Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m a wife, mother, U. S. Army veteran, dental hygienist, and now published author. I’ve always had a love of reading, and now I’m turning that into a love for writing. After serving in the Army, where I met my husband of over twenty-eight years, we raised two sons while I worked as a dental hygienist for over eighteen years. While writing for many years, my publishing dreams came true in August of 2017, and since then, I’ve published twelve stories. I write mostly in the romance genre, but have a short story in a holiday anthology, as well as prose and poetry published on the Spillwords.com website. After cutting back on work and focusing more on writing, I’m excited about three upcoming releases within the early months of 2019, and many more ideas I’m working on. When not writing, working, or reading, hubby and I are getting house projects completed, enjoying visits with our grown sons, and watching college football. We currently reside in the Pacific Northwest, and dream of traveling to Scotland, New Zealand and Fiji.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is the second book in my cover model series, and will soon be published through Evernight Publishing. The series was inspired by my first attendance at the Emerald City Writers Conference in Bellevue, Washington. There I witnessed the marvelous cover model photographer, Wander Aguiar, photographing – what else – cover models! Watching him work quickly brought story ideas to mind. I wrote the first book in the series for NaNoWriMo and completed 51K words in 26 days! After revisions, it was picked up and published. The second story quickly came to mind, and one of the characters is an Army veteran-turned-cover model who also works with the VA to help soldiers transition into civilian life.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
No, I can’t say that I have any unusual writing habits. I spend about 90% of my time at my home computer, typing away, using my laptop the other 10%. I purchased a digital voice recorder to use when inspiration hits and I have no pad and pen, but I have yet to use it. While other writers talk about writing at a coffee cafe or while listening to music, I need solitude and quiet. I try not to get distracted by opening other windows and getting lost on social media.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Since I write in the romance genre, Nora Roberts is my #1 favorite. I’ve read her books for over twenty years. I could name a plethora of authors, but just a few of my other favorites are Donna Grant, Robyn Peterman, Rachel Grant, Toni Anderson, Laura Kaye, and Rebecca Zanetti.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently (trying) to work on the third story in the Shifter Clans series. Books 1 and 2 came almost easy, quickly, the stories just spilling out. It felt amazing to write them. While I have a rough idea of what book 3 will be about, where it will go, for some reason I’m struggling to just sit at my computer and get the words down. I’ll be going through edits soon for book 2, so I hope my momentum will pick up.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
That’s a challenge to answer, as I’ve tried various avenues, but sales continue to be low. I know it’ll take time, and I’ll keep trying while writing the stories that fill my head. While I post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, I also have accounts on Amazon, Bookbub, and Goodreads. I’ve tried promo through the sites LitRing, That Book Rocks, Super Kameron’s book blog, The Kindle Book Review, and The Romance Studio. And now, through Awesome Gang. 🙂
Do you have any advice for new authors?
There is an abundance of views out there, often contradictory, so my advice is to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who will encourage and support your dream. Write what you love and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. Don’t write for the masses or what’s popular, because it’s always changing. Write what you have a passion for and the writing will be that much better. Eventually, the fans and readers will find you because it’s what they’re looking for. I’m often chatting with a friend and fellow author, and the writing/publishing world can be overwhelming, but if you truly believe it’s your passion, know that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. It’s unlikely you’ll accomplish overnight success, but stay dedicated, and the success will find you.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Another challenging one to answer, as there’s been a great many things said to me over my lifetime. This may sound very cliche, but “don’t sweat the small stuff” really rings true with me. It took me quite a while to follow this, but experience is the best teacher, right? Looking back, I can wish I had done things differently, stressed less over something that didn’t matter, but of course that’s wasted effort. So going forward, I hope to stress less, be fearless, and not sweat the small stuff.
What are you reading now?
I’m currently bouncing between a reads when I have time. On my phone, I’m reading The Dragon in the Stone by Doris O’Connor, on my Kindle I’m reading Fashionably Fanged by Robyn Peterman, and I’m working my way through The Polar Adventures of a Rich American Dame by Joanna Kafarowski – it’s a biography of Louise Arner Boyd, an American socialite who became a polar explorer.
What’s next for you as a writer?
What’s next is to just continue this fabulous journey – writing and gaining exposure. I hope to continue to gain readers and fans who enjoy my work and realize the importance of leaving reviews. I don’t think that’s a lot to ask. 😉
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?
I never like this question because it’s extremely difficult for me to answer! (Chuckles) Many would probably like to hear me name some of the classics, like Pride and Prejudice or Gone With the Wind, but honestly, I’m more content with contemporary reads. Since I collect few actual books, most being on my Kindle, I’d choose from my collection of Donna Grant or Darynda Jones. Their books satisfy my need for romance, adventure, snark, and emotion. (Anything by Rachel Grant and Toni Anderson would come in a very close second.)