Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
What do you do when your Prince Charming turns out to be toad—is the premise behind Ever After. Roz and Eden, childhood best friends who have drifted apart re-kindle their friendship when they each find themselves at a marital crossroads.
Do you have a favorite character?
Eden’s mother, Ann, is one of my favorite characters. She was so much fun to write because she says whatever is on her mind. Eden is very reserved, but finds herself caught between two generations of fierce determination, an opinionated mother and her own stubborn young daughter. Ann was so strong-willed I had to be careful not to let her dominate the novel.
Are you currently under a traditional publishing contract for future books or do you have manuscripts that you will self-publish? Are you doing both?
Two of my romances are published with The Wild Rose Press under my pen name, Mariposa Cruz. Both of my chick-lit titles are self-published under Susan Winters. Through my romance writer colleagues, I have been referred to wonderful folks for editing, formatting and cover design services, so for my future manuscripts I will self-publish.
What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
After collecting several favorable rejection letters, I realized my novella, Mixed Blessings would be a better fit as an e-book. Ever After is my second self-published title. While working with a small press has been a positive experience, I have really enjoyed being directly involved in the production of my books.
If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
I was referred to Harris Chandler by a mutual author friend. I gave Harris the frog prince graphic, the book blurb and told her I’d like a cover similar to one she did with vector characters. With those general parameters, she produced an amazing cover that fits the story perfectly.
Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
I was referred to an excellent editor who provided an initial first chapter edit as sample of her style. I think the sample edit was helpful for us to get to know each other prior to being locked into a large project.
What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I have two separate blogs and facebook pages.
http://createontheside.wordpress.com/ features posts on people who pursue their creative interests while working fulltime as well as my freelance writing and women’s fiction.
http://mariposacruz.blogspot.com/ features interviews with romance authors, classic horror movie reviews and my romance titles.
Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Yes, whenever I’m working on one I always feel like I’m neglecting the other. Maintaining two separate blogs is also a challenge. Since I have longer blocks of time during the weekend, I focus on my current WIP on the weekends. During the evenings after work I write and upload blog posts.
What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
The good news is that there are so many opportunities and resources available for self-published authors. But it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the vast variety of choices—do you hire someone to do editing, formatting, cover design, blog tours or do you try to do it all yourself?
Think very carefully about what is the best use of your strengths and resources.
Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
Like Roz from Ever After, I love to cook and experiment with new recipes. My most recent passion is salsa dancing, the music is so sexy. For a writer it’s wonderful because there are so many stories out there on the dance floor. In fact, my current WIP is a contemporary romance set in the Reno salsa scene.