Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’ve been a writer for over 10 years, but just started writing romance. It’s wildly fun and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to start. I have two books out so far, with about three more coming by the end of the year.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Her Wild Coast Haven. When I was in my 20s, I spent a summer in Alaska, kayaking, hiking, and glacier climbing. I loved the wild scenery and being outdoors. Between each month-long trip, we came back to the base, which was a big farmhouse surrounded by an endless field of fireweed at the edge of a forest. I’ve always wanted to write about that feeling–of having a beautiful haven set in the wild that welcomes you when you come back from battling the elements. I never would have thought it would come out in a MFM romance! But it fit so well with what all three characters are needing in their life–they need each other and they are all looking for a safe place, a private place, to be themselves and to love each other; having this haven allows them to follow their dreams.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Oh yeah! I’m up at 4am every day and love writing when my house is quiet. As you can imagine, because I have children (who like to peek over my shoulder and read what I’m writing sometimes), it’s hard to write sexy romance scenes when they are awake. So I save my steamiest stuff for the early hours. I also rarely listen to music because I find it makes it harder to enter into the scene in my mind. Most of my stories play like movies in my head, so the more I can shut out every noise or distraction (like my chickens cackling or my children squabbling), the easier this is and the faster I can write.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Harlequins certainly when I was young, and Ken Follett–his sexy WWII thrillers ignited a spark in me. I went through a Nicholas Sparks phase for awhile, but his stories are too sad.
What are you working on now?
Her Wild Coast Rescue, book 3 in the Storm Harbor series, and His Wild Coast Virgin, book 4. I’ll also have 2 holiday books (working title The Christmas Bonus, and Sweeter than Candy). For my women’s fiction that I write under my real name, I am writing the next book in my amateur sleuth series.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I use Freebooksy but only if it’s free (it’s not worth it otherwise). PaidAuthor offers a great tool for submitting free book promos. For promoting a Kindle Paperwhite Giveaway, I have loved Giveaway Frenzy.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
The biggest piece of advice I’d say I wish I knew before I started is to have a plan. That may seem obvious but sometimes I fly by the seat of my pants and I get burned. Know when your book will be finished, then back-plan getting reviews, planning promotions, and following up with your readers for sales. Only when I started seeing the big picture in regards to marketing and budgeting did I start to see a real difference in things taking off. Also, start building your email list and be relentless about growing it. Set your sights high–10, 000 readers is a good goal. It may take you a few years, but that’s okay.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Make your book either permafree or use the free book promotion through KDP Select. It’s make a huge difference in my career.
What are you reading now?
Actually I’m reading a parenting book called Bright Kids Who Can’t Keep Up (which is totally one of my kids) and a new release called The River by one of my favorite authors, Peter Heller. I do binge read romances, but mostly just to keep up with market trends. Most romances are too long for me (I write almost exclusively novellas in the 35K range), are not written very well, or have unrealistic situations (even for such a fantasy-based genre).
What’s next for you as a writer?
More books in the Storm Harbor series; I probably will write about 10 total. Then a family-themed series plus standalones that will be related to holiday themes: Halloween, Christmas, Valentines Day. And I’m sure much more!
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?
The Alchemist or a book of Mary Oliver’s poems, A Prayer for Owen Meany, The Goldfinch (because it’s good and very long), and some kind of nature guide: birds, shells, foliage that would help me identify the local flora and fauna.