Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I have published eight books, nine if you include the box set for my first three books. I’m currently working on three books, two are part of my current series, The Harrell Family Chronicles. The third book is something totally different, a historical series I’ve been playing with for several years.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Willow’s Retreat released in September, the main character Dr. Willow Rider is estranged from her family. She wants a second chance with her husband and sons but when ghosts from the past threaten them she will sacrifice herself to keep them safe. She is surprised to learn they are willing to do the same for her. After the family’s home is attacked by a motorcycle gang, Willow comes to terms with her own failings and instead of retreating as she has in the past, she faces them and gains all she has been hoping for, a home and family. With the help of those she loves she starts a therapy ranch, thus Willow’s Retreat takes on another meaning.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
They aren’t unusual for me. Since I’m still employed full time and have a very large family, six sons and twenty-one grandchildren, I’ve learned to carve out time wherever I can. I write on my phone, usually just scenes or notes, on my laptop at work or when I take my mom to doctors, and although I don’t outline, I do plan parts of my story and I fast draft. I think fast drafting is a lot like an outline but it works as my first draft. It’s a rough, bare bones story which I later go back and add details and emotions.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Oh wow, so many… being a part of several writer’s groups I have had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful authors in person: Reese Ryan, Virginia Kantra, Sabrina Jeffries and Maya Rodale, but one I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting but would love to is Jayne Ann Krentz. JAK made me believe that I could write historical or contemporary books because she wrote successfully in both worlds.
What are you working on now?
My main focus at the moment is a Christmas novella for my current series. I’m hoping to get it out the first of November.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I use Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. I believe Twitter is reviving again, while Facebook is losing traction. Instagram seems to be holding steady but LinkedIn has begun to pick up notice. I have also gained more attention with my website. I haven’t taken the time to learn any of the newer methods, it’s already a juggling act to be present on these other sites.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don’t wait until you are ready to publish to start gaining followers on social media. Build your audience early. Share your writing, research, interest, etc. It will be only friends and family at first but you will be surprised by how it builds.
Do not be afraid to write your truth even in fiction. Someone needs the story you are writing. Write and rewrite until it’s good but remember it will never be perfect but that’s okay, publish it anyway.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Not just for writing but for life, do what scares you. If you aren’t a little afraid, do you care enough? Write, do what you are passionate about not what everyone expects or what is popular.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading a debut suspense novel by L C Larsen “Some Men Deserve to Die” and a historical romance by Erica Ridley, “The Duke Heist.”
What’s next for you as a writer?
I am planning another book in my Harrell Family Chronicles and plan to get my historical series finished and launched next year.
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 don’t know how to answer that question, the practical side of me says I need a survival guide, maybe something by Bear Gillis, I’d want a journal to write in, a Bible to give me hope and comfort, and one of my favorite authors, Jayne Ann Krentz or Sabrina Jeffries, maybe Reese Ryan.
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