Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I've been writing professionally since I was 26, but I've wanted to become an author since I was twelve after sneaking a Harlequin book out of my mom's bedroom.
I currently have ten books published in these romantic sub-genres: historical, time travel, romantic-suspense, contemporary western, contemporary romance, erotic romance, and New Adult. My books range between sweet (no sex, sex behind closed doors, or mild petting) to spicy (explicit scenes with dirty language).
On top of that, I have about ten more manuscripts on my computer waiting to see publication.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Arresting Mason is a bad boy romantic suspense and my newest release.
A few years ago, I found a submission call for an anthology, and the stories were supposed to be pretty short. By the time I finished the first draft of my manuscript, I had exceeded the word count and still wanted to add more scenes. So I forgot all about the submission call and kept revising the manuscript until it clocked in at 80 thousand words and sparked ideas for more books, which is now a 5-book series.
For how I came up with the plot, I must thank my subconscious since I dreamed about it. For days after, I kept thinking about the hero, the heroine, and her brother, and the characters wouldn’t leave me in peace until I wrote out a rough plotline. Though I changed quite a bit as I put the dream down on paper (or rather computer), the main premise remained the same.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Not really. I try to write a little every day, but it’s so much easier when the characters keep talking to me in my head, demanding I write. On a bad day, I either write zero words or maybe a few hundred. On an extremely excellent day, I can usually write around 8000 words. On average, however, 4000 words a day is about my norm.
To write well and to write a lot at one setting, I need a comfortable chair and a clean environment. The main thing I need is silence. If there’s music or people talking around me, I can’t concentrate and I lose my temper. Background noises like car engines, the ceiling fan, wind howling, etc, is fine for me.
What are you working on now?
I've just finished self-editing the rest of the books in my Arresting Onyx series, and I'll be sending book 2 to my editor soon.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Social media, blogging, interviews (like this one!), magazine ads, contests/giveaways, and swag are great marketing tools. For small-press authors, marketing is left mainly to the author due to the publisher’s budget restraints. It’s also a challenge because it’s difficult to divide my time equally between promoting one book, sometimes more than one at a time, and writing another book. I have my regular life to live too. With four cats and a husband to take care (thank goodness my hubby is the cook in the household), I stay busy.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Writing is the easy part and it’s only half of the work. Handling rejections and bad reviews with finesse is a must, taking care of marketing and publicity demands is a handful but a requirement, and writing your next book while dealing with everything else is cause to bring out the vodka. But ‘tis the life of an author. You gotta love it, and I do with all my heart.
Make friends with other authors and readers via social media. Don’t be shy. Start a blog even if you aren’t published yet, so you can join blog tours. A tour is a great way to get a free ebook as long as you write a review and post it on your blog. The author’s readers will then come to your blog to read the review. They’ll know YOUR name, and that’s what you want—to get your name out there.
Just keep trying. I know it sounds cliché, but there’s nothing else to do. If you don’t try, you won’t succeed. Period. Keep your hopes up, take rejection letters in stride, and if a publisher or editor gives you feedback on why he/she rejected your work, listen to their feedback. They know what they’re talking about.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Don’t give up even when you’re feeling bad about yourself and the quality of your work. No one is perfect. Don’t rush a project; give it the love and attention it needs to be the best it can be. Both you as the writer, the book itself, and the readers deserve it.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading a lot of paranormal romances because I’m getting ready to start editing a manuscript in my as-of-now not-published vampire series.
What’s next for you as a writer?
My publisher, The Wild Rose Press, will be releasing a new multi-author series called the Deerbourne Inn later this year. Several authors have already agreed to write a novella for this series, and my addition, Lyrical Embrace, should be available sometime in the spring or summer of 2019.
The next installment of the Arresting Onyx series should be out soon. Arresting Jeremiah follows Jim Borden, the hardnosed parole officer from the first book, and his obsession Calista Barlow as they stick their noses where they don’t belong and fall deep into the trouble with the criminal organization known as Onyx. The sexy, dirty-talking contemporary romance series will span five books with a standalone HEA for each rough-and-tumble hero and their spunky heroines.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Don’t have one. There’s just so many great books out there. My favorite series, however, is Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunters.