1.) Can you tell our readers a bit about you.
I've lived a lifetime before deciding to write as a career. No one who grew up with me would have anticipated it, but I joined the US Army during my senior and spent almost 14 years in combat boots as a linguist and an analyst in the military intelligence corps. Then I did time as a tech writer for Corning Glass Works, the people who make Corelle dishes and Pyrex kitchenware, as well as telescope lenses and windows for space shuttles. I worked in a plant that did the lenses and windows. I've also been an executive secretary in a university, a graphics/web designer, a content writer, and now an editor and a writer. It's been varied and has taken me all over the place. I grew up in a tiny college town in northern New York, and now I live in Hawaii, so I can't complain!
2.)What is your role in the writing community?
I've had a few roles in the writing community. I started out as a book blogger and a beta reader. Then I moved on to writing and editing. Now I'm a multi-genre author (AND reader!), and I've published both contemporary and paranormal romance. My first thriller is coming out in September, a VERY dark read! I'm currently working on a series of dark, twisted fairy tales, another thriller, and a sci-fi fantasy. I read a ton, and my writing is definitely as varied as my reading tastes!
3.)What are some ways in which you promote your work? Do you find that these add to or detract from your writing time?
Truthfully, I'm terrible at self-promotion. It's just not something I'm comfortable with. But I do a lot through social media, posting and taking part in takeovers and other events. I think it's impossible to have those obligations NOT detract from your writing time, but they are necessary! But there is the silver lining of meeting new people and having conversations that sometimes end up inspiring something new in my stories.
4.)Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Summarize your writing process.
I think it depends on the book. Some books will be written solely by intuition, the story unfolding in a way that feels right. Other times, like the sci-fi one I'm working on, it will be a lot of logic, making sure the story makes sense with science and theory. For every book, it starts out with brainstorming. I think about the start and end, and how I want to get there. Sometimes, it starts with a full scene and then I build around it. Most of the time, it's like a really long, back-cover-of-the-book blurb, almost a full plot summary of the book I want to write. Then I research and flesh it out a little more. Then I write!
5.)What inspires you?
Lots of things, actually. Sometimes, it will be something that happened within my own life. My book Eclipsed was a personal one, much of it drawn from my own experiences. Other times, it will be something I've read or heard in the news, on the radio, on TV, or in conversation. I dream vividly, and there have been plot bunnies that have come from them, too!
6.) Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I honestly don't think much about balance when I write. There are some days when I feel more affinity towards one book that I'm working on, so that will be the one I work on. I find that if I go with the flow, it is much more efficient. Working on a book because my schedule says to, even if I'm not feeling it in the moment, isn't going to do it any good. The writing quality is better when I follow my creative process.
7.) What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
Oh, wow. A good question, and a hard one. I'm honestly not sure I have an answer for it. My first instinct is to say reading, but there is no way I could actually do it. I really don't know!
8.) Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Frequently! Eclipsed was full of them. Other books, too, will have traces of people and situations in them that only those in the know would realize equate to reality. Of course, there have been times when someone has thought they've seen something of themselves in my writing, and it wasn't them at all!
9.) What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Trying too hard to write what they think is expected of them, or what they think will sell. I think it's important to be true to yourself, even though there are times when it can be difficult.