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Guess what? It’s been a while since I posted my own Q&A here on the blog, so in the spirit of the Secret Worlds spotlights, here I go—even though it’s a little like talking to myself...
JET: Can you tell us about your most recent book?
My most recent release is Black Magick which is due out any day now. It is the second book in my new Magick romantic suspense series. My heroine, Paige Turner, is a spirited wiccan who is a little rusty with her spells which results in a botched banishment. This is so not the type complication she wants, especially when she’s trying to work out the kinks in her new relationship
JET: What drew you to the paranormal genre?
I have always been drawn to the paranormal and the what if’s that evolve out of those thoughts. Therefore, when I started writing, it seemed like the most natural genre and paired with suspense that beautifully satisfies my need for an adrenaline fix.
JET: What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the publishing road?
Since I’m an indie-author, it is challenging to get the kind of visibility that comes with being with a traditional publishing firm. With Amazon algorithms changing as quickly as the weather, it’s tough to gain traction and keep it. But I love the flexibility and control that comes with being a self published author and I am aware that not everyone in the traditional houses gets the benefit of the marketing power of the firm.
JET: What was your favorite moment in the journey?
My absolute favorite moment – writing a book with my son and his reaction the day the paperback proof of Don’t Fear the Reaper came in. My son (who was twelve at the time) was so excited that he held the book up like the Heisman Trophy and ran around the house whooping like a wild child. I had forgotten what that over-the-moon reaction felt like and it was a warm reminder that this writing gig is the best job in the world.
JET: Which authors had the most influence over you growing up?
Stephen King. There are a few others, but no one really knew how to spin a tale quite the way Mr. King did and frankly, he fed the adrenaline junkie in me.
JET: When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?
In grade school, I wrote my first “illustrated” book and gave it to my father. He actually gave it back to me recently and we had a serious laugh. I need to get that sucker laminated. The next time I wrote a story was in middle school (about the same age as my son) and I wrote short stories and poetry through high school and college. I put my fiction writing on hold when I got married and it was another seventeen years before I picked it up again.
JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered?
My second series protagonist is an FBI agent and he’s an expert shot. Now, I had never fired a gun in my life, and I was mentioning this to a couple friends at work after a meeting (I’m a business analyst by day) and one of the guys said he’d take me shooting. I wasn’t going to pass that opportunity up.
My friend took me to a range and proceeded to unpack a 9 millimeter, .22 caliber and a .40 caliber pistol. I hit the bull’s eye with the 22, but was all over the place with the 9 millimeter and with the 40 caliber, I don’t think I hit the board at all.
It was quite funny, but it gave me a healthy appreciation for what it takes to shoot, never mind try to have the control to be an expert shot.
I’ve also done some extensive research on explosives, cocaine production and blood splatter – which led to watching the show Dexter – which has amazing writing, but was cause for quite a bit of writing procrastination on my part.
It’s a tossup. I love the stories where I mesh series together. The first one I did was Hunting Season, which took the characters in my Games series and infused them in the Steve Williams novels. It was a match made in heaven and I had an enormous amount of fun having my FBI agent run across a supercharged criminal mastermind.
The next one is actually the book in the Secret Worlds Paranormal Romance boxed set. Trinity Rising brings Steve Williams and his family into the mix. As much as I love Naomi and Damian, the introduction of Steve and his family really provided some comic relief to the ex-vampires run from the devil. It was so much fun blowing Steve’s straight-laced mind with the existence of vampires and other supernatural beings.
This also provided the ground work for my next series – The Ryan Chronicles where the story continues...
JET: Any advice (from a writer’s standpoint) for the novices out there?
Make sure your story is as solid and tight as you can get it before you decide to publish. Get a good critique partner and that means someone who will tell you what does not work as well as what was good. AND LISTEN to them.
As a publisher, I see all manner of books crossing my desk and some are woefully lacking. If you are going to submit to a publisher, make sure your query letter is as tight as the first pages that you submit, otherwise you’ll just drift into obscurity.
JET: All right - now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten...starting with Paper or Plastic?
Paper inside plastic.
JET: Steak or Tofu?
Steak, rare – almost mooing.
JET: Beach or Mountains?
JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?
JET: Leather or Lace?
Lace. Leather chafes.
JET: Angels or Demons?
Angels – even though they can be dicks.
JET: Paper or Digital?
JET: Silent Film Classics or Cheesy B Rated Horror?
Cheesy B Rated Horror
JET: Twilight or True Blood?
Neither – Night Hawk Trilogy!
JET: Coffee or Tea?
Neither – I drink V8 Fusion Energy drinks instead. It gives the impression of something healthy.
JET: Thank you for indulging me. Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you're working on now? What's next?Angel Blood – the fourth book in The Ryan Chronicles is in the works and I’m sure I’ll be crafting another installment in the Magick series by the end of 2015.
And just on a personal note - I want to say Happy 26th Anniversary to my wonderful husband. A girl couldn't ask for a better partner in life!
In the meantime, check out Secret Worlds.
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Sale ends August 31st, 2015.
We have 70+ prizes up for grabs at our Secret Worlds Facebook party, including multiple gift cards ranging from $5 to $100, plus a Kindle Fire!!! And the prizes just keep coming. Be sure to join the party for your chance to win these prizes and more coming down the pipeline!
The party is on June 29 but the giveaways have already begun.
Until next time,