Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I guess you could say I’m a woman who wears many hats. First and foremost, I am a mother. My family is the most important thing in my life, and the source of many of my strengths. I have also been a music teacher, have developed myself as a personal development expert, and I am building a business. So I tend to juggle a lot. But my passion is writing. started writing after I had my second baby. Although I loved my children, I felt like there was something more for my life so you could say I picked up the pen in search of fulfillment. And I found it. Reading has always been a source of great pleasure for me, but writing became almost an addiction. There is so much magic in finding worlds and characters that live inside your head, and then transporting them onto paper. It’s incredible to experience the story as it’s woven through me.
To date I’ve written two books (published one), am in the process of writing two more, and have written and published one novelette. My next book will be released later this year.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My debut novel is a romantic thriller titled Where Shadows Dwell and wasn’t inspired as much as it just flowed through me. It was a story that pulled me along with it. Writing it was a discovery. Ultimately the story wove itself around the themes of letting go of the past, discovering one’s value, and learning to love, which is a theme that often weaves itself in my life. So in a way my life inspired the story.
My next novel, The Dark of Letum, is a fantasy and was inspired by the power of the mind and what humans are capable of creating once they’ve tapped into the magic of the individual they are. I’ve seen so many beautiful things come to life once a person truly connects and begins to love who he or she is as a person. So I wrote The Dark of Letum to explore these themes. In addition, the book was inspired by my experiences with postpartum depression. Those were very dark days in my life, and ultimately I had to learn to rediscover myself to gain freedom from the depression. The Dark of Letum explores the contrast of dark and light, love and hate, and the power of creation. I’m very excited to release it.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I wouldn’t say I have any unusual writing habits. I will admit that I often eat when I write. I tend to get snacky when I do. And I put a lot of notes on sticky notes before sticking them to my computer or my monitor. My desk is a bit of a mess
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I have been greatly influenced by Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. That book changed my life. I hope somebody my books will provide something incredible for other’s the way Atlas Shrugged provided something incredible for me.
Richard Paul Evans is also a huge influence simply because of what he provides is readers. His books are more than an escape for people. They are something people can connect to, and when they finish the book it’s not uncommon for his readers to walk away entirely inspired to live beautiful lives. I love what he provides.
I have to say Stephenie Meyer inspired me for a couple of reasons. First, I started writing after I read Twilight. For some reason I decided that if she could write a novel, I could write a novel. Maybe it was the simplicity of the writing coupled with the powerful emotions she pulled out of people. I’m not sure, but she unlocked the magic in me. She’s also become an inspiration simply because of what she’s done since then. She’s used her talents to follow her passions, which appear to be in the production of film. I love that. I love that she’s out there doing what she loves and making her life incredible.
What are you working on now?
In addition to The Dark of Letum, I’m working on a second novel in my Shadows Universe. This book explores the life of different characters connected to the same family line as Lily in Where Shadows Dwell. I’m also working on a novel titled A Song of Hope. This book has some magical elements in that the main character has the ability to heal others. But she has to use her gift carefully because every time she loses it, she dies just a little bit more. I’m writing this story because I think there is something beautiful inside the concepts of selflessness and love, particularly when they’re confronted by fear and the knowledge that something will be lost. This character has been a joy to discover because, like most of my characters, she’s come to life in ways I didn’t quite anticipate.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
The best method I’ve found so far was offering my book free for a limited time, and then promoting the free novel on 10-20 websites. I had to do some research to find lists of places willing to promote. However, I’m still trying to learn all the nuances of marketing and since then have started developing different strategies, and hired an expert to help me get myself established and promote my work beyond what I’ve been able to do up to this point.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Start writing and don’t stop. Writing talent isn’t necessarily something you’re born with. Some may be, but for the most part it’s something you develop over time. So my advice is to keep writing and writing and writing until it becomes a part of who you are. And study. Research. Connect with other writers. Build a community for yourself of people that are passionate about the same thing you are.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Write every day. I’ll own that I don’t actually follow this one, but when I have structured my life to allow for it, my writing improved dramatically. The quality improved, it became easier to get the words on paper, the characters became clear and solid in my head, and the words just started to flow. It’s as if you unlock creativity by writing daily. It’s much more fun!
What are you reading now?
I just finished reading Saving Lord Whitton’s Daughter by Susan Tietjen. I also recently read The Mistletoe Series by Richard Paul Evans, and have some non-fiction books I’m always chipping away at as well.
What’s next for you as a writer?
What’s next for me is publishing my fantasy novel and completing the second novel in the Shadows Universe.
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?
Hmmmm…. this is a surprisingly hard question.
I think I would take Little House in the Big Woods because I’ve always felt she described how their life was in such great detail that I could use it as a survival guide if I ever got desperate.
I’d also take Atlas Shrugged for two reasons. First, because I love it. Second, because it’s so big that it would keep me entertained longer than the typical book.
I’d probably take The Davinci Code or Angels and Demons. I really do love Dan Browns work.
Last, I think I’d take Pride and Prejudice. or maybe one of the non-fiction works of Stephen Covey. Of course, limiting an author to four books is like asking them not to breathe. So in the end I’d probably just cry in misery at the lack of good books available.