Friday, March 23, 2018

Interview with an author.

I had a local college student contact me for an assignment. She had to interview an author. I thought I'd share the Q&A with all of you.

When did you start writing?
Well, I think I’ve always been a writer. I was a National Young Author contest winner in grade school. I wrote stories in junior high and high school to pass around to my friends who enjoyed reading them. I used it as a stress relief as an adult. I kept a blog for a number of years. I published my debut novel in September of 2017.

Why self-publish rather than go with a traditional publisher?
I had a negative experience with a traditional publisher that revolved around contracts. I prefer to write on my own timeline, about the subjects I choose, and it remains a love that I share. Deadlines, expectations, and requirements can be stressful, as an Indie writer, I am my own boss.

Which book in your series do you like the most, and which do you like the least?
Oh, tough one. I like Sanity’s Side the most. That story is about two people who fall in love slowly without ever meeting. They are two truly messed up individuals with normal lives who just make love work. I appreciate two raw real people who still get to have a sunshine and rainbows ending.
My least favorite is my recently released Sanity’s Sake. It was a story that needed to be told in this series, but the two characters aggravated the snot out of me. They were riddled with misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and time and time again couldn’t get it right. Sadly, we as humans behave this way. I think everyone will find a little bit of themselves in one of the characters and not the part we want highlighted. It is additionally a virgin trope which is typically a turn off for me as a reader. I wanted to write a realistic virgin experience, not the fantasized version typically found in romance novels.

What was your inspiration for this series?
The series is about loving and living after trauma. I am retired from a career in EMS. I experienced people in their worst moments at the height of a traumatic event. My responsibility was to get them help. I was never allowed to experience the outcome. A career of day in and day out trauma, with no closure at all, is trying on the psyche. I dealt with the stress by retreating to my imagination. I gave my patients rich back stories and a happily ever after. This is how the Circle of Sanity was born. The traumatic events in the series are actual events that I gave closure to.

Do you write about your own experiences with love and sex?
 Love, yes. I am very much in love with my husband. I want every character to have their happy ending. As far as sex, sometimes that requires research. Matt and Chrissy from Sanity’s Side have genital piercings. I do not have genital or nipple piercings and neither does my husband. I spent a great deal of time in a local tattoo shop asking wildly inappropriate and personal questions. Luckily, everyone was uncomfortably forthcoming. Although I insisted I didn’t need to see, I found myself tilting my head in admiration. I left promising to never speak of this experience, but alas…

What are you working on now?
I am working on the fourth, and final book, in the series Sanity’s Edge. This is a sex and the single mom, steamy, romantic comedy. It is hysterically funny. It has moments that will make you cry, but not nearly as much as you will laugh. It will knock Sanity’s Side out of the water as my favorite. The couple meets in therapy. They are socially awkward, lack boundaries, and all respect for personal space. In short, they are loveably crazy and perfect for one another. I’m excited to share it with my readers.

What will you do when the series is complete?
Take a couple of weeks summer break. I will have released four books and a novella in eight months. The next series is The Fisher Men. It will catalog four brothers as they fall in love. They are Chrissy’s (Book 2 heroine) brothers. I am still playing with titles, so don’t pout if it changes. Book one The Fisher Men. Book two Hooked. Book three Towing the Line. Book four Sunk.

What advice would you give an aspiring author?
Write the book, save the book, and then figure things out. Most aspiring authors get so overwhelmed by the prospect of finding publishers, agents, editors, promoters, and designers they forget their first love. Write the book. Heck, write three books then jump into the world of what comes next. I also recommend local writing groups. I am a member of Romance Writers of America. If you aren’t sure where to start, there are several groups on Facebook.

What would you have done differently?
I would have taken my own advice. I would have written the entire series before releasing. I would have joined all the groups and gotten advice from the authors before me. I learned a lot by doing it wrong the first time. I might have had an easier time if I knew better.

If you could have the career of your choice and be guaranteed success, would you still choose to be a writer?
Heck no, I’d be a superhero. Anytime you can be a superhero… Be a freaking superhero! A writer is my second choice though *wink*

Friday, March 2, 2018

I may not be your cup of tea.

My books are too dark to be Romantic Comedies, too funny to be Dark Romance, too old to be new adult (although books 2 and 3 my characters start as children). I'm a little bit of everything and so there is going to be some unlikeable aspects. My point in this series is to have characters who can fall in love after a life-defining moment of darkness.

Why do I write about the lower facets of humanity? Before I published books, I worked a career in EMS. Your worst day, was my work day. I saw the vile and terrible things that humans did to one another day in and day out. I dealt with the aftermath of a fifteen year old girl who was gang raped at a party while onlookers pulled out their phones to video. One of those onlookers was her sister. I went home and hugged my own fifteen year old daughter, making sure my girls know they have a responsibility to protect one another. Before retiring to bed that night, I wrote about that broken girl. I described her stoic face, her dead eyes. The green blanket she was wrapped in while she shook violently. I wrote about her clothes being inside out, her underwear missing, and her attackers throwing her in a field from a moving van.

My story was about overcoming the darkness of that life-altering night. A superhero who despite having had the images of her unconscious body, being violated, circulate the interwebs, she would be okay. My own psyche needed her to be okay. In my version of her life she fell in love and lived happily ever after. In my imagination, she is my Chrissy. I named her after a women who also has a quiet strength she never recognizes. I named her after a woman who tells me, I am the person she pictures when asked who the strong person in her life is. A woman that doesn't see she is, too.

In my career My duty to my patients ended at the Emergency Room door. I was helpless in the prevention of their pain. I was helpless in their recovery. My imagination though, my imagination was powerful. In the book InSanity all of Jacob's patients were one day on the job for me. The adorable little girl that got into grandma's medicine, the engagement ring choker, and the smell one doesn't forget, are all actual people. That night ended with a paramedic stabbed by his patient. For the woman wandering around nearly naked, with bare feet and a baby doll, I filled in some blanks. I gave you a plausible reason for telling me your name was bad kitten. I gave you a story. Nobody saved you in real life, in my imagination you found someone to love you and take care of you, but you were too broken. I had to give your happily ever after to the neglected children we found in your home.

I realize not everyone is comfortable delving into that kind of darkness. I respect the squirm and no thanks of some readers. Please know, that some aspects of my stories stem from real life situations in which I was helpless. I changed the outcome. For the superheros that need to know life can be what you make it. Understand, that my writing about your nightmares, was therapeutic for me. I wrote my wishes for you. For my readers, these are the stories I needed to tell. Just like in real life the darkness in my stories is lifting. Sanity's Edge is still true to the intent of the series. Two people defying their circumstances to fall in love, it is done hilariously. The series will end with a laugh.

If I am not your cup of tea, I'm happy for you. I hope you never know anybody skating the lines of Sanity. I hope your love is uncomplicated. I hope you never have to survive. I hope you never have to hold someone so they don't fall apart. If you're not that lucky, I hope you find a way.


Trigger Warnings. Let's talk about it.

Let’s talk about it. After the release of Fisher Men X my <3, something was brought to my attention. I have a trigger warning in th...