Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book?
My latest book is actually a trilogy of short contemporary romances titled West Coast Girlz. The three individual stories are: California Girl, Glamour Girl, and Party Girl. They’re tales of three friends living large in L.A.
Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
Yes. Both. I was told to write something more “inside the box” because no one would be interested in my stories. (As an aside note, to date, I’ve sold over 100,000 books.)
How are your story ideas born?
Different places, really. Sometimes I’ll hear a song. Sometimes it’s a news report or a documentary. All leave me with lingering “what if” questions.
Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing? Yes, I do. And yes, they have. They’re a small group of trusted writers and they catch the redundancies and inconsistencies amid my typos.
What’s your favorite part of the writing process?
I really enjoy the earliest part of the creation process. This is when the characters reveal their stories to me. If I become completely caught up in it, then I know I might be on to something.
What factors influenced your decision to self-publish to Amazon?
Having had bad experiences with a couple of small presses and e-publishers, self-publishing on Kindle became an attractive alternative a couple of years ago after reading about Karen McQuestion’s success.
What is your writing process?
I like to do all my “homework” before I sit down to write. I prefer to know the basics of the story before I jump in and start writing. I also like to do most of my editing as I go along, but I’m open to and often do find myself going back and making revisions when I get a great idea midway through the story.
How long did it take to write your latest release?
It took about three months to write the trilogy, which is about 23,000 words.
Do you have a favorite line or scene from your latest release?
I do love the opening of California Girl:
The chatter of raindrops coaxed Veronica Stanford awake. Soft, luxurious, indulgent bedding pleased her naked body and compelled her to keep sleeping.
Naked! What the—?
Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Yes. I wouldn’t release a book without it.
What have you learned during your self-publishing journey?
I’ve learned that this is a wonderful time to be an author.
Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale? Yes. Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords and iTunes.
What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I’m on Facebook and twitter (although I rarely tweet). I have ads at various romance review sites and I try to get my name on as many blogs as I can.
Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Yes. The time I spend setting up and handling promotion demands a great deal of my time—roughly three to four hours a day—time I’d prefer to be writing.
What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Follow your dreams!
What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on The Marriage Caper, a follow-up to The Marriage Bargain, featuring Andre and Tasha.