Blogs help a lot with promoting, as well as Goodreads. The best promotion is when people post their reviews for the books on Facebook to share with their friends. Word of mouth still works better than anything.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don’t give up. It’s hard and it takes a lot of work, but stay at it. Don’t read reviews, it’s difficult not to, and though there are ones that will boost your confidence, you will occasionally get a crushing one. Not everyone will like your book, some may hate it, and that’s okay. As long as you love writing, keep doing it.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“1-2 star reviews suck, but we know they happen. Recognize this, embrace it as fact, and then flip them off (safely of course)” I’m paraphrasing, but basically the advice was to not let bad reviews cause you to quit.
What are you reading now?
Three Empty Words by Genevieve Ryan. I’ve lost count of the number book this is for me by this author, but she’s one I will buy without reading the synopsis.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Closing the door on my New Adult series. Releasing book 4 is a big deal for me. I’ve grown so attached to these characters. Each time I end a series it’s heartbreaking for me, like saying goodbye to best friends. So from this point on I plan on writing more stand alone novels and possibly trying something new, maybe a suspense thriller.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling (It’s my favorite of the series)
Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer (Again, my favorite of the series)
The Stand by Stephen King (My hubs favorite and he convinced me to read it after making me fall in love with the mini-series. Plus it’s almost 2000 pages so I’ll stay busy!)
Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon