I was born in the infamous town of Portland, Oregon, as my parents passed through – they were living in a van while my dad’s band was on tour. The acorn didn’t fall far from the tree, as they say.
I am a musician and songwriter, and I write novels for young adults and adults. My first publication, Love or Money, an LGBT erotic thriller, comes out on January 12, 2016 through Limitless Books.
1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? When my husband got a job as a biochemistry professor at California Polytechnic, we moved from Seattle to the Central Coast. I left my extended family, friends, bands, and paralegal job behind. We had to live in a weekly-rate hotel for many months while trying to close on a house. I was home-schooling my daughter, and we were both going nuts. So I started to write. I’d never finished a novel before but, by the time we got into a house, I’d finished four of them. I kept writing after we got settled. I joined critique groups and gathered beta readers, learning as much as I could about the craft. Now, two years after I started, I’ve completed twelve novels and counting, and am anticipating my first publication.
2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured?
I generally get up around 3 a.m. and write until my daughter gets up at 7:30. After that, I take a break for exercise and chores, then will sometimes write more, depending on my mood.
3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it?
There are times when I’m not as productive. I’m told this is healthy, even though it makes me anxious if I’m not getting a couple thousand words a day at least. I use “downtimes” as an opportunity to get out in the world and have real life experiences, trying not to get in too much trouble. But I always write for at least a few hours a day, even if I only get a few hundred words in, or some editing. Also, if I’m having trouble with a certain story, I will try to figure out where I’ve gone wrong with the plot, because that’s often why I can’t go forward. Or I’ll start on a different story that is more in line with my mood.
4.Are you a plotter or pantser when it comes to writing a story?
5.Are you traditionally or self-published? Traditionally.
6. What was the publishing process like for you? Any advice to aspiring authors?
The publishing process is ongoing, because I have a huge backlist. It started out with me querying a novel that wasn’t ready to be queried, particularly, and getting very little interest. By the time I’d finished with that series (seven novels) and written an eighth stand-alone book, I’d learned a lot about writing. I almost sold that eighth book to a couple of different small publishers, but both of them wanted it more in line with the romance genre. I opted not to revise that book, but to write another one, instead. I queried Love or Money via #pitmad, and got two requests. Limitless offered on the book less than a week later. The editor at the other publisher had recommended they offer me a contract, as well, but an agent that requested another full on novel of mine at around the same time advised me to go with Limitless. So I did. I still am waiting for that agent’s response on the other novel, and I have fulls out on a couple of my other books as well. So, we’ll see how that goes. I’ll persist, and edit, and persist, until my whole backlist is published.
7.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author?
Getting the contract has been the highlight so far. That and all the great new author friends I’m making.
8.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us, including genre and targeted audience? My upcoming publication is an LGBT erotic crime thriller. It’s about a young woman named Riel who is struggling to escape the world of gangs and drugs, go to college, and find someone she can love and trust. At the beginning of the book, she’s released from prison for a drug charge, which she incurred working for her brother-in-law, Isaias. Upon her release, Isaias forces her back into his employ. Basically, Love or Money is a tale of a strong woman taking control of her life by any means possible, and saving the ones she loves from the clutches of a man who cares more for money than his family or friends. It also has lots of sex and other excitement.
9.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.)I wish I knew – I’m still figuring this out. My only advice so far would be to try to interact with people on a personal level, make friends first, and hopefully those will become fans.
10.How long on average does it take you to write a book?I finish a draft on average every 8 weeks. Editing is a different process, involving critique groups and beta readers, and also a long “down” period so I can see the book with new eyes. I tend to jump the gun with querying, but I try to wait at least a few months after the draft is finished before I call the book “done”.
11.Tell us about the book cover/s, how the designing came about, whether you had much input etc. Limitless did the cover, and I’m very happy with it. I didn’t have many ideas for input; visual art is not my strong suit.
12.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time?I play music, run, bike, hike, cook, and garden.