Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series or a stand-alone novel?
Enlightened is a paranormal romance that mixes witches, vampires and mystical healers with our modern world. It’s like a parallel universe just a smidge to our left. Loti Dupree has lost her husband to lung cancer and is floundering about trying to get her life back on track when this broody, motorcycle-riding vampire shows up and the attraction is nothing short of … mystical. It is the first in the Love and Light Series, with two more books coming out next year.
Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers or are you going the indie route?
Indie all the way. In this day and age, why wait? If you’re any good, agents and publishers will find you.
Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
Yes, and YES! My critique buddies have helped me so much. With this being my debut novel, I was very concerned with getting the page-turner element into the story – you know, the flow that makes it almost impossible for the reader to put it down. I learned a lot about how to keep that flow going from my crit group. They are my writing-lifeline.
What is your writing process? Do you like it quiet or prefer to have music playing?
I barrel through the rough draft as fast as possible, getting down the bones. Once I get my groove on, it takes over. I have to remind myself to stop to eat and oh, yeah, sleep. When it’s done, I put it aside for a few days and put it out of my mind. When I come back to it, I like to look for the glitches, the missing elements, the dropped strands and restructure if I need to. Then I flesh it out, so to speak. I prefer music, for the most part. I spend time picking out mood music. I actually have generic playlists for fight scenes, chases, and um, *whispers* sex scenes.
Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
Both, actually. I will start with the basic premise, characters and a general direction. Then I start writing and see where it takes me. I usually get to a point where I need to stop and outline a wee bit. I am finding outlining especially helpful with this next book in the series, Samskaras. Things are getting intricate and there are subplots and intrigue to carefully weave.
Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Absolutely! I can’t imagine not hiring an editor. We all need an objective eye to analysis the content and help us to kill our darlings. I also hired a separate proofreader.
Have you found it difficult to find time to write while juggling work, family commitments?
Yes, yes, yes and did I say YES! My husband has accused me of being obsessive when I am full-tilt writing, when I’m marketing and when I’m networking. I can put in 16 hours in a day and still be tweeting when I climb into bed. My 8 year-old will often stop by my writing desk and ask for the random hug – we negotiated this deal. He was constantly interrupting me with unnecessary questions because he wanted my attention. It was driving me bonkers. So, I sat him down and asked what it was he really wanted. In his darling, little boy voice he said, “You, momma.” *sniff*
What have you learned during your self-publishing journey?
Wow! So much. I have learned to schedule my time, even meals. If I don’t, it is way too easy to go down the networking rabbit-hole and get lost. I have read tons of articles on the subject, but the best resource? Your writing friends. We all learn something new every day and share it with each other. Like the other day, a fellow author had a short-story rejected by Amazon because she had already posted most of it for free on her website. The self-publishing world is so brand-spanking new that it hasn’t settled down into something 100% predictable. That’s why your writing groups and other indie related networks are so vital. I have also learned to pace myself, ask questions and never give up. Oh, and the most important lesson: take breaks.
Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
Yes. Smashwords, which distributes to Kobo and iBooks. I will have it available on Barnes and Noble, shortly.
Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Ahahahahaha! Yes! I laugh because this is exactly what I’m struggling with right at this moment. Here I am, doing this very pleasant interview, and my mind is working the story I also need to be writing. It’s like having a split personality, I would think, or at least being schizophrenic. There is a whole other world revolving in one part of my brain while I’m trying to focus on these interview questions and be my witty, amusing self, all at the same time. It’s a wonder I don’t space out *SQUIRREL* once in a while.
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