Without her passions, she has no magic…
- Hmm… as a child I had a lot of visions about what I wanted to be! I wanted to a professional horseback rider. I wanted to train dogs. Interestingly, in my high school year book, I picked psychiatrist as what I would be in ten years. The reason I selected that career was because I wanted to help people feel better. Although I never followed that career path specifically, I do still very compelled by a need to help bring relief into other people's lives. That's one of the reasons I write romance—because it has a happy ending and gives the message that even when times seems so bleak and so tough, that there always hope. I recently published a book called THE FEEL GOOD LIFE which is a collection of essays that I wrote when I was struggling through time times. The essays were my attempts to redirect my life and to feel better, and I compiled them into a book in hopes that other people would read them and find relief as well. I belief that we all deserve to feel good, and my hope is that through my writing, whether it's my romances or my non-fiction, that I can bring that into people's lives, even if it's only a brief respite from whatever it is that they are facing.
- My next release is the third book in my funny & sexy Soulfire paranormal series. It's called HOLD ME IF YOU CAN, and it's coming next week! I'm also re-releasing my Alaskan romantic suspense series as eBooks in January with the books ICE and CHILL. And, I'm really excited about a new dark paranormal series I have called The Order of the Blade, which is coming out in 2012. The first three books are a trilogy, and the first one will be released in February, with the next two coming shortly thereafter. So, lots of action coming soon!
- I am always paying attention to everything that I see, hear, notice or experience, and tucking it away for inclusion in a book. You just never know when something will come up! My Alaska series was born one night while I was grocery shopping. I started chatting to the gal at the bakery, who told me how she had been living in Alaska training to be a bush pilot, but had to come home to take care of her ailing father. We started discussing Alaskan bush pilots (primarily a male occupation), and I became so interested in the kind of man who would risk his life every day to take care of others that my Alaskan bush pilot series soon came to life. You just never know where the ideas will come from!
- Oh, it's all tough! It can be really difficult to pull a complex idea together so it works well. I usually spend about the same amount of time brainstorming a book and outlining it, as I do actually writing it. If I do my prep-work well, then often the book will be written in even less time than it took to prepare it. The other thing I think is challenging with writing is the emotional aspect. It can be really daunting to write a book, to field rejections and criticism, and to critique your own work without feeling overwhelmed and hopeless. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to give yourself freedom to do the best you can and then let it be. Perfection is not a goal. The best you can do in that moment is all you can ask for, and it's always enough.
- My usual advice is to write a lot, start new books instead of revising old ones to death, join RWA and go to conferences to learn about writing. And, of course, continuing to read. But with the advent of self-publishing, I would add a caveat of DON'T SELF PUBLISH TOO SOON. I wrote 18 books before I sold my first book. Had self-publishing been an option back then, I'm sure I would have put up lots of those books, and it would have been a mistake. Why? Because the books weren't good enough. Recently, I decided to self-publish some of those old books, but when I went back to look at them, I realized that I would have had to completely rewrite them from scratch because they weren't high enough quality to put up. The truth is that we often think we are ready to be published when we aren't. Enter contests. Query agents. Write another book. And another. Eventually, when you start doing well in contests, and when you start getting good responses from agents, that will be a sign that you're writing well enough that maybe it's time for you to self-publish successfully. Until you can do well in those contests and get good responses from submissions, don't put your book up on Amazon. Putting up books that aren't ready will hurt you more than waiting a year will. Be patient. The opportunities aren't going away. They are simply getting better.