I write to show people that they are not alone with their struggles, emotions, and weaknesses. It’s my greatest desire to have a reader tell me they felt the same way as the character or that the character seemed so real it was like reading about a good friend. I want readers to feel more hope and courage in their own circumstances by relating to flawed characters who found a way to tap into inner strength.
Who is your favorite author?
My favorite author is Jodi Picoult. I love the way she creates rich characters that I want to get to know better, and about whom I continue to care after the last page is turned.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I find inspiration for my writing by listening to real people share about their personal life experiences. I connect with the emotions and then fictionalize the specifics. The human spirit is incredibly inspiring.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
Marketing is by far the most challenging part of my journey of becoming a published author. Once an idea crystallizes in my mind, the story flows quickly and relatively easily. Since I self-published and thoroughly enjoyed learning about the business aspect, I would say that part of the journey was not difficult either. Marketing has too many variables and no absolute outcomes, so it’s difficult to know if what I am doing is the best thing for the success of my book. I tend to second-guess each action, wondering if there may be a better option, and that’s very difficult for me.
Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?
My family and friends have been incredibly supportive. In fact my brother’s girlfriend was the first person I allowed to read a very ugly first draft, and my mom was helpful every step of the way after that. My mom has even sold more books in person than I have. She’s an amazing champion.
How do you feel about social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter? Are they a good thing?
I haven’t mastered them yet, so to me it’s still a time consuming activity that keeps me away from writing and doesn’t show much return on that investment of time. I do understand the basic premise of having a platform for visibility and creating a means of connecting with readers. The down side is that most ‘normal readers’ aren’t on Twitter following a bunch of authors. It’s mostly authors, book bloggers, and other business owners announcing their articles or products. I don’t feel an emotional connection on Twitter at all. Facebook allows more personal interaction, but I still feel like I’m talking to myself most of the time since Facebook doesn’t show my posts on all of my follower’s newsfeeds. It’s a process and I’m trying to learn, grow, and accept the challenges.
Have you met any people in the industry who have really helped you?
The first person I ‘met’ on Twitter was Rachel Thompson (RachelintheOC) and she blew me away with her friendliness and her knowledge. I asked her so many questions as I stepped into that unknown land. She seemed so authentic through the 140 characters, so I emailed her and she answered. It was like chatting with a famous person (she has a gazillion followers so she seemed like a superstar to me!) I felt like a stalker for a while until I found my own legs and tried to move on my own. She and I are both trying to raise awareness of the emotional devastation after sexual assault, (both of our books have that theme) so she even agreed to write a blurb for the cover of Shadows of Truth. To me, she has been the single most supportive person in the industry, and she probably doesn’t even know it.
How do you feel about self-publishing?
Self-publishing has been challenging and exciting. I like being in control of the process, but there have been many times I wish I had someone to tell me what to do because I’m simply clueless. I have learned an enormous amount about the business side of being self-published, but I still don’t know much about marketing. Some times it’s exhilarating and other times its downright exhausting.
How many friends does a person need?
I don’t think it’s possible to say how many friends a person needs. Everyone is different, so I think it’s different for every person. I do think it’s important to at least have friends – one or twenty – because living a completely solitary life is joyless. It’s human nature to want to share with others, even if it’s only occasionally.
What is your favorite food?
I’m partial to pizza, but give me something other than New York style pizza.
What is your favorite season?
Hands down, my favorite season is autumn. I just can’t get enough of the vibrant colors and the fresh, crisp air. It seems ironic that’s the season I sit inside and write the most, but I think it fills my soul which then overflows onto the page.
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Genre - Women’s Contemporary Fiction
Rating – PG-13