All paranormal romances. Latest is: Her Warrior Angel | Independently Published / Alinar Publishing | Paranormal angel romance | Release date: November 20th, 2010
Please tell us your latest news!
It has been a busy few months for me. I've had four new releases since the end of August this year. Three of them are the first three novellas in my Her Angel series, my latest release being the third story, Her Warrior Angel. I've really enjoyed writing the Her Angel series. It follows different angels from Heaven who are in different fields of expertise. The first story, Her Dark Angel, was about Apollyon, who is a guardian in Hell, responsible for keeping the Devil down there, and has spent time as the angel of death. He meets a young Parisian witch named Serenity and falls hard for her. The second story, Her Fallen Angel, was about Lukas, who is an intervention specialist and who has been accused of a crime he didn't commit and is being punished for it. Amber, the heroine in his story, is mortal but it doesn't stop her from wanting to help him discover who is truly responsible for the atrocious murders of over one hundred humans so he can clear his name. The third story in the series, Her Warrior Angel, follows Einar, a hunter angel, as he tries to discover the whereabouts of three demons who were also involved in the murders. He teams up with a half-demon kick ass hunter called Taylor and falls in love with her, regardless of the law against demons and angels becoming involved in that way.
It was my first foray into writing angels and now I'm really looking forward to writing the final story, this time a novel, in the series. Her Guardian Angel will be out next year.
My other latest release is Vampire for Christmas. It's a sensual, funny, but also serious story about a female demon hunter and her male vampire partner. They work together for an agency and they have one last mission together. Shannon, who doesn't want to face her feelings for the hero, and Rafe, who is determined to prove his love for her and that she feels the same about him, clash as violently with each other as they do with a slimy demon intent on wreaking havoc over the Christmas period. It's a romance that will warm readers' hearts this winter.
I have also been busy writing new stories for release next year and editing them. There will be eleven releases in total from me next year, including two new Vampires Realm stories, which readers seem very excited about. I'm excited about them too. The whole thought of eleven releases in 2011 is quite scary but exhilarating at the same time. I can't wait for the New Year now.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not in Her Warrior Angel, no. I do have feelings like that sometimes but I think once it's out there, you have to learn to let go and just learn from your mistakes so you don't make them again. I think the key to becoming a better writer is to learn from everything you read and also everything that you write. Sometimes a writer will put out a story that isn't as strong as their previous ones, or doesn't go down as well with readers. It's part of being a creative person. You can't please everyone one hundred percent of the time. If you make a mistake, you have to move on and change something in the way you write or plan or edit so you don't end up doing it again.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
It's a departure from what I write, but I love to read Terry Pratchett novels. I envy him for how wittily he can write and the amazing out there ways he has of describing things. He really uses words to his advantage, weaving an image in your head in a way you don't normally get in a book. He'll take something that a thousand other authors would describe the same way and do it completely differently, with words that most wouldn't even dream of using, but it really works. He's so funny too. I can't write consistently funny stories. I have moments of humour, but I have to work at them most of the time. If anyone ever asked me to write a funny novel, I would probably run a mile. I do have one idea for a funny serial story, but I would probably fall flat on my face after a few posts.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I have my writing style. I think all authors have their own specific writing style. I've been told by readers and reviewers, and even other authors, that I have a very simple style that gets the story across without weighing it down with unnecessary big words that are just thrown in for effect. I don't like to burden readers with having to reach for a dictionary when they read my stories. I'm a storyteller. I want to weave something that they can lose themselves in, not jar them out of the story every few pages because I've tried to be clever and used a word that most people wouldn't. That's not to say I don't write cleverly. It's more like I write clearly to produce imagery in readers heads. I've often said that I write movies in book form. It must be true judging by how many readers write to me to say that they could really picture the scenes in my books like movies in their head and they couldn't put the story down. I've even had friends who have read a story tell me how great it would be as a movie. Maybe one day one of my stories will get optioned.
Do you see writing as a career?
I do see it as a career. I think a lot of authors believe that they can just write and stick it out there and that's the end of the process. It really isn't. I'm independent, so I have to do more work than most authors such as cover design, formatting, distribution, and arranging editing, etc. There are things that all authors have to do though, and that's what turns it from just writing and into a proper career. You have to get your name out there, have to build your brand and your platform, and get those sales happening. It all takes a lot of time but it's part of being a writer. I would say that a writer could easily spend almost fifty percent of her time promoting books and herself. Without the hard work involved in creating a platform and reaching readers, you don't sell books. Especially if you're indie. I love reaching out to current and new readers. It's why I write in the first place.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I remember that back when I was in the first half of my teens we had to write the opening chapter of a gothic horror novel. It was great. It was the first time I had actually sat up and paid attention in my English class. I wrote it and was surprised when the teacher chose mine to read out, praising how I had evoked the atmosphere and brought it to life. I had been really into it when I had been writing the assignment, so had already thought about the rest of the story. I wrote a few more chapters, determined to write a whole story, carrying a huge folder to school with me every day to work on it during my lunchtime at the library. In the end, I drifted away from it and on to something else. Life distracted me and I can't remember what happened to the story. I would love to find it and read it again.
