- Tell us a little about your life outside of the world of writing.
Aside from writing, I beta read and edit for other writers. My hobbies include reading, reading some more, and my dogs. I do Schutzhund training with my German Shepherd which lets me see the light of day since writing and editing keep me in the house most of the time.
- How long have you been writing? What genres have you written? They don’t have to be published.
I honestly only started writing a couple of years ago. I was the girl who wrote her English paper on the wall five minutes before class. I had no desire to write, but it always seemed to come easy to me. After reading for years, it became harder to find what I wanted to read. And so, I naturally thought, ‘Well, I’ll just write it then.’ And from there I went. A Girl Named Calamity was my first novel, and took me two weeks to write. I enjoy a lot of different genres as long as there is romance of some kind. But I write fantasy/romance and have a contemporary romance in the works.
- What has been the greatest influence to your writing? Other authors, life experiences, etc…
My biggest influence is reading. I never would have picked up a pen if I hadn’t loved reading so much that I wanted to recreate it. It’s my motivator, my inspiration, and my greatest teaching tool.
There are a few authors I love who have inspired my writing. Mostly old school romance authors such as Johanna Lindsey, Judith McNaught, and Lisa Kleypas.
Yes, I’m working on my third book in the Alyria series, Calamity’s final story. I also have a contemporary romance in the works, but it’s in the roughest of stages.
- How do you typically begin your projects? Do you create outlines and character profiles or jump in head first with the initial idea? And do you focus on just one at a time?
I jump in head first. Because of this, I probably have a lot of pitfalls along the way, but a story comes best to me as I’m writing. I know very little when I begin; usually only the most basic idea of the characters and their dynamic. I don’t do basic rough drafts. I have a slight case of OCD, and so it’s hard for me to go on when the beginning is in a rough state. I do something I like to call layering, where I go back and develop the first chapters. Continue writing, and then go back and develop those. I’m only on my third novel, and I’m sure that I will learn a better procedure as I go on, but this is what I’ve learned works well for me.
I usually focus on one project at a time, but occasionally when I’m in a certain mood or if I feel like I have to get something down, I will move onto another one and then return shortly.
- What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?
I think my strengths are probably descriptions and making it feel as if the reader’s submerged in the world I create. I also have a love for dialogue, and think I do well with making it witty and entertaining. Motivation would be my weakness. It’s hard for me to get the motivation to start a novel, but after I begin and finish the first 10k words, it’s usually smooth sailing.
- After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share?
Ah, yikes. The dreaded marketing. I’m not a professional in this department, and am still learning quite a bit. But I’ve contacted bloggers and reviewers, sent out emails to Amazon reviewers with a free copy of my novel in exchange for a review. This works pretty well. If I would have known how difficult marketing was before I published, I would have started way beforehand.
Contact as many bloggers as you can who review in your genre. This is very time-consuming, but it’s a free way to market as a self-published writer.
- What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?
WRITE. It’s as simple as that. There are so many distractions, so many doubts, but you can never succeed if you don’t sit down and write. As for authors who are publishing for the first time, I offer the same advice. Don’t let criticism stop you from writing. People will always find something they don’t like, but you can only grow from it. Don’t give up if it’s truly your passion.