children, and one very chubby canine. Her family not
only endures her writing moods but also encourages her
to indulge her passion.
Besides writing romantic suspense, she enjoys
traveling, reading, and scrapbooking. She’s been writing
off and on since she was seventeen, and with several
stories already published, she has no desire to slow
What inspires you to write?
Almost anything can inspire me to write. A beautiful scene, an overhead conversation, or even an abandoned house on a country road in Arkansas. I began devouring every book I could get my hands on in high school. I’ve been a prolific reader ever since. All of that reading has fed my imagination. For years my daydreaming made me feel somewhat guilty. I had no problem imagining myself in other places, with other people, doing other things. One day I got the idea of channeling all my daydreaming into a manuscript. That was nine, maybe ten years ago, and since then I’ve been writing practically non-stop with only a few short sabbaticals due to a recalcitrant muse refusing to cooperate and give me a fresh spurt of inspiration.
Tell us about your writing process.
I imagine the opening scene of the story and decide how the story will end. Between the beginning and the ending, I am a certified pantser. I let the plot evolve as it goes along, letting my characters and their developing personalities decide what to say and how to react in any given situation, as long as they get to the end of the story right where I want them to go.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Hmmm… I don’t listen to them as if they are speaking to me, but I do allow their personalities to dictate action and dialogue while I’m writing. I don’t talk to my characters either. But… I will speak of my characters as if they are real human beings, often discussing how they would react or what they would say in a certain situation. There is one particular character my husband and I discuss quite often. In fact, we know a woman that we swear could be her living personification. It’s kind of weird, but totally fun!
What advice would you give other writers?
I remember well my first rejection. I submitted a series of four stories to a publisher. He very kindly suggested I should continue to hone my skills by perhaps going to a writer’s workshop. It was an excellent piece of advice, because I did as he advised and realized how much I didn’t know about the craft of writing. That was years ago. An author should never believe he or she has learned all there is to know about the art and craft of writing.
Commonly accepted style evolves and changes over the years. Be aware of trends. The trends readers preferred ten years ago might not be what keeps a reader’s interest today. For instance, a common trend is to use as few he said/she said type dialogue tags as possible, replacing the tag with action beats.
When you finish writing your baby, after pouring all your heart and soul into plot and characterization, put the manuscript aside for a few days and then come back to it. Read it aloud with the critical ear of a reader, not the emotionally attached heart of a writer. The exercise often reveals glitches in the flow of the narrative.
There is an abundance of information and guidance available to aspiring writers on how to hone writing skills. Not all suggestions work for every writer. Research editing and writing. Read blogs and books on the subject of writing. Build relationships with other writers. A writer should test different approaches and find out what works best for her. For instance, I’ve read more than once that a writer should write straight through a rough draft, then go back and edit. This approach doesn’t work for me. I write and edit, write and edit. Then go back to the beginning and read… and edit. By the time I complete the manuscript, most of the word count has been edited numerous times.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I chose to submit to a publisher because venturing out into the world of independent self-publishing scared the crud out of me. All of my published fiction has been released through a publisher. The choice proved to be the right one for me because when my first story released I had no idea how to market or promote my work. If I had been out there alone without the support of a publisher and fellow authors, my work would have gone unnoticed by anyone. I’ve learned about marketing and promotion by the seat of pants. I like the camaraderie and support I receive from my fellow authors at 5 Prince Publishing and The Wild Rose Press.
I have since considered self-publishing. Will I in the future? I don’t know. Right now, I’m happy where I am. My advice? If an author chooses to self-publish, he or she should research and explore various promotion and marketing tools before releasing the book. Don’t wait your “baby” is out there in the wide, wide world and then wonder how to sell it. Have a marketing plan in place before release.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I believe that digital books and print on demand paperbacks will be in even more demand in the immediate future with print books slowly disappearing over time. Even though I would LOVE to see my book on the shelves of a brick and mortar bookstore, I believe that print copies of books will slowly fade away just like 8 track tapes and VCRs. The strength of the Big 5 and their agent gateway keepers will wane unless the large house publishing complex centered in New York City doesn’t evolve and embrace the electronic marketplace and the independence of the author. Too many independent authors, either self-published or published with small to mid-sized houses, have enjoyed not having to share publishing royalties with an agent.
What do you use?
What genres do you write?
romance, suspense, paranormal
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print