Do you have a favorite character?
Oh absolutely. When I started writing The Emerald Tablet, I actually hated Dio. But then, as the book and her character developed, I began to love her. Although she’s not the ‘main’ character in my view, she is definitely a secret favorite of mine.
Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
Surprisingly, yes. Originally, Axios was set to be a minor character without a plot changing role. But as I was beta testing the book, so many people (girls) loved him (and I loved him too), that his influence has gradually become more pronounced. By book three (which I’m writing right now), he has just as many scenes as any other character.
If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
I did use the publisher’s designer. In The Emerald Tablet, I was fairly involved. Because the symbol was on Leoros’ forearm, I knew what it had to be. For the most part, my instructions to the designer were: ‘Create a logo that is of a double headed dragon with each head facing the opposite direction, but make it nice enough where it could be a tattoo.’
Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I honestly don’t, though I do recommend everyone do it. That is one of those things I would’ve done over if I had a second chance.
What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
There’s a lot of debate on this one. I used to listen to music when I write. Now I like silence. But, the more I’ve been travelling for the book promotion, the less time I have to find that “perfect writing setting”. I always remind myself that J.K. Rowling finished writing Harry Potter in a hotel room while she was travelling for book promotion. As a professional, I think you have to learn how to write in a busy airport terminal, a café, a hotel room, or in your quiet perfect cave at home. Otherwise, you’ll always have an excuse why you never finished.
Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
With the Emerald Tablet I had a four paragraph outline of the story. With The Soul of the World (book 2), I had a scene by scene outline. With The Island of Shadows (book 3), I’ve been writing with no outline to see where the story takes me and I’ll cut what is bad. So I’m trying a lot. I think a combination works best, though. Have a beginning, have an end. But everything else in between should be the muse.
What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I have my own blog, where I do book reviews, talk about writing and the shows I go to, I also talk a lot about Egyptian gods and goddesses and mythology/religion. I’m on Facebook all day, I’m on Twitter a lot too but less than Facebook.
Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Not particularly. Both of them take a lot of time, but I just make a schedule. From 10a.m.-12, I schedule all my marketing posts and respond to emails. From then on writing. Or whatever. Just set boundaries and use Hootsuite or another scheduling service.
What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena? Take your time. There is no rush. The world doesn’t need another bad self-published novel. Everyone’s looking for the next greatest self-published novel. So breathe, relax, the world isn’t going to come to an end if you don’t get your book out in 6 months. Learn your craft.
Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I secretly wanted to be a rock star. I play guitar, clarinet, and saxophone and I write songs.