Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Goodness, where to start? Up until six years ago, I’d been convinced I’d make a living doing musical theatre. As you can tell, I’ve never been in touch with reality. Ha! Once I realized my horrific stage fright wouldn’t let up so I could even audition for plays, I decided to find something behind the scenes to do and thought I’d become a screenwriter. That morphed into a flood of short stories, one of which evolved into my first novella, Be Ours Forever. After BOF released, I found a home with Just Ink Press. They released Enslaved (The Inbetween Novels), and the prequel to Be Ours Forever, In Too Deep. Currently I’m working on the sequel to Enslaved. Wrangling an incubus isn’t as easy as it seems.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The newest novel, In Too Deep, came out of no where. I knew I wanted to go back and tell Jarlan and Meghan’s story. They’d won me over while writing Be Our Forever. What I didn’t know was, Meghan hid a lot from me when I originally created her. I kinda needed to know she’d been a CIA agent. But I guess even characters I create keep secrets when they’re trained to do it in order to survive. Research for this book likely landed me on every government watch list known to man. I don’t blame them. How often does someone dig deep into KGB and CIA Cold War facts?
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Talk about a loaded question. Aside from the act of typing, everything I do is unusual–hoarding gummy bears, downing coffee like water, singing along to musicals (Repo! The Genetic Opera, The Devil’s Carnival, Nine, Phantom of the Opera, and more), standing and physically taking myself through a fight scene, and hours upon hours of weapons and injury research to make sure I’ve got everything *just* right. Then there’s editing, for my own books or clients, where I can be heard muttering dialog aloud to make sure it doesn’t sound weird. Occasionally my nephew hears my muttering and thinks I’m talking to him. He’s used to it, though.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Laurell K. Hamilton showed me that not every paranormal mystery has to include sex, which was a huge reason I hadn’t read paranormal books until I was around nineteen and a friend suggested I pick up a copy of Guilty Pleasures. Up until then, I read a lot of Stephen King, who is my teacher on effective methods to add texture to a novel. Sherrilyn Kenyon is another huge influence, both her writing and Sherri as a person. The struggles she went through before–and even after–becoming a best-selling author showed me that even though I’m not well-off financially, I’d be even poorer if I gave up on my writing dream before it had a chance to flourish.
What are you working on now?
At the moment, I’m wrangling a rather willful incubus, Garik, for the second Inbetween book. There’s no name for the new book, yet. But I can tell you, Garik’s book is a lot darker than I’d anticipated. There’s a preview for it in the back of In Too Deep.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
It’s been a mixed bag as far as promoting goes. Right now it’s me and my publisher acting as a street team of sorts. There’s only so much we can do on our own via Twitter, Facebook, and sites like this one. In time we’ll have a system down. But right now, word-of-mouth seems to work the best.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
I tell every single one of my writer friends the same thing at least once a week. You can’t finish a book unless you put in time at your keyboard. A book cannot create itself. Even if you’re only writing a paragraph a day, that’s another paragraph toward a finished manuscript.
Also, ignore your inner editor. Unless there’s a huge, glaring plot hole that’s preventing you from moving on with the book, leave it as-is. The quicker you release a book onto the page, the harder it is for it to run away and become lost in the myriad of things life throws your way.
Lastly, take notes. I’ve lost so many wonderful plot ideas because I didn’t want to get out of bed when one of those almost-asleep, yet brilliant ideas pops up. No, you won’t remember in the morning. Write it down. I travel everywhere with pen and paper handy.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Don’t be afraid to screw up. Not sure who said it, but it stuck with me.
What are you reading now?
I just finished all but the last Psy/Changeling novel by Nalini Singh. Her world-building techniques are awe-inspiring. I ended up devouring the entire series in roughly two months. And somehow still found writing time. No wonder I ran out of coffee again.
What’s next for you as a writer?
First thing’s first, survive Christmas. Once the holidays are behind us, I’ll be locking myself in my office to get Inbetween 2 finished by February. After that, I start the final book in my vampire trilogy.
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?
That’s like asking what children to save from a fire! Okay, let me look at my (overfilled) bookcase….
The Great Book of Amber by Roger Zelazny
Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Hannibal by Thomas Harris
Lover at Last by J.R. Ward
Honestly, I’ve love to take more. These are just a handful of the books that’ve stuck with me in some way or helped me heal emotionally. None of them are exactly light reading.