About Sheritta Bitikofer:
An author of paranormal and urban fantasy fiction, Sheritta Bitikofer lives for the deep, engaging stories that enthrall readers from cover to cover. As a wife and fur-mama of eclectic tastes, she can be found roaming Civil War battlefields, perusing the romance section of the bookstore, or relaxing with a plate of chili cheese fries.
What inspires you to write?
I love chasing the "what if" inspirations. I enjoy taking a perfectly ordinary scene and seeing it through a different lens. What if that movie star playing the werewolf was actually a werewolf? What if those three girls behind the counter at the coffee shop were witches and they enchanted everyone's coffee? What if this little town held more secrets that no one would ever suspect?
Tell us about your writing process.
Well, I start with the idea first. I try to fully flesh out the concept of it and in my head, understand where I want to take the story and what I want to do with the characters. Then, I'll create a bio for the main characters (hero and heroine). I have a document I pull that has a basic writeup of name, age, hair color, eye color, etc. and then I have something like a 20 questions survey I fill out. It helps me to meet these characters and develop details that can help me in the story. Only then do I sit down and I map out what I want to do in each of the chapters from start to finish. I work on the computer, so Microsoft Word is my go-to program for everything. Sometimes the outlines are a little more complex, like I'll actually schedule out what happens on each day of the week. Like, if I have three friends who work at the same place, I need to know what days they're off so I don't mess with the continuity of the story. Outlines are mega-important for me in that respect.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I try to listen. When I'm in a scene and there's a ton of dialogue, I'll let them talk to me and often times, it really helps the flow of the scene. The dialogue is real, not forced, and adds little flourishes like slang, stutters, pauses, etc.
What advice would you give other writers?
Never give up if it's what you love. I quit writing for three years because I let circumstances and outside influences tell me that it wasn't right for me to be an author. I was a miserable, depressed wreck for three years before I realized that their opinions didn't matter. I needed to create and once I did, I was happier. I've never stopped since. So, if you love it, if you believe it's your calling, don't let anyone stop you. Not your family, your friends, publishers, editors, anyone. You do you.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I had written about four books before I actually decided to publish. At first, I really wanted to go traditional because I thought that's just what you do. Then a friend told me about her niece who published through Amazon Kindle. I looked into it and later that night, published my first book. It was a really impromptu thing, but I studied more about the process and I've been doing it ever since. That was five years ago and I have over twenty titles out now. I'm still aiming for traditional publishing, but for now I'm enjoying the freedom to self-publish and learning something new everyday.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think it's pretty bright and optimistic. Self-publishing is taking off like a rocket and that means a lot of authors are in the same boat, but traditional publishers are getting a run for their money. Indie authors are getting best seller stickers and it's becoming a contender. I think audiobooks are going to grow and keep growing for a while until they come up with something new.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy Romance, Historical Fiction, Paranormal Historical Fiction, YA Paranormal
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print, Audiobook
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.