Hi PM! Thanks for coming to share with the Night Owl Reviews readers. Please tell us about "Ready or Dead".
It's about a young woman, Anika Washington, who is training hard for promotion to field agent status in a global counterterrorism agency. She must complete her first mission successfully to achieve her ambition of advancing to the next level and, more importantly, to achieve her dream of acceptance into a world far removed from her federal-orphan past.
Then, a fellow recruit makes a rookie mistake and is killed at the start of her own first qualifying mission. Anika is ordered to step in. She must prove to her superiors—including Gianni Brambillo, the (gorgeous!) and enigmatic male operative who takes a special interest in her—that she is mission-ready. Or die trying.
What should readers expect from you titles?
Readers should expect LOTS of action scenes. I love, love, love writing them. Especially those that involve strong, brave, smart women who still retain a sense of their own vulnerability. And sizzling romance. That's a must!
What's your writing process like?
With my latest book, it was karaoke videos followed by writing in 45 minute bursts. Until I got to the "content edits are due in two weeks" phase. Then, there was no karaoke or single, contained writing sessions. It was all about writing and adding words and layering as fast as my brain and fingers could go.
Which authors do you follow religiously?
When I need a romantic thriller, I turn to JD Robb for her Eve Dallas series. When I need romantic comedy, I order up Kristan Higgins.
What books have you analyzed to help grow yourself as an author?
The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White. It's a treasure!
What's next for you as an author?
I started the sequel to my first book, Die Run Hide, right after I finished writing it. But I couldn't get any traction with it. So, I wrote the prequel, my latest release. Maybe now I'll return to the sequel.
What's your dream?
After this year's trip to Gimbi, Ethiopia, my husband and I are vacationing in Goa, India. Ever since I started practicing yoga 20 years ago, it's been a dream of mine to travel to India and practice there. This year, I'll get to live out that dream. Ommmmmmmm!
What is your favorite way to procrastinate?
Karaoke videos courtesy of youtube.
Getting a book to market often takes a village. Who has helped you on the way?
My sister has been my greatest help because she introduced me to the TV series (La Femme Nikita) that jumpstarted my first book. She is also a great "beta listener" who obliged my endless requests, "Can I just read you this one scene?" My husband readily agrees to watch all manner of spy-related shows and films which I consider "research." He also provides a helpful alpha-male perspective to help me write more realistic heroes. From there, the list goes on and on -- the rest of my family, writer friends across the U.S., my first writing teacher/editor who never gave up believing in my first book.
Do you have a favorite or interesting reader meet moment?
At my first Romantic Times BookLovers conference, an attendee wanted to meet me because she liked the look of my author website! She was the first reader I gave--by hand--a signed of my first book, Die Run Hide. I'll never forget that moment.
If you could have dinner with an author, who would it be?
Margaret Mitchell. I'd love to know (if she would be willing to share) ALL the details about her writing experience of Gone With the Wind.
If you could travel to another time, would you choose past or future or would you stick where you are at? And Why?
I would travel to the future, in the hope that the world is not as dark as portrayed in so many (wonderful) dystopian futuristic novels, TV shows, and films. Also, I'd like to see if some of the ideas suggested in my near-future books have come true!
What's a writing day like for you?
After my morning yoga class and trip to Starbucks (see above), I sit down at my computer around 11am and fire up the right side of my brain by singing karaoke videos on youtube (Taylor Swift and Adele are faves.) Then, after about 10-15 minutes, I open up my latest Work-in-Progress, set my timer to 45 minutes, and write. If I'm lucky, when the timer goes off, I keep going.
Do you feel music has inspired your writing?
Singing (thank you youtube karaoke videos!) has motivated me to open up the file of my latest draft and START WRITING.
What's your day job like?
It's like waking up in the morning to take a yoga class, followed by sipping a venti-sized mocha at Starbucks, followed by checking some email, followed by cat socializing at the SPCA, followed by practicing my guitar, followed by crazy-busy hours (or days or weeks) of crafting PowerPoint presentations. I'm a freelance corporate brand marketing consultant. My schedule veers wildly between no work and non-stop work. I love it!
Are you an introvert or extrovert?
Is this a trick question? Aren't all writers introverts?
What is your favorite or most fun place to shop online?
Since my sister-in-law gave me Amazon Prime for my birthday gift last year, it has to be Amazon!
What's your best vacation experience?
Most recently, volunteering with my husband in Gimbi, Ethiopia. We were there for six weeks last year and returned again in early 2017. We teach English to the kids, computer skills to the teachers and, generally, help out any way we can. It's challenging, inspiring, rewarding work. Kind of like writing books!
What technological advancement could you not live without?
The "undo" key (Control + Z) on my computer. That has saved me undue stress countless times!
Thanks PM for coming and sharing yoga, travel and books with us. We too love the CTRL + Z key!
Thank you for hanging with me. Or, as they say in Gimbi, Ethiopia, "Galatooma."