Monday, May 26, 2014

My Author Interview with 'Indie Booknerd Writes' book blog

Over the weekend, I was interviewed by the lovely Nancy from Indie Booknerd Writes Book Blog.  I can honestly say, I have never had such a fun time at an interview!  Here is the transcript of the interview (you can see her book review along with this entire interview here).

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Congratulations on your first book. How do you feel now that the day has arrived?
Honestly, I’m kind of exhausted!  I actually had to lie down and take a nap in the middle of the day.  I guess once everything was said and done, I felt like I could finally breath and relax and my body was like ‘sure, let’s do that!’

What was your inspiration for Baylin and Luana characters?
Well the story as a whole (which include Baylin and Luana) stemmed from a dream I had one night.  Now Baylin, he was inspired by actor Richard Armitage (I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that lol).  For Luana, I had an idea in my mind and when I encountered model Laura Witt-Deal (who is on the cover of the book) it was like I was staring into the face of Luana.  I never imagined I would find someone who was a reflection of who I imagined.

What advice would you give to new authors seeking to enter the Indie World… i.e what resources or books might you suggest?
I still consider myself very new, to be honest.  However, the love and help of many other authors was what brought me through it.  As a reference, reading Susan Kaye Quinn’s book Indie Author Survival Guide is a must.  Also, for helpful advice, there is a group on Facebook called Indie Author Group and they are just a wealth of knowledge and super nice.  My best advice is, don’t be afraid to admit you’re new and ask questions!

Having gone through the process, what do you think is the toughest part about self-publishing and being a first time author is?
Well I can tell you the easiest part was actually writing the book!  I would say the hardest part is the promoting aspect. I feel like a sleazy used car salesman, and I hate it.  I just want to write, but I know I also need to get my name out there.

I like the historical fantasy feel of this book. Was it hard to write?  Did you have to do a lot of research to get your facts first before writing?
I am big into research. I actually have three difference series’ going on right now and every one of them I am researching to make sure they feel authentic.  With a Fantasy, it’s a bit easier because you have creative liberties. However, I still wanted to feel authentic with the royal titles and addresses, proper names for weapons, armor and clothing.  It is make believe, but I want the reader to feel like it ‘could’ be real.

The title is The Bed Wife Chronicles. What plans do you have for this series and what do you anticipated the challenges to be?
This will be a three part series, and be warned, I like my cliff-hangers!  Mind you, the series itself will end well (no cliff-hangers, promise!).  This may be a spoiler but I do believe every story should have a Happily Ever After. We live in a world where bad things happen; reading is where we go to escape that reality. We (at least I) need that Happily Ever After.  The biggest challenge of that will actually be ending the series.  Making sure all the questions have been answered, all the twists have been turned and leave the reader feeling satisfied and happy.

As a first time author, I know writing can take you away from your family. In addition to writing what other “hats” did you have to juggle during the writing process?
I am a wife and a mother of three children who all have bigger social lives than I do!  My youngest is only five, yet she is on the USA Gymnastics team (Olympics here we come… hopefully), so her schedule alone has me going crazy. Then there is my son in boy scouts and then my eldest daughter who is already thinking about colleges (she’s only 12!) and has herself enrolled in extra-curricular activities (not to mention boys and school dances).

Besides being a mom, I’m also the owner and operator of my own bridal business that makes and ships items all over the world (literally, I have sold to every state in America and nearly every country in the world).
So needless to say, writing, right now, is a part time job!

This is a two part question.  One, is The Bed Wife the first thing you have written?  And, two, what were some of the challenges you had to overcome in the writing process?
I have written since I was pretty young. I wrote songs, poems and short stories; many of which received awards.  I also write a 111 chapter fan fiction about the Backstreet Boys when I was seventeen! It’s so embarrassing to say that!  So writing wasn’t new to me, but the idea of it being worth reading was.

I think my biggest challenge was my own self-doubt. I have this idea that people want to sugar coat things. They tell you its good when it’s not.  I don’t want to be that person that goes on American Idol and gets blindsided because they really thought they could sing, you know?  So I was definitely scared that my story wasn’t nearly as good as everyone was saying.  But then as more people read it and book blogs started reviewing it, I started to think “Yea, maybe it is a pretty good story!”
9.    What advice would you give to a new author when trying to research cover designers, editors, formatters as well as managing the cost of the writing process.

As around!  There is no shame in reaching out to a fellow author and saying “Who did your book cover?” “Who could you recommