Awakening: Book One of The Geis is a young adult fantasy that is based in Celtic mythology. It is set in Star Valley, Wyoming, and has Celtic mythology, Irish dance, sign language, a dragon, banshees, teen love, twenty-something love, and a murder mystery. Phew!
Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
Aunt Avril, an eccentric clairvoyant who works for the FBI, was not even in the first few drafts of Awakening. It seems weird now, because she is a major character and it changed the entire novel when I found her. Once she showed up on the page, Aunt Avril took over and it was so easy to write her character.
Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
I did not even send out one query for Awakening. I knew that I wanted to self-publish and it’s been such a fantastic ride!
What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
I love having creative control over my work, and I like to have goals, not set deadlines. I have a good presence on the web, and an entrepreneuring spirit, and I am willing to work hard. And my husband is fantastic at cover and layout. A perfect combo!
If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
I was very involved. My husband, Devon Dorrity, designed and created my cover and I am so pleased with the way it turned out. We hired a model and a photographer and did a photo shoot. I have to say that photo shoot was one of the highlights of creating the book!
Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I love my critique group. We meet once a month and it really helps me to continue putting out new content. It helps so much to read early writing to a willing ear.
Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
With Awakening I wrote by the seat of my pants, but I ended up with so much editing! I am currently working on a major outline for book two.
Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Absolutely! It’s amazing how many mistakes I can’t see because I’m too close to the story. I had four editors for this book, including one from Ireland to check for consistency in the Celtic mythology.
What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
If I don’t champion my book, who will? I am responsible for getting my books into the hands of readers.
What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Learn everything you can about the craft and give it time.
Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I am a Champion level Irish dancer and I’m currently training for the World Irish Dance Europeans and World Competition in April 2014.
What’s next for you?
Book Two in The Geis comes out in 2014, and the final volume in The Book Blogger’s Cookbook will release in 2014 as well.