Questions people ask me...
Who are your favorite authors?
Diana Gabaldon , Anne Rice , Sherrilyn Kenyon , Nalini Singh , Jane Austen , Jeaniene Frost — These ladies rock. I enjoy Harlan Coben, too.
How did you get into writing?
By reading. I love romance. No matter the media, I'm rooting for a couple to get together, hopelessly addicted to the happily ever after. Um… I don’t buy novels, I buy the series. When I'm done with book one, I set it down and pick up book two. Publishers love customers like me.
When I chose a profession, I didn’t consider writing. I pursued nursing. Not because I wanted to be a Florence Nightingale, but because I needed a reliable income. I have absolutely no regrets over my choice, but I do wish I had explored writing earlier.
Naturally, I don’t love everything I read.
One Sunday morning, I read one too many disappointing novels. I can do better than this! Using a plot that had been banging around in my head, I hammered out my first -first draft. As it turns out, I couldn’t do better than the poor author who'd disappointed me.
Undeterred, I put together a two-year plan to publish my work in progress – my baby. After two years, four re-drafts, my firstborn was still not ready for prime time! At a colleague's urging, I took a break and started something else.
One day I'll tune up my first angel story and allow it to fly.
Now, almost four years after my initial first draft, I've published two books, and a third will release in January 2019.
Where do you get your ideas?
Anywhere! An overheard conversation. Traumatic events that pull at my heart almost always spark something. Often, writers respond, dreams. I very rarely recall dreams. But I am a daydreamer – always in trouble as a kid for not paying attention to the teacher. My classmates got scolded for talking to each other. Me? Doodling some fantasy I’d cooked up in my brain.
How did you get published?
In response to Evernight's call for submissions for a shifter anthology, I sent them Jungle Rapture. They wanted the story for their Romance on the Go line rather than the anthology.
My friends were so helpful, too! Several critiqued and some beta read for me. Had I not laid the groundwork and became active in professional writer’s associations, who would’ve had my back when I needed it? Few do this alone.
Why didn't you self-publish?
Initially, self-doubt. Without a formal education in literature or creative writing, I needed the litmus test of professional review. If an editor or agent – the experts – thought my story was worth investing in, then I reasoned my work could go out into the world with some confidence.
My second book Autumn Renewal was semi-self published. A group of friends and I put out an anthology of linked novellas. If I ever choose to truly self-publish, it will be with professional back up; a professional editor, professional copy editor, and a professional cover designer. I may even explore the option of a hybrid agent. A friend has one who handles both traditional and self-publishing functions.
Do you have an agent?
No. Not for Jungle Rapture and The Jaguar Queens series. However, when I have full-length novels to sell, I will seek representation.
Will you read my novel and tell me what you think?
Yikes! Aside from the four to six hours it takes to read a novel, there are legal pitfalls, too. I won’t go into those here. You’d be wise to have a trusted critique partner read your work.
Network, network, and network some more. I belong to two active critique groups and a few trusted people I trade pages with or trade of beta reading.