Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I have been a writer and reader my whole life – my first work was a play I wrote for my sisters and I to perform for our parents! So reading, and books, are as natural to me as breathing. I live in a small, beautiful town in Ontario, Canada, with two adorable ginger cats. I also love movies, travel, photography, digital art, and fabric design. My first book is "Perfect Need – Seven Tales of Love and Passion": a short anthology of erotic romance stories that came out in 2013. My second book came out in October 2016 – "Stranded With You" – Book One of the Fate Chose Us Series. Book Two – "Introducing Us" will debut on November 15.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My new book comes out on November 15, 2016 – "Introducing Us," the second book of three in my Fate Chose Us series. I started it in response to a writing challenge in an online community I belonged to a while ago. There were a couple of situations that had to be included in each submission, and it was SUPPOSED to be a short story.
Three books and 120,000 some words later, I had the Fate Chose Us series, the story of Jon and Becca and their unlikely meeting and falling in love.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I don't know if it's unusual, but I like to create a playlist of music when I write a story, that reflects the characters' story and personality. Other than that, I struggle with daily word counts and discipline, like most writers. I love doing research for my characters, and writing background and possible scenarios for the characters – some get used, some remain backstory, which gives my characters depth.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
There are so many influences and inspirations, from so many authors. I love JK Rowling's storytelling style; Diana Gabaldon is a master of historical fiction, something I want to write, too. Classics, like Jane Austen's books, are always a good model for me, and poetry always inspires me – May Sarton, Emily Dickinson, Rumi, and Rainer Maria Rilke are my all-time favourites. Elizabeth Gilbert, Tana French, Val McDermid, and Stephen King are others who influence me because of their amazing talent.
What are you working on now?
I have a paranormal romance (ghosts) in progress – about halfway through a first draft. I am also in the planning stages of a mystery, something I've always wanted to write.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
For me, Twitter and Facebook are always the best places to promote my books. They're both great places to meet authors and readers – great communities.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Read a lot, in as many genres as you can – even ones you think you won't like. Everything is grist for the mill of your imagination.
Don't give up, even when you think your first draft is dreadful and junk and something no one will ever want to read. You'll only get better with practice and time.
Get the opinions of people you trust – but wait till the first draft at least is finished. I've been discouraged by asking someone to read something too early, and by asking someone who knows nothing about the genre I'm writing. Not fun.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Nothing lasts – nothing good, nothing bad. Life is a cycle, always. Just keep hanging on.
What are you reading now?
I just finished "The Girl on the Train," and am about to start "The Likeness" by Tana French. I'm also rereading the Harry Potter series – again. It will always be a favourite, because of Rowling's skill as a storyteller.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I am finishing the paranormal romance mentioned above, and starting research for two other ideas I am developing – a contemporary mystery, and a historical thriller set in France.
I'm also considering a memoir, as I've had some . . . interesting things happen to me in my life.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Hard to narrow that down to one! "To Kill a Mockingbird" would be at the top of the list for sure. Diana Gabaldon's Outlander Series, of course. Also "The Time Traveller's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger, and "The Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruid Zafón.
And of course any book of the Harry Potter series is in a class by itself.