What is your latest book?
My latest book is called Unbreakable. This is a new adult romance featuring a heroine named Sophie Morgan. After having a tumultuous time in her teenage years, her parents decide to send her off to stay on a farm with her aunt and uncle in another state. That’s where she meets our hero, Miller Rhodes. And, of course, sparks fly!
What else have you written?
A lot of the books I’ve written up until now have been in the contemporary romance genre. Recently, I’ve also started to write in the new adult romance genre because I find it interesting to take characters from youth until they become adults. Often, these books are filled with more emotion and angst than a typical contemporary romance. For me, that’s fun to write. But it’s also fun for the reader because they get to go on a journey with the characters.
What do you think some of the greatest misconceptions about indie authors are?
I think the greatest misconception about indie authors is that we are inexperienced. Personally, I have a degree in journalism and a long history of working in that field, so writing is nothing new for me. However, a lot of people think that indie authors are somehow lesser than a traditionally published author, but that is simply not true. There are creative people in all walks of life, and some people just haven’t had the chance to get traditionally published.
What part of writing a novel do you enjoy the most? The least?
The part of writing that I like the least would be just the beginning sections of the book where all of the introduction has to be done. I love to write the action parts of the book, so it’s hard for me to go through the early process of letting the readers get to know the characters before jumping into the action.
The part of writing that I like the most is creating characters and situations out of thin air. I especially enjoy writing dialogue as I think it lets readers really get to know and identify with the characters.
Some authors, like me, always write scenes in order. But I know some people write scenes out of order. How about you?
I write all of my scenes in order. It’s just easier for me to do it that way. If I try to jump ahead and write scenes out of order, I risk losing some of the continuity of the story or missing out on important facts that I’ve included elsewhere. Also, if I write the action first, it becomes even more difficult for me to go back and write the less exciting scenes.
Is it important for you to know the ending of a book before you write it? The title?
When I start writing, I have at least some idea of how the book will end. However, I am more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants writer. Plotting and outlining is something I’ve tried, but it seems to stifle the creative process for me. However, before I start a book, I know who my characters are, at least somewhat, and I know what the overall idea for the story is. The title usually comes to me about halfway through the book.
Some writers edit excessively as they write; others wait until a novel is finished to do the bulk of the editing. How about you?
I don’t do a lot of heavy editing or revisions of my work, so the final draft is very much like the original draft. However, I do edit for spelling and grammar, and I do that as I go along. So I write for a period of time and then go back and edit that work before I start my next section of writing. I also run my book through a professional editor for spelling and grammar checks before it’s published.
Do you have any advice for first-time authors?
My advice for first-time authors is to just keep writing. You will improve your writing skills the more you write. You have to keep your butt in the chair and consistently put words on the screen in order to be successful in this business. If you allow people to knock you down or make you feel like you aren’t a good writer, you’ll quit too soon. Take the criticism constructively and use it to better your writing.
Please, tell us about your experiences with social media. What are your favorite and least-favorite parts of it?
My favorite thing about social media is that I get to interact personally with my readers. I spend a lot of time on Facebook and Twitter chatting with my readers, doing polls and doing giveaways of Amazon gift cards and other things. I’ve gotten to know a lot of my readers personally, and I know that they are a loyal fan base. I really don’t have a least favorite part of dealing with social media as I think it’s one of the most fun parts of being authors in this day and age.
We all know the old saying; you can’t judge a book by its cover. This is true. However, how much importance do you place on your book cover design?
Cover design is probably the second most important part of publishing a book. In fact, it might be the most important because no one is going to read your content if your cover doesn’t look good. I place a lot of importance on covers, and I hire mine out to a designer for that very reason. When I used to try to design my own covers, it was very obvious that they were homemade even though I used expensive software to do them. I think that most people should hire out for professional covers instead of creating their own even if they know how to.
Where do you live now? If you had to move to another city/state/country, where might that be?
I live in Atlanta, Georgia, and I was raised here. While I love the South and a lot of my books are set here, I would love to live closer to the beach. Maybe one day I’ll be able to do that! My big dream is to get a motorhome and be able to travel all around the United States anywhere I want to go at any time.
Care to brag about your family?
I have an amazing family. I’ve been married for almost 16 years to my husband, together for 18 years. We have three children ages 13, 12 and 10. They are turning into super people and are involved in lots of different activities including martial arts, music and ballet.
What music soothes your soul?
I love all kinds of different music, but I’m especially fond of piano music, blues and some jazz music. I listen to all kinds of music with the exception of very hard rock and alternative music, but when I write I like to listen to things that don’t have words so that I don’t get distracted.
What was the most valuable class you ever took in school? Why?
Being that I’m a writer, I would have to say that English class was the most valuable class I ever took in school. It was also the class that I always had the best grades in!
If you are a TV watcher, would you share the names of your favorite shows with us?
I do watch TV, and I get lots of ideas for my books from doing so. Some of my favorite TV shows… I really like reality shows like Survivor, Big Brother, The Voice and others. I’ve also been watching Days Of Our Lives since I was in the eighth grade, and we know soap operas can give you some great plot points for books!
What’s your favorite film of all times? Favorite book?
Being from the South, it’s probably no surprise that my favorite film and book are Gone With The Wind. I’ve always loved that movie and have seen it dozens of times since they shared it to us in our classroom in the eighth grade.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
My biggest pet peeve is when people are late. I’m always early or right on time, and I can’t stand it when people are late. I feel that it shows a lack of respect.
What are three things you think we can all do to make the world a better place?
The first thing is to dream big. I think that a lot of people put themselves in a box and don’t dream big enough to make real changes in the world. The second thing is to be kind to other people even if you don’t understand who they are. A lot of times we are unkind to people simply because they’re different from us. The third thing is to step out of your own problems and help other people. When you do that, your problems will seem small in comparison and you will be focused on helping them rather than what’s going wrong in your own life.
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