Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
My name is Ericka, I am 27 years old and married with two kiddos. I live in a small town in Oregon out in the country. When I am not writing, I am hanging out with the family, camping, doing outdoorsy stuff and living life.
I have written Jordie In Charge & Avalee’s Voice which are published. I have Calida’s Forge which is coming soon. After that is Insecure Irie and the Protector.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My lastest book is Avalee’s Voice.
The inspiration behind it is based of my life. During my teen years, I used to be super outgoing, that crazy fun friend who constantly seems like they had too much caffeine but is actually just nuts, that was me. However, after some horrible verbally and emotionally abusive familial stuff that happened to me, I became reclusive.
So, Avalee is quiet and reserved, how I was. She keeps to herself, observes what is going on and speaks when she truly feels like she has something to say. Avalee is somewhat self centered but has a loving heart. Avalee has a dry wit. Based off of me because I am not witty to save myself haha.
I don’t want to give too much of the book away, but the hero is based off my husband Bryan.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Before I write, I have to, HAVE TO, get all the music out in me. I dance and sing in my kitchen like a crazy woman. My singing voice could make Simon Cowell go deaf so it’s fortunate for him that he isn’t listening. I jam to AC/DC (Bryan Johnson not Bon Scott), Metallica, Aerosmith, rock and roll. Sometimes I go country with The Judd’s, Brooks and Dunn, Travis Tritt or Garth Brooks. My son, Braedyn, who is 4 says I make his eyes bleed. My daughter Teaghann says I sound like a howling coyote. But I jam out anyways. Once I get it all out, usually about 30 minutes of rock, I sit and type.
And that’s just one. My other weird thing is before I write, I have to research names. I have to pick the PERFECT name for the main characters. Some writers foreshadow, I do so with names. For instance, Avalee is Persian for Voice. Graham is English for From The Gray Homestead. I will spend hours looking for the perfect name. Only then can I actually follow my outline and write.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I used to read a lot of historical romances. Lots! By well known authors like Tanya Anne Crosby, Suzan Tisdale and Kathryn Le Veque. And one day, as I was reading Crosby’s book The Mackennions Bride, (absolutely amazing book by the way. I highly recommend it.) I was like why am I not writing? What is holding me back? Why am I constantly making excuses for myself? And I got mad at myself. I had no excuses. I had nothing, not a darn thing, person or otherwise holding me back. So I pulled up my leggings and starting writing. I was going to do my dream and take a chance. Hell or high water, I would be published. And now I am 😊
What are you working on now?
Right now I am working on The Protector which is Book 5 in the Castre World Series. I am super duper excited about this because #1 dragon #2 magic #3 I introduce a different part of Castre #4 magic fight scene AND usually the girl needs rescued but not this time!
After, I want to try my hand at an Urban Fantasy Romance. For me it’s more like Rural because I am going to use my small town lol.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I use Facebook a lot. I interact with everyone. I’m a chatty Kathy but not everyone is. Each time a book is about to get published and go live on amazon, I do a signed paperback giveaway. Right now I have one going on until the 26th. I have noticed I get a lot of participation with the giveaway and it’s a nice chance to get to know your followers. Also it’s a way to get the all holy amazon review. Instagram is awesome as well. In a photo and some words, you reach a big audience as well. Twitter is hard and just doesn’t have the effectiveness it used to have.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
My advice is – don’t stop writing. Pull up your britches, shorts, skirts, leggings, whatever, and keep writing. Read also but keep writing. You will only get better if you try. You will only get better by failing and learning what worked and what didn’t. I am not perfect. I make mistakes. My editor is teaching me different little pieces each time. But I keep trying, I keep writing, I don’t stop. So please, don’t give up, don’t stop. If you need to reach out to me, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, find me. I will encourage you.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
My editor told me once — if it doesn’t help tell the story, delete it. I used to be SUPER repetitive, so much so that she told me in a video chat, point blank and said – stop for the love!
So now, I think about what I have written. If I get stuck, I go back and reread what I have and either add in or take out. Mostly, I take out. If it doesn’t progress the story, if it’s not there to help, then delete it.
What are you reading now?
I am reading The Moorchild by Eloise McGraw. It’s fantastic.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I want to finish the next two books in Castre then try my hand at Urban Fantasy Romance. It sounds exciting and
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?
Ooohhhh that’s hard.
#1 The MacKennions Bride by Tanya Anne Crosby
#2 Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
#3 Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austin
#4 Pirates by Celia Rees or Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan. It’s a tough toss up