About L.A.A. Law:
Living on the east coast, I love to travel to Maine. It is just far enough away to feel as if I am escaping the demands of work to enjoy time with my wonderful family while being close enough that most of the short time we find in our competing work schedules to escape is not taken up by travel. The beautiful scenery, national park, and abundance of rocky beaches offers peace and tranquility. I am the mother of three wonderful children and work in a law firm. Writing is something I never thought I could do. My vast work experience is more in accounting and legal work dealing with figures and asset allocation. Writing became a way to allow my mind to escape for short periods of time while my body stayed anchored to care for two dying parents while still attempting to ensure that my children could have a somewhat normal childhood.
What inspires you to write?
I love reading romance stories and cannot wait to see how the couple ends up with their happily ever after. Yet, as I read them, a lifetime of exposure to the darker side of what life can bring twists the characters and scenes into something more sinister, and new characters with emotionally darker tales to be told are born. When this occurs and the new story or scene forms, I feel compelled to give the character their voice or the story its reveal.
What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
My favorite authors change with the beautiful stories I come across and read. However, I must say that throughout it all, I love stories from Melody Anne, Ruth Cardello, Catherine Bybee, Kristen Proby and my all-time favorite, J.S. Scott. These wonderful authors bring romance to life with characters who have depth and something to say. I have enjoyed a laugh and many times a cry when reading the couples’ tales of passion which many times touch my soul.
Tell us about your writing process.
The process started truly as a complete surprise. Speaking to a client who had gone through a similar experience that I was in the midst of, she suggested that a way to deal with the warring emotions short of therapy, would be to sit at the computer and write my feelings down, especially when you can’t really talk to those closest to you because they are experiencing the tough time requiring you to be strong and to spread yourself thin between aging and sick parents and young children. Sitting down, I had every intention of trying her suggestion, but how do you complain about a situation that you chose to enter into, were not mad about, but felt guilty over because you could not be there for everyone 100% of the time? Sitting there, staring at the screen my mind suddenly drifted toward a road that became the escape route in the prologue of my first book. My fingers began flying across the keyboard, but truly, I wasn’t reading the words, I was describing the images that began forming in my head and the feelings of a character who sprang from thin air. The next evening, when everyone was asleep, I opened the computer and was absolutely shocked at what was before me. I’m not saying that it was well written, some may say it still needs help and probably does, but for a numbers’ person, I was truly astonished that anything even somewhat creative came from me. As I got to the end of the writing, the pictures began forming again. I could see what happened next and my fingers began flying once more.
The process which started my writing is still with me as characters and storylines play like a movie in the background of my thoughts, regardless of what I am doing. If I am near my computer, I will place it as a sidenote to the outline which I draft and continuously re-draft. Otherwise, I will jot down a thought or character on a sticky note and then at night, when my world settles, I will see if the character, scene, conversation, or thought enhances my growing outline or needs to be put aside.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Throughout the workday, when I am involved with performing the tasks necessary to ensure I can put food on the table and a roof over my family, my characters are always whispering in the background. When they say something that I am desperate not to forget, I will take a moment and jot it down on a sticky note and place it in my briefcase or quickly type it into the note program on my phone. At night when the day is finally mine, I sit in a quiet spot, close my eyes and envision and speak with the character as my fingers fly across the computer describing their journey.
What advice would you give other writers?
Writing is intensely personal. It can take you anywhere, allow you to do anything, and provide an outlet that is not destructive to yourself or others when dealing with issues you feel are challenging and sometimes more than you can handle. Write first and foremost for yourself and see where it takes you. If you want to publish, do so. Don’t let anyone else’s opinion take your gift away from you. Not every writing style appeals to everyone, some people will hate it, others will love, and still others may mock it, but in the end, it is only your opinion that matters because it is your story. If you cannot find anyone to publish it for you and you want to make your writing available to others to enjoy, self-publish. If someone like me can manage to get a book on a website for others, trust me, you can do it. I am the most technologically backward person you can imagine. Most importantly, if you do seek professional publishers, don’t ever let rejection close off your opportunity to grow as a person or stop your writing. Every rejection is someone’s opinion only and usually we can learn something from it, improve as we move forward and get stronger because of it. If your story only touches the life of one other person, makes a difference in their life by providing them relief during a troubling time or a laugh when they need it, you have done a lot, and may even inspire them to touch the life of someone else.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Since writing provided me with such comfort during a very difficult time in my life, the thought of publishing the first series of stories written during this time came from realizing that despite how trying my own circumstances were, there are always individuals out there who were much worse off than me and my family. As such, I decided to self-publish my first series giving the books away for free in hopes that if the story touched the reader in some way or respite from their own circumstances, they would consider donating what they would have paid to purchase the book to the various charities associated with each book, such as their local Children’s Hospital, cancer center, veteran’s organization, or community school in need of assistance. For someone so technologically challenged, getting this series self-published through Smashwords was a challenge and for what I wanted to get accomplished, I couldn’t even remotely figure out how to do it through Amazon, although I am sure there was probably a way. Despite my many missteps and to my ecstatic shock, people did download and read the stories and some even let me know that they did what I requested and donated.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Publishing in the future is boundless with all the platforms being offered, especially for those who are technologically savvy. I believe that the challenge comes now in how best to market the book being published to find the correct audience. For someone like myself who is not technologically savvy and cannot find enough hours in the day to manage my job, my writing, and a social media presence, I need to find connections and ways to market that do not leave me chasing my tail for hours trying to figure out how to do so and still coming up short. If anyone has any suggestions for getting the word out there for those who like emotionally dark romance or romantic suspense, I would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
What genres do you write?: Romance, Paranormal
What formats are your books in?: eBook
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.