Hello! Thanks for having me. I’m a wife, mother of three and avid reader of all genres.
Tell us your latest news?
I have just released The Right Notes, a rockin’ roll romance novel. The accompanying novella will be out shortly.
Are the stories old or new?
My books are mostly new. The oldest book I have is my first novel, Scars of the Earth. It was released in 2012.
When and why did you begin writing?
Reading will always be my first love, but I always thought about writing and dabbled in short stories and poems for most of my life. I began writing novels in 2009 when my husband was deployed to Iraq.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’m working on getting my fifth story out to the masses and I still don’t consider myself a writer. I always tell people that I’m a story teller. When I think of a writer I think of the greats, and I don’t consider myself one of those. I love to share stories and I hope that people enjoy reading them.
What inspired you to write your first book?
During my lifetime I have seen people touched by unimaginable tragedy. That’s where the base of my first story, Scars of the Earth came from. I awoke from a terrible nightmare one evening. I had dreamt that a teenage girl had the ability to heal broken spirits… something that I often wished I could do in my life to friends that had dealt with tragedy.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m a freestyle writer so I let my story and characters dictate everything, from what happens in plot, to what tense/ perspective the story is told in.
Who was the easiest character to write for and why and hardest and why?
The easiest for me to write are the sassy/hilarious side characters in my works… Clarissa in Landlocked, Gretchen and Wesley in The Right Notes. The hardest is always the bad guys/gals. I have a tendency to skim over the villain in my first draft and have to go back and really flesh them out in editing because I just don’t like getting into that dark mindset.
How did you come up with the title?
Titles, Ugh. I hate coming up with titles, it is so much harder than it should be. I can write a three hundred plus page novel, but can’t come up with a title. I bounce ideas off of friends, mainly my little sister. She actually came up with the title for Scars of the Earth all on her own.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
All of my books are so different, but the one continuing thread would be the importance of friends and family, following one’s dreams, and above all…love. I know that probably sounds cheesy, but those are the values that I embrace in my real life and I want my character’s to live by them too.
How much of the book is realistic?
Some of my books are in the fantasy/paranormal world so not so much with those… But I wrote a novella titled, An American Love Story. That story is very realistic as it is based on my real life love story with my husband.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Yes. I draw from real life, but amp it up to ten. The Right Notes is set in Boise, Idaho, a city that I have lived in and visit often… though I was never lucky enough to meet someone like Asher Dawson at a concert while there.
What books have most influenced your life most?
The giving tree. I know it is a children’s book… but when I read it in elementary, it touched me deeply. I never wanted to be like the boy in the story. My life has been about what I can give my loved ones, not what I can take… On the flip side, my favorite books would have to be the Harry Potter stories. I read the entire series every year.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
This one’s a toughie. If I had to choose just one, it’d be Stephen King. Not only am I a fan of his work, but I thoroughly enjoyed his book On Writing. On more than one occasion while writing his advice in that book has been a lifesaver.
What book are you reading now?
I am actually re-reading my YA book, Landlocked. Next Monday I’m taking a trip to New Orleans to do research for the second book in the series, so I want to get back in that world.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I really enjoy Kayla Dawn Thomas. She has a beautiful writing style. I think she’ll grow into an author that is very successful.
What are your current projects?
I’m working on getting my novella, Skip a Beat published. It’s about the drummer from The Right Notes. I also have Heartlocked, the second in the water witch series on my agenda. My computer has about five windows opened at any given time. I work on multiple stories at once most of the time.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Nope, I don’t want to change anything in any of my books. If a book of mine is published, then it has already gone through my vetting process about twenty times. I won’t publish unless I’m satisfied with every aspect of the book. That’s not to say my books are perfect in anyway, they aren’t. But I tend to wash my hands of worrying about what could have been changed once it’s out to the public.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My love of reading started it off, and my third grade teacher really kicked it into gear. She really focused on story writing and it seemed that we were always writing and illustrating stories.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure! Here is an excerpt from The Right Notes that I enjoyed writing.
Asher leaned against the old tan bricks of her building, toothpick in his mouth and dark sunglasses on. His torso was practically painted with the tight gray t-shirt he wore that showed off every curve of muscle on his delicious trunk, not to mention every tattoo that wrapped around his arms. Low rider jeans hung off his hips, and Mya prayed the man never discovered what a belt was. When he noticed her appearance, his tongue slid the toothpick to one side of his mouth and he smiled. Her heart felt ready to burst. Just the sight of him was enough to bring any woman to her knees. He pushed away from the bricks and swaggered over to meet her.
“Hello, gorgeous,” Asher whispered.
Mya blushed at the compliment; they always made her uncomfortable. “Don’t say that.”
“Why not? You were thinking it about me.” He lowered his sunglasses to give her a wink.
She raised an eyebrow. True, she had been thinking that. He knew how sexy he was, and it was infuriating. “Better hone your mind-reading abilities. They’re a bit off,” Mya lied.
“You’re a dreadful liar.” He scooped her hand up easily, shocking her system with the instant pulse of energy that his slightest touch brought.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I’d say my characters talk too much. Dialog is my strong point so at times I need to remind myself to have my character pause and observe their surroundings or have some inner thoughts.
WHAT was your favorite book growing up as a child?
I loved scary stories so The Goosebump books by R.L. Stein were my favorite. I still enjoy horror and thrillers, so it is a preference that crossed over into adulthood.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
J.K. Rowling. Hands down, no questions asked. She wove such an amazing tapestry with Harry Potter’s seven books. There is nothing that could be improved upon. She’s a genius, not overstating anything. An actual genius. How hard must it have been to grow those characters up believably? And to have little Easter eggs in book 2 that come into serious play in book 6? Her mind must just be amazing.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
This month will be the first time that I have had to travel to do research for a book. I am very excited to visit New Orleans.
Who designed the covers?
I have hired covers and done my own. Cover designing is something that I love to do. But if I see something I really like, I snatch it up.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Making time. When you have three young children and a farm to help run, time is against you. But if you love doing something you find a way. It’s easy to make excuses … but you’ll always be busy, your entire life you can say you don’t have time. Instead of rolling over and letting time be the boss I choose to live on very little sleep.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that I can like guys with tattoos. ;)
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Yes! Write, even if you hate what you’re putting on the pages. Just write. Also, don’t let criticism— whether constructive or not— hamper your dreams. Listen to intelligent feedback; don’t feel attacked or angry that someone didn’t think your work was perfect. Every author can improve… except J.K. Rowling
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Yes. I love that you picked up my book and gave it a chance… and not just my books, but others work as well. It seems as though avid readers are hard to find these days. So thank you for being you.