When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I've always loved books, especially in elementary school. I was fascinated with Stephen King books at a young age (and the first book I ever wrote was a thriller - but that is still tucked away in a box). I've always loved writing too, particularly song lyrics and poetry - but I'm obsessed with romance movies/chick-flicks, so I thought I should start there with published work since that's where I'm at now.
How long does it take you to write a book? Realistically I can write one in just a few weeks, depending on how much spare time I have amongst my many other hobbies (a full-time job, two little people I'm in charge of, book editing for other people, a party planning side-gig, etc). But the real time/work is in the editing, which usually takes me months. So realistically it's my goal to get out 2-3 books a year - any more than that means I'm just slacking off on something else. :)
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? I hand-write everything. Literally, all of my books are written on legal pads. Who does that anymore?! Then I go and type them up after they're written. It's the easiest way for me to get down my thoughts, and I love the act of actually WRITING versus typing (however, my permanent finger callous disagrees). Going back through them to type them up helps me with the editing process.
Where do you get your ideas for your books? Well, I'm in love with love, so it makes sense I've gravitated towards writing romance novels. A lot of my books are a little bit true (though I would never admit who they're really about) but the rest is more like what I wish would have happened in those situations, versus what actually happened. So a little reality, a little bit daydreaming, and poof, I have a book.
What do you like to do when you're not writing? I have a lot of hobbies - I'm obsessed with parties (theme food, party planning, cooking, etc) and I also like crafty DIY projects, home improvement ideas, organizing things, etc. Although my life doesn't actually reflect that I am very organized. I don't even write at a desk - mainly because I can't see the desk.
What does your family think of your writing? My family is pretty awesome - they read everything, even if it's not their usual cup of tea. I am very blessed in that regard. And of course they tell me how great I am (even if they don't mean it) so that's a plus. A little disillusion keeps me going.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books? That it's very important to focus on OTHER people when I write, instead of focusing on myself. I essentially write for me, don't get me wrong - but I also have to keep in mind that just because I like a certain character (maybe because they remind me of myself, for example) I still have to be mindful of making them likeable to other people anyway - sometimes that's hard to do when I'm basing the character off a real person. Real people aren't always likeable - but unfortunately that seems to be an important element, especially in romance books. So I have learned to be more mindful of that.
How many books have you written? I have 6 completed so far, and I'm currently working on a 7th. I feel like I could sit down and write a hundred of them if I only had the time, but at least I'm learning a fabulous lesson in patience - which I suck at.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say? Well, the internet is an interesting place. There are people who love you and people who hate you (and even those who hate you that will keep buying/reading your books for some reason just to hate you repeatedly), but mostly genuine feedback is hard to come by. So many people finish a book and they're on to the next one, which is great - but they don't realize how much their feedback matters, especially to indie writers. Even if it's not a perfect review, maybe they were confused by something, or they just hated an element of the story - I still like knowing those things, because it's (wait for the cliche --) the only way I can get better. It sounds stupid, I know. But if no one tells me their issues about my books, I would just keep trucking along.
What are your future plans? Well, I hope to keep things about the same - is that a terribly boring un-motivating answer? I love that I can write books in my free time (it's a cheaper hobby than my prior shopping addiction) but I can still work a full-time job that keeps my brain sharp, I have time to spend with family, and I can use my imagination as little/much as I want. That's a wonderful thing. Some people never get the freedom of a wandering, beautiful imagination, and others are trapped there and struggle with reality. I feel like I've got a good hold between the two, so I'm pretty content hanging out right where I am. I want to write many more romances, but I would also like to dabble with my writing roots and release a thriller in the not-so-distant future - we'll see if I ever get the confidence to pull that off (insert family members telling me I'm awesome again...)
These are all the books I currently have available on Amazon.com - the first 3 are part of the Six Series - they are all standalones (no cliff hangers) but all involve the same characters, so they're better when read in sequence. The first book, Six Days, is Addie's story, while book two, Six Rules, is about Mallory and book three, Six Reasons, follows Megan.
Ten Seconds of Crazy, The Falling Kind, and Half-Truths are complete standalone separate from the others. They are all sweet, summer love stories - perfect for a day at the beach, or while you're cozied up inside during the dead of winter (when you're wishing for summer... :) Half-Truths is a Kindle Scout Selection - it was picked up for a publishing contract by Kindle Press.
Interested in a free copy of my books? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know if you'd like an ARC - this is an opportunity to get a free copy of my book in exchange for an honest Amazon review, which helps me out tremendously!