Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Sure! The scarecrow in the field is whispering again. That is the opening line to my current work in progress, a novel called The Family.
Do you have a favorite character?
Of all time, or just from the current book? I love monsters and bad guys, as in super villains and evil geniuses not that guy my mom warned me about lol. So my all time favorite character right now is The Operative from the movie Serenity. If I had to pick one of my own characters I think I would go with Artemisia from my Spectrum Trilogy because she is just so unapologetic
What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
There were two. The first was discovering how little control you have over your work when you sign with a publisher. I was so unprepared and as a result I was a super unhappy camper but then when I was on my first convention circuit I started meeting self-published authors, comparing my notes with theirs made the decision to self publish going forward a pretty easy choice to make.
If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
I used an artist with every book cover. The cover for The Darkness was hand drawn in pencil by an artist named Yvette Montoya. I told her what I had in mind, she read a few chapters of the book and immediately fell in love with the very 1st concept she showed me. For Artificial Light I worked with an artist I meet via Deviantart and it took only 2 or 3 changes to get the final cover. I bought a stock photo and designed my own cover for And They All Lived Happily Ever After! It’s a pretty basic cover but I like it, one thing for sure is I am not a graphic designer so I’ll just stick to writing lol. For the 3rd book in the trilogy, and every cover afterwards I’ve worked with the artist RL Treadway. The 1st cover she did for me I was pretty involved but after that I’ve just given her my idea and she usually knocks it out of the park with the 1st design concept she sends back.
What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
Once I start writing it doesn’t matter what’s going on around me because I just zone out. Once I started writing while in a movie theater.
Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I just go where my muse takes me, it’s just so much more fun that way because I never know where I’ll end up.
Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
I do both. I have to have an editor. I can tell a really good story, but I commit all kinds of atrocities when I write it down because my written grammar is horrendous lol. My job as a storyteller is to tell a story, so I don’t self edit, I don’t know how to do it anyway, so I just write. I ‘clean it up’ the best I can before sending it to the editor but once it’s in her hands is when the real work begins because the rework process is always the hardest part of writing for me.
I hire a reviewer because no matter how good the editor is sometimes things get missed, so the reviewer is basically a proof reader who will catch all the little stuff we missed because they are not as close to the project as we are.
Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Yes! I am the worst social media updater in the world, plus I never know what to say. I don’t want to be that author who only posts excerpts, reviews, links to where you can buy my books … because after awhile it becomes the equivalent of online junk mail and once that happens it’s easy to ignore. Being on tour helps a lot because I get a boost in both interest and sales but I am going to have to find a way to sustain the interest over the long haul.
What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Do not self edit. Publishing your work without a professional editor is like getting dress in pitch darkness. And this is for anyone thinking about writing a book or newly published author, everyone is not going to fall in love with your work and you need to be okay with that.
How about some fun facts-which do you prefer? Dogs or cats, coffee or tea, vanilla or chocolate, morning or night?
Dogs! But sometimes cats rocks too, as far as the coffee vs. tea it’s a tie, vanilla to be sure and I’m a night owl all the way. Thank you so much for hosting a stop for me today, this interview was really fun.