Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. I’m the oldest of five children and come from a very large, very loud, Italian family. My parents are originally from Italy so I spent my childhood and teens summer holidays there. While my father worked cultivating the land, my 3 sisters and brother entertained ourselves by spending our days rolling around in piles of grain, running through the pine forests and streams, or constructing castles and furniture from old plastic pop bottle boxes.
I’m a widow, and have two wonderful adults sons. We have a male Weimaraner called Shadow who thinks he’s human.
I am an award-winning author who has written 2 romances, Hocus Pocus and Now You See It.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is titled, Now You See It…
I’ve always wished I was magic, add my special talent for being clumsy and I came up with an aunt that has a gift for causing chaos every time she casts a spell.
What inspired me?
Life!! I was going through a rough time financially (Who hasn’t) and instead of feeling sorry for myself I wrote a story that would make me laugh, made me feel good, and helped me tackle my day-to-day problems. I empowered myself!!! There’s nothing more power as a huggable (I’m sticking to that description) Italian woman steamrolling through life’s problems.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I need a clutter free zone. The rest of the house could be falling apart and have dust bunnies bouncing around, but where I write it has to be free of everything and everyone. Don’t walk into my room while I’m writing and ask, “Hey mom, do you know where the ketchup is?” You’re a dead man!
I also play soft music in the background. Mostly instrumental Caribbean songs with the sound of ocean waves, or I find 2 hours if epic music mixes on YouTube.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
The authors that have influenced me are Karen Marie Moning, S.E. Smith, and Johanna Lindsey, just to name a few. I absolutely love their voice, their sense of humor and their gift with the ‘word’. Their stories flow seamlessly and hook you from the beginning to the end.
What are you working on now?
I am working on a contemporary-paranormal-romance with Alpha Wolf Shifters. Each will be given their own special ‘gifts’. (My lips are sealed but you can let your imagination run wild) The stories will focus more on the hero and heroine’s relationship than on the external evil elements they need to conquer and that keeps them apart.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
That’s a tough question as I’m still learning the ropes. Getting more reviews, or paid advertisement, one doesn’t seem better than another.
I think the more books you write, the more people will learn you exist, hopefully they will be generous and give you a review and chat to other readers about your books, and that is the best promotion you could possibly get.
I suck at social media. Facebook, Twitter, you name it, I’m horrible at it. Recently I hired wonderful virtual assistant by the name of Angie Young, (Headspace Solutions) who has increased my presence on the web and has allowed me to focus on my writing.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write! Write! Write!
My sweetie used to be my sounding board, but now that’s he’s gone it’s taken me a while to build up my courage and put word to paper again. As I slowly immerse myself I’m rediscovering my passion and my small accomplishments are all the more bitter sweet.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
First piece of advice was write what you love to read. I gravitate to the fantasy and paranormal world so I love to write about magic, shifters, and time travel.
Second piece of advice is that there is no right or wrong way to writing, so do what works best for you. Be a pantser or a plotter.
I love to plot my books (point form) so I know where the story is going. And as I write I always change things up, but the structural ‘bones’ are there. I find this makes it easier for me. I’m a visual learner so I continuously go back to my notes to reinforce my ideas and story line.
I also chart my main characters personality, quirks, habits, passed history and most importantly, their internal conflict. This enables me to write believable character reactions that fit the situations they find themselves in.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Make my writing a priority. No more excuses. Allow myself to write garbage and hope that after I’ve thrown away the rubble I’ll end up with some gems.
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?
Does a box set count as one book? LOL.
Any of Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander Series, a cookbook with tons of pictures, and a How To Book for Dummies on How to Build myself shelter and survive on a desert island.