I tried my hand at writing short fiction while traveling for work in advertising and marketing, as a creative outlet on long plane rides. That led to me signing up for writing classes, writer’s conferences and local workshops. My goal―to create unique stories told in a distinctive voice. I’m happy to say some of the stories have garnered awards and publication in anthologies. Eleven of them are published in my collection of short stories titled, Like The Flies On The Patio.
Short stories were my primary genre until one morning while in a workshop at The Santa Barbara Writers Conference, I read an excerpt. When I finished, the instructor asked what I was doing for the next couple years, because, “What you have written isn’t a short story, it’s a novel.” After a good deal of foot dragging I came to realize the subject matter was compelling, and I penned the novel, The Clock of Life.
What inspires you to write?
Inspiration is illusive. I never know where it will come from next. Sometimes from a place or a smell. Sometimes from a song or a feeling. I like being in a creative environment, around true artists of all kinds. I think creative people are a real turn on.
Tell us about your writing process.
I write on the computer, in my office. The first and most difficult step is sitting my butt in the chair and giving my writing a higher priority than, oh, everything else. I don’t have a strict regiment, I’m more of a whenever-the-inspiration-strikes girl. I don’t write in coffee shops, or public places, and I don’t have a musical playlist to write to because I prefer silence. For me, outside noise gets in the way of the process.
During the times when I suffer with the idea that the writing is lacking creativity and it’s boring―as if the “muse” has gone down for a nap―I let it sleep for a few days, then I return to the work refreshed and creative again.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I close my eyes and enter the scene with them. I “see” the locations in my head, and “hear” the voices during the conversations. I picture it as a movie, and take the trip with my characters.
What advice would you give other writers?
I can only advise the two things that are most important for me. Don’t give up and don’t let others make you doubt yourself (or if they do, shake it off fast and get back to your project.) Keep going no matter how long it takes, because it’s the only way it will happen
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My initial intent was to publish traditionally, but I became frustrated that I couldn’t get anyone in the publishing field to look at it. I knew I write well as many of my short stories had won competitions and are published in anthologies. The book manuscript had won Best Unpublished Novel at the San Diego Book Awards, and I still couldn’t get anyone to look at it. So, The Clock Of Life turned off the road to traditional publication and on to one of “indie” publication.
The experience felt satisfying because I had creative control, and scary because it was new territory. I had an editor go through the manuscript first. Then I formatted the book and created the cover myself. It was a HUGE learning process. I’d wake up in the middle of the night having figured out how to solve a formatting problem or design issue, and stay up till dawn only to come upon another snafu.
Instead of waiting two years for the book to see the light of day with a publisher, it was available in less than a month. Publishers no longer help unknown authors in the marketing, so you’re on your own anyway, and the indie author’s share of the sales is quadruple what the publishing companies pay – i.e. new authors rarely get an advance of any consequence, and the per book paid to authors by publishers is generally in the 70 to 80 cent per book range. I average about $3.80 per book through Amazon, and BookBaby. That average is for both ebooks and paper.
I had faith in my writing and my story, so once I published it, I entered it into contests that have garnered awards such as the Writer’s Digest Self-Published e-Books Awards Winner. 2013 Next Generation Book Awards, Finalist. 2013 Readers’ Favorite Book, Finalist. 2013 San Francisco Book Festival, Honorable Mention. BRAG Medallion Honoree. Now I can now market my book as an award -winning debut novel.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the eBook revolution will grow to the point that print will eventually become (to my dismay) an endangered species.
What do you use?
What genres do you write?
Fiction and Short Stories
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print