Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
While I’ve been writing for years, I only recently published my first full-length epic-fantasy novel. The first in what is turning into quite a large series!
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Edelaine’s Folly: Book One of the Idoramin Chronicles. The inspiration itself has a bit of backstory. My son and I have always done this ‘thing’ where we tell each other this ongoing story, made up as we go along. We did that through all of his younger years. Once I started writing for more than just the two of us, it only made sense to grow that world and bring it to everyone.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I have a bit of a daily ritual before I start writing each day. If you’ve ever read The Morning Miracle by Hal Elrod, then much of it will be familiar. (and if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it!)
After doing all the morning rushing around, getting my son to school, cats fed, coffee made, I spend about 30-60 minutes on my ritual. I spend a few minutes of that in silence or meditation, I make a list every single morning of what I’m grateful for that day, and what my top three items are for that day. (think… what 3 things can I do today to make it a great day?) Then I get busy, whether it’s current writing, editing, art for covers or illustration or maps.
There’s a quote that I love about writing, and I find it is so true:
“I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at nine o’clock every morning.” — Peter DeVries.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Wow, all of them! I read daily, that is not only something I love doing, but, in my opinion, is part of my job as an author. I can’t hope to get better at my craft unless I do two things… write a lot, and read a lot.
I can say this, it was E.B. White, and then a few years later, Steve King that inspired me to become a writer. My love of books has been a lifelong love affair! 😀
What are you working on now?
I am knee-deep in Book Two of the Idoramin Chronicles, which I expect to have published probably by February 2018 (if not sooner). I am also working on some smaller novellas that accompany the series and give people a much deeper look into the characters and world… but shhh, that’s not widely known yet! 😉
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Well, I must say, I love the Awesome Gang website! (and no, I’m not being paid to say it! lol)
There are so many ways to promote books as a self-published author these days! I of course keep active on my social media channels and on my website. I email my list of readers consistently and let them know what’s going on.
Marketing is one of those prickly areas for many self-published authors – especially ones just starting out because many of them don’t have a budget set aside for marketing. I understand that completely, but if there’s any advice I could give to aspiring authors — find the budget for it. 🙂
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don’t worry about the HOW… just worry about the DO.
I see so many people asking questions and saying things like: I have an amazing idea for a story, but I have no idea how to start!
I get it, I was there. But here’s how you start…
1. Open up a new document on your chosen software… Word, Google Docs, Scrivener, whatever it is you choose to use… or even a spiral notebook and a pencil… whatever is most comfortable for you.
Do not worry about writing the next great world-changing novel. JUST WRITE.
Do not worry about it sounding perfect, with the best grammar, punctuation, no errors, etc.,… JUST WRITE.
All of those other things, the edits, the fixes, and the polishing… that comes in your second draft. That is WHY there is a second draft!
Don’t think about it… just DO it. 🙂 Besides, there are a TON of us authors out here that are happy to share our experiences (good and bad) to help out new authors.
It isn’t a pie where if I have one piece, then that’s one less piece for you. The world is our kitchen… we can each make our own pie.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
From the one and only Stephen King himself…
“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”
— Stephen King
Oh, and the second piece… get an editor. 😀
(and if you can’t afford an editor, at least use Grammarly, HemingwayApp, and beta test readers!)
What are you reading now?
I am re-reading — for the umpteenth time — Stephen King’s, On Writing. I read it several times a year at least. It helps keep me focused and I love how his story started out not so terribly different than mine or many others.
The other – fun – book I’m reading right now is The Burning Bridge, which is the second book in John Flanagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice series. Those books started out as ones I bought for my son, and we are both huge fans of the series now! 🙂
What’s next for you as a writer?
More writing… for as long as I can do it. It took me many (way too many) years to finally settle into my purpose, to finally give myself “permission” to chase that crazy, wacky dream of being an author. And now that I can call myself one, I’m certainly not about to stop anytime soon!
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?
Gah! Can’t I just bring my Kindle with its massive extra memory card full of books? I mean really… technically, it is smaller than an actual book… and I could rig up some solar power system to recharge it I’m sure (I’ve read up on that too lol)