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1. Paperback, hardback, audiobook?
I prefer paperbacks, but I will never turn down a hardback! I do love ebooks as well, as I can have hundreds at my fingertips at any given time. I must admit I have never listened to an audiobook before, but I am currently looking into getting my own novels distributed in that format.
2. Pick a genre, any genre!
I will read anything! It’s honestly impossible to pick a favorite genre because I love all genres. I try to keep my reading open to everything.
3. What is the first book you remember reading?
Timothy the Tiger written by Marjorie Barrows and illustrated by Irma Wilde, originally published in 1962. If I remember correctly my mom got it from a children’s book club. Believe it or not, I still have this book! It is in terrible condition, so I have it preserved in a plastic baggie, but there is evidence of my first attempts at writing as well, none of which is legible!
4. What book shaped your childhood most?
Lyle, Lyle Crocodile by Bernard Waber and The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton were my absolute favorites.
5. When did you first start writing?
I started writing as early as I can remember; probably when I could write in full sentences. I was a voracious reader thanks to my parents, and whenever I was bored with the books I had, I’d write my own. I’d draw the photographs (terribly) as well, and fold the sheets together like a book. I can’t remember if I stapled them down the middle or not!
6. What made you want to write? Does it still hold true?
I’ve always had an overactive imagination, and I had all these ideas playing in my head like movies. I was painfully shy, so it was easiest to write them down as stories. And yes, it still holds true — I always have ideas playing in my head as movies and I will probably never have enough time to get them all out.
7. What book/poem are you most proud of creating?
I am most proud of my novel ‘Tell Me You Love Me’ because it was a truly difficult book to write. It’s a story with characters and circumstances that haunted me during the writing process, and continue to haunt me to this day. It has received six awards since its publication in 2020.
8. Did you publish your first book or is it for your eyes only?
I’m sure I have a copy somewhere, but I’m not sure where it is. It has never seen the light of day, and probably never will. LOL!
9. How many books/collections have you published so far?
I have published seven novels and I have short stories in two anthologies.
10. What genres do you write in (or hope to)?
I typically write relationship stories — there are definitely elements of love in each of them, but they are not all necessarily described as romance. I can only describe my novel genres as rock and roll fiction, coming of age, romance and romantic fantasy.
11. Do you do research for your writing or is it all in your head?
It doesn’t matter how much of the actual story is in my head, research is key no matter how small. Research, research, research! We owe it to the readers who pay money for our work to get it right.
12. To plan, or not to plan your plot?
I guess I’m what they call a “pantser.” I do not organize before I start writing, and I don’t plot or outline. I know the basis of the plot going in, so everything else comes with the writing itself. I tried outlining a book once and it didn’t go well for me.
13. What route of publishing have you chosen? Do you plan to stick with it?
I queried in the early days before I was ever published (and before the Internet), and unfortunately it was not a good experience for me. I ended up being scammed by publishers and agents alike, and it soured everything for me. I am a proud indie author now, and I love the freedom I have in all aspects of my own work.
14. If you could live inside another author’s universe, which one would you pick? (Ex: Middle Earth, Narnia, etc.)
Historical fiction like Jane Eyre or Bridgerton, definitely!
15. Do you currently have a WIP?
Always … right now I have three!
16. Tell me about the character you’ve created who is dearest to your heart.
The character dearest to my heart would be Shea Sullivan, a four-year-old deaf child in my novel Hey Jude. He shows everyone around him the true meaning of love, and saves the hopeless nanny hired to take care of him.
17. What do you consider your *current* magnum opus?
It would have to be my novel, ‘Tell Me You Love Me,’ coming in with six awards since its publication in late 2020. It was a difficult story to write — many times I cried and told myself I wasn’t the person to tell this story. I was wrong, as it was mine and mine alone.
18. Do you have a favourite romance in your books? Or, if yours features no romance, tell us about your favourite character friendship!
My favorite romance would have to be between Ruby (Roo) and Lonny, in my novel Whispers on a String. They meet at fourteen years old beginning high school together and become the best of friends. They have the same last name, and the same birthdate. They are secretly in love with each other and the story chronicles their lives (together and apart) as they depart on a cross-country road trip on the cusp of their 50th birthday.
19. Do you listen to music as you write? Recommend a favourite writing song.
It’s a must! I cannot write without music; I tried once and it was an abysmal writing day. It’s difficult to choose just one song, as I usually listen to music pertaining to the era of my story, but David Cassidy’s ‘My First Night Alone Without You’ is quite emotional, and if I need something romantic, Air Supply is a definite go to!
20. Do you have any character art for your books, whether by you or another artist? (Be sure to credit/link if you can!)
I only have one piece of character art, and it’s of Lonny Winter from Whispers on a String. The artist is David Strover (@REALFilmCricket). He did the band logos for my fictional band Livingston Monroe, and my fictional record store, Vinyl Horse Records from the same novel. I can’t tell you how much I adore them!
21. If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Never give up, and listen to your gut. Don’t let the naysayers get the best of you; if you are meant to be a writer you will stop at nothing to make it happen. I would also recommend doing your homework as there are far too many people out there willing to take advantage of unsuspecting writers dipping their toe into the water for the first time.
22. Have you entered any writer contests? Tell us about your experience!
I have entered many contests and it has been an overwhelming experience! My novel Tell Me You Love Me has won six awards, including the 2021 National Indie Excellence Awards Contemporary Fiction winner. My novel Whispers on a String has won four awards, including Outstanding Women’s Fiction winner in the 2020 IAN Book of the Year Awards. My new novel Hey Jude has won one award so far, a 2021 Indies Today Award finalist.
24. Link us your book/twitter/goodreads or wherever we can best connect with you!
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