First Degree Innocence | Books We Love Publishing Partners | Women's Fiction/Suspense | 11/01/10
Please tell us your latest news!
I'm so excited because starting this month and leading into 2011, I have nine new releases coming. I have six contracts with Muse It Up Publishing, one with Books We Love Publishing Partners and three with Eternal Press.
I'm also excited because I maintained the print rights to First Degree Innocence and I went through Createspace to offer the book in trade paperback, too.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not really. I love exactly the way it's written. Carrie Lang comes to prison, young and naive, and quickly becomes cynical and savvy.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I've not read mainstream novels since I began in the e-publishing industry. I believe it's more important to support my peers than those who don't need the promotion. I have far too many favorite authors to list here, but be assured they are all e-pubbed like me. I will mention a few that always come to mind: Diane Scott Lewis, Anita Davison, Sherry Derr-Wille, Margaret Tanner...so many authors, so little space. Each has their own distinct voice and awesome descriptive talent. If someone can draw me in from the first page and keep me reading...they'll become a favorite. :)
Do you have a specific writing style?
I must, but I don't see it. I've written so many genres, and my goal each time is to SHOW a story that puts the reader in the character's shoes and allows them to experience every emotion, smell, and touch. I do try to add a touch of humor wherever possible, so I suppose that might be "my style."
Do you see writing as a career?
No. I see writing as something I love, and my published books are all achievements. Now, if I got a big royalty up front, I might see things differently, but I haven't experienced a royalty check yet that would support any part of my debt obligations. In fact, I spend more than I make on promotion.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I certainly do. Back in 2002, I toted home a laptop to complete something from work. I was sitting at the kitchen table when someone who called herself Cecile popped into my mind and insisted I tell her story. The end result was a great story, but then my editor taught me how to hone it into a novel. Prairie Peace was the result and even as my debut novel, it earned me a 4-star review from The Romantic Times. I was so encouraged because at the time they were really hard on e-pubbed authors.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
I just held a one-day workshop at the Muse On-Line conference, entitled Publishing Pitfalls. Improving your writing is something you'll continue to learn with each editing session you have. My advice is to research your publishers before you sign on the dotted line. Entering into a contract is much like a marriage, but believe me, it's easier to get a divorce than it is to shake off a bad deal.
How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?
My husband is my biggest fan, but he doesn't read well, so unless I read aloud to him, which I often do, using him as a sounding board, he would be clueless to my writing. I suppose the rest of my family is aware that I write, but I've never heard them brag about me to anyone. I don't believe they've ever bought on of my books...they just expect I'll provide them with a copy. Sort of sad, but I'm past caring. I'm proud of me and what I've accomplished.
Do you write full time? What did you do before you became a writer? Or Still do?
I retired from the University of California in 2003 as an Academic Counselor to devote more time to writing. I write as characters dictate and during times when I don't have my grandson. He was born in 2002 and diagnosed with Autism. No matter how much I love my writing, he's my main priority. I want to see him grow up to be a self-reliant and confident young man. I'm happy that I've made a difference in his life by the time spent being his Nee Nee.
What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?
I'm definitely a pantser. For years I didn't even make notes, but as I've aged and my memory has faded, I do keep reminders on hand about eye and hair color, etc. My stories are totally character driven. I see myself as the hand that types while I enjoy being told a story. I often get so excited toward the end because I never know where I'm going until I get there.
Do you have a favorite object that is pertinent to your writing? If so what is it and please describe it. (Pen, Coffee Cup, Pet, Blanket, Chair)
I always have a picture of my grandson, Spencer, on my desk. Although he has developmental delays which affect his motor and speech, his smile inspires me. If he manages the hurdles life has put in his path, I can certainly keep writing and hope that I've been a role model to someone.
Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example..get coffee, blanket, paper, pen and a comfy place
No rituals here. I follow the voices in my head and write when they speak. I avoid anything liquid on my desk because I've already introduced several drinks to my keyboard and they don't mesh well.
What main genre do you write in?
Mainstream Fiction, Teen / Young Adult, Romance, Suspense / Mystery
I'm so happy for this opportunity to appear on Nite Owl.