Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am an author, a fangirl, and a blogger–a madwoman with a writing box. I’m a Whovian that worships at the altar of Whedon.
I am a brand-spanking new author. My first book, Heirs of War, just released October 13. It is the first of the Heirs of War series, which I suspect will end up being around six books. I host book tours on my blog and also contribute to the blog There & Draft Again: A Fellowship of Fantasy Authors.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Heirs of War is my latest book. It was inspired by the bonds I share with my sister and cousins. We’ve each had our own struggles and our own journeys, but always found that we are stronger when we are together than on our own. With them at my side, I can handle anything life throws my way.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I see everything as a movie. When I’m working out a scene in my head, sometimes I’ll talk it out with myself. I also tend to create my storyboards after I’ve finished the first draft. I’m a sort of mix of pantser and plotter. I have an outline in my head, but sometimes my characters and the story take me in a different direction. This is especially true of character deaths. I rarely see them coming until maybe a few scenes before the event.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I love to read, so there are a lot of authors that have influenced my love of storytelling over the years. Terry Goodkind, Richelle Mead, Kalayna Price…those are just a few. I have to say that the author that has inspired me the most is Jane Austen. In her time, the idea of a woman becoming an author was absurd. But she did it anyway, with no hope of making any money and with every chance she would ruin herself to the prospects of marriage. Why? Because she loved writing. It was her passion. It’s the same way for me. I write because I need to, because I can’t imagine not writing. It’s not about money for me. It doesn’t matter if I never make back what I’ve invested in my books. It will always be worth it to me.
What are you working on now?
Right now, I am working on a Young Adult Dystopian called Altar of Reality. It’s about a sixteen year-old girl, Madeline, who struggles with epilepsy. When she has her first grand mal seizure, she wakes up in an alternate universe where the Cold War turned hot and life has become about survival. Her parents were accused of being rebels and killed, and she barely survived. Now, as she flips between worlds, she finds herself torn between two versions of the same boy and she has to figure out which world is reality.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I use social media to promote my books. Building a platform really matters, and it’s something that needs to be done early on, before you are ready to publish (for more from me on building platforms, check out my article on Curiosity Quills’ blog). Connecting with your readers and supporters is the best way to help spread the word about your books without breaking the bank. Through Wattpad, Facebook, and Twitter, I’ve been able to promote Heirs of War and help the friends I’ve made promote their books. It’s been an amazing experience.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Build your platform. Get involved in the online writing community through sites like WANATribe and Wattpad, and by taking part in query contests. You’ll make friends, find beta readers, and critique partners, and your writing and support system will be all the better for it. When I look back at how Heirs of War was last summer when I first ventured into the online writing world, I cringe. I’ve learned so much since then, and met so many amazing people who have taught me so much and supported me in ways I never would have dreamed of before.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Pretty much anything that’s come out of Kristen Lamb’s mouth concerning writing. If you don’t keep up with her, you really should. She heads up WANATribe (We Are Not Alone–a source for writers to connect and help one another) and is constantly publishing great advice for writers in every walk of the publishing world on her blog and in her books. She makes the publishing world seem a heck of a lot less scary.
What are you reading now?
Right now I am reading The Actuator by James Wymore and Aiden James. It’s a really fascinating concept that touches on multiple genres. Essentially, the Actuator is a machine that can change reality as we know it. When an experiment with the machine goes wrong, the entire world is changed based on the fantasies of those running the machine at the time and now the heroes have to find a way to change it back.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’ll be working on the second and third books of the Heirs of War series, which I already have skeleton drafts of, after I finish Altar of Reality. I’m using NaNoWriMo as a deadline to finish Altar of Reality. I’ll be posting teaser chapters of Heirs of War, Destiny of One and Heirs of War, Crown of Flames once they are finished and polished on Wattpad. Heirs of War, Destiny of One will be published in March 2014, with Heirs of War, Crown of Flames soon to follow.
What is your favorite book of all time?
I’m not sure I could choose. I reread the Sword of Truth series, the Harry Potter series, and Jane Austen quite often. I’ve read so many amazing books lately (the Grave Witch series, Communion, Magick Marked, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, Coldness of Marek), I think ever choosing a favorite would be possible.