I've always been into paranormal stories, especially vampires and ghouls and ghosts. Recently, I've read book reports that I had written for school back when I was around six and seven. It was amazing to see how often I called a book boring, but when it had fantasy and paranormal elements, I was enthralled. And very critical. I hadn't realised how into vampires and demons I had been as a child. I had thought that interest was something I had developed as a teen. How wrong I was! I was reading books about vampires at age six. Now I no longer wonder about why I love paranormal so much. It's been in my blood since I was small.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Read a lot. Not just books on writing but novels too, and not just the genre you want to write or do write. Books on writing are great for learning to avoid the common pitfalls, and how to improve your writing, but reading an extensive list of novels is excellent for improving your style and vocabulary. All writers become stale in the way they word things and phrases they choose if they don't inspire themselves to try something different. I find reading novels really does that for me. I jot down ways an author has phrased something or a great word they've used. I'm not saying copy another author word for word. That's wrong. I'm saying take time to read occasionally and you absorb new ways of phrasing things and new words, or remember old words you knew. It freshens up your writing and will stop it from becoming stale. I find it's also a great way of stopping myself from taking the easy approach and writing lazily, just sticking to what I know and what I'm comfortable with. It's so easy to use the same old phrases and words, but I get more out of writing when I try something new. Read a lot!
How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?
My immediate family are very supportive of me. When I first started writing romance, there was quite a bit of teasing and I think they believed it would never last. My husband has stood by me through it all, and he's very honest with me. He'll let me know when I'm spending too much time on the computer and not enough with him! He keeps me in check and makes sure that I have enough downtime. Without him, I would probably be a stressed out monster that never sleeps and is always working. He has read two of my stories. That doesn't sound like a lot but he's not into fiction. He only reads biographies. He read one of my earliest books, and has read one of my most recent too. He thinks I've grown as a writer and that I'm far better now than I was five years ago, which is a relief to hear. My husband is also encouraging me to quit the day job and take the leap with my writing and to go full time. He believes that with the extra time I could put into my writing and my platform, that my career as an author could really take off.
Do you write full time? What did you do before you became a writer? Or Still do?
Not at the moment. I'm a full time web developer and only have time to write a few hours a day. I'm fortunate to have even that. Well, I say fortunate. I work in London, which is fifty minutes by train from my hometown. I write on the morning train (starting at 6:55am!) and during my lunch and on the train home too. It's only a few hours a day but it's enough for me to write. Unfortunately, I have to spend a lot of my weekend doing the other side of writing-promoting and admin stuff. I don't really get any time off. I spent the whole past weekend working on promoting a new release. My to-do list is constantly growing! I'm hoping that soon I'll be able to ditch the full time job and spend more time writing. I'm lucky to be in a field where I can go into contracting/freelancing. I can work half the year as a contractor and probably make the same as I do full time, which will leave me with plenty of time to write and market myself and my stories.
What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?
I'm a definite outliner. Sometimes I'll get cranky in the middle of a story and normally it's because I've hit a patch that I haven't planned out. I have to sit down and roughly plan it, and then I can keep going. I've always been one who outlines. I think if I tried to write by the seat of my pants, I'd go crazy. I have to know what's coming. Also, I like to write twists into my stories and find that it's easier to do that sort of thing when you've planned the story out on paper. That way you can write the twist into your outline, and then go back over it and add in any necessary hints or diversions.
Do you have a favorite object that is pertinent to your writing? If so what is it and please describe it.
Since I write mostly on trains or in coffee shops, I don't really have anything that I have to have around me when I'm writing. If there is one thing I can't do without though, it's music. I have to have music in order to write. I think it creates the wall around me that I need. A sense of privacy when I have none. It really allows me to focus on what I'm doing. I also use music as a tool in my writing. I have often described myself as a method writer. I feel what the character feels, place myself in their shoes and their pain or their happiness. Music helps me achieve the mood I need in order to get an emotion onto the page. I have music for fight scenes and battles, music for love scenes, music for sorrow, pain and happiness. I've cried with characters. Laughed with them. I write very close third person so I put myself through everything they experience. I need music. It's a gift from the gods to me.
Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example..get coffee, blanket, paper, pen and a comfy place
No, not really. Get up, trudge to the train station (against howling wind and freezing rain this morning) and get on the train. Boot up the netbook. Write.
If I was lucky enough to write full time, I think I would do up my study with everything I love. My anime figures (geek!), posters, CDs, a good comfy chair. Neatness. I'm a designer/developer, a creative person, but unlike most people in my field that I know, I crave neatness. I can't work well in a messy environment. I think my office would be spotless. Very neat. Very clean. Nice desk, good chair, no mess, place for my coffee mug. A sense of order around me to combat the chaos in my mind as my fingers dance over the keyboard.
What main genre do you write in?
Romance, Paranormal / Urban Fantasy
Thanks for interviewing me. I've really enjoyed answering the questions and I think I've gained some insight into myself. If readers would like to know more about myself or my stories, I'm always around somewhere. Everywhere in fact. Readers can find me at the following places: