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This is the one question that always stumps me. lol Crazy, because it should be the easiest one to answer. As long as I can remember I’ve been crafting daydreams. I’m still doing it, just fashioning those stories into books. I’m addicted to the following things…Alabama football, coffee aka nectar of the gods, and telling the lives of the characters in my head. Oh, and my muse Dom is very real! Doubt me? Just ask him. *wink*
Share with us some of your interests
Hands down, my children are my biggest interest. I’m always running from either a football or basketball game or guitar lessons and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Outside my boys, my husband is my personal leading hero. We’ve been married 22 years last month and I’m blessed to have him in my life. My dogs make me happy too. I have a Great Dane named Ella (she’s 3 ½), a Dachshund named Bama (she’s 10), and a Chihuahua named Crimson (she’s 4 months old).
What makes you the person you are?
Wow! What a loaded question. I’m Southern and I’ve had a very diverse upbringing. My granny brought me to church on Sundays—Church of God, and if you know anything about them you know they can be a touch radical to the tamer religions. My father was a drug addict and didn’t support me financially or in life. Nothing I ever did was good enough for him. We no longer speak, which was the most gratifying day of my life when I kicked him out of our lives. My mother raised me as a single parent and I was a latchkey kid, left alone a lot. I had three good friends growing up, only one of which I have a strong relationship with to this day. I don’t make friends easily, I’m an introvert, and a loner…I’m pretty sure my upbringing had a lot to do with the person I am because trust is earned, not freely given. If I ever trust you, I’ll stand behind you and support you even when I think you’re wrong. Only in private will I ask you, “What the h*ll are you thinking?”
When did you start writing?
My 6th grade English teacher, Mrs. Syler, gave us a homework assignment where we had to write a play. I was distraught by the assignment and I was sure I’d flunk. I’d never written anything before. Using my imagination to weave a story together a foreign concept. But when I started crafting the story about Atlantis rising from the ocean to take over the world, I had the best time! We had to share our story with everyone in class and as a group we picked the favorite three to be acted out by classmates. Mine was one of the three picked by the class. I remember being shocked that everyone liked my story, but I was excited too. I’ve been addicted to writing ever since. I wrote stories and poetry all through high school, but didn’t get serious about writing a book until my early thirties.
What inspires you to write?
Just about anything inspires me. It can be lyrics, a pictures, and even newsfeeds. Even a simple non-related comment from a friend can spawn storyline. Everything has the potential to instigateplotlines.
What is your writing style like?
No holds barred. If the characters want it told, then it gets put in the book even if it makes me uncomfortable.Rockin the Heart is the only exception to this rule, as it’s new adult and I tamed the writing for this story.
Adding something else;
Rockin the Heart or Taboo Kisses because they have a happily ever after.
What couldn’t you live without?
I had several thoughts. They’re listed in the order I heard them…
Family, writing, coffee, Alabama Football, and oxygen…LOL I don’t know why the last one popped into my head.
Have you read anything that made you think differently about writing?
What kind of books do you like?
I got my start reading historical romances and I still read them occasionally. My favorite genre is paranormal romance, after that would be erotic romances and contemporary romances.
If you were trapped on a dessert island – which characters of your own work would you choose to save you? (if they could)
Heath “Fang” Fangor. *sighs dreamily* He could sing to me. Or maybe I’d pick Maximus so he could bite me and turn me into a vampire. But then there’s Micah, the bad boy I love to hate and well…love. It’s safe to say I can’t pick just one! lol
What do you look for in a publishing company as they will end up representing your work? | If you self publish can you tell us how that process works? | If you haven’t done either – can you tell us which you would like to do and why?
I’ve done both. In a publisher, I want someone that is committed to the author and not just publishing one book after another. They also help with promotions to an extent, but for the most part marketing is left up to the author. I have an erotic romance submitted to Ellora’s Cave for the single reason that they’re the biggest known publisher of erotic romance.
When it comes to self-publishing, I have 100% total control over how my book is presented to readers. I like that control. A lot. As for the process, it’s mostly the same as with a publisher, with the exception that no one is offering me a contract or telling me my book doesn’t fit their publishing house. For the process, there are cover artists and editors to hire, then comes the fun job of formatting for the various e-sites and print (not all indies pick to publish print, but I always do both). After all of that is done comes the blog tours to promote, but after the tour ends, the marketing never stops.
How do you stay confident in yourself especially by putting yourself out there in the internet world?
I think all authors have ups and downs when it comes to staying confident. Even with seven books out there, with an eighth slated to come in January 2014, I still struggle with doubt from time-to-time. When doubt plagues me, I usually write through it because writing makes me happy and keeps me grounded. I get moody and rather mental when I’m not writing. I’ve also learned to not read bad reviews. I love the ones that tell me what they didn’t like about the book, but I’ve also had some where the reviewer was poking fun of me and the story. I have to always remember too that not all books are going to be for every reader and I’m okay with that. I don’t like all the books that my friends love either.
How do you handle rejection? What advice can you offer to moving past it?
In the past when my book was rejected, I just submitted it elsewhere. If my book I’ve submitted to Ellora’s Cave is rejected, I’ll just self-publish it. Even some of the most successful authors were rejected.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Follow your dreams and never give up! This isn’t an easy industry to be successful in. Don’t expect to publish a book and be a millionaire overnight. Most authors don’t make a living at writing, so if you’re in it for the money…good luck with that! For those with family members that are unsupportive—I have several of them in my family—remember your goals are as important as theirs. Don’t forfeit your dreams to make them happy. No one deserves to hold that much power over you.
Featuring your work and or upcoming work;
Who is your favorite character and why? [If you can share without spoiling your work]
This will be a lackluster response…but I don’t have a favorite character. I love them all for different reasons.
Choosing a character or even yourself, can you give us a sample playlist of music that would follow said person?
I don’t have playlists because they distract me from writing. I have to write in either total silence, or I’m pretty adept at tuning out my children’s voices.
Have you had trouble writing about any of your characters?
The Road to Hell characters gave me fits from time-to-time. They’re such a diverse cast that I’d be shocked if they didn’t give me trouble.
What would you like readers to get from your book (s) ?
Love always conquers all obstacles. That is at the heart of all my books. That and stand firm to who you are because no one should change to make another person happy.
Writing the paranormal series has been the most challenging. Maintaining the details of the world I created hasn’t been easy.
How is this world a better place because of your books?
Ha! I like to believe Taboo Kisses made some husbands really happy since so many readers said they tackled their husband after reading it. lol
If you could meet any of your own characters, who would (they / it) be?
The Hot Wired cast would be fun to meet since they’re all rock stars.
What do you to for marketing?
Word of mouth is my biggest marketing tool. But I have no control over that. Blog tours, cover reveals, FB pictures, and contests all help with marketing. I also did a book signing a couple of months ago and I’m going to attend some author conferences next year.
Promote your books in a sentence or less
(If more than one work, a sentence for EACH work, you’re not limited to one sentence for more than one piece of work.)
Road to Hell series: Horromance…fall in love with fear!
Taboo Kisses/Fairy Casanova: Bringing you happiness one orgasm at a time.
Rockin the Heart (Hot Wired series): No song is too loud when you’re Rockin the Heart!
What are you working on now?
I’m working on the fourth book in my Road to Hell series and the second book in the Hot Wired series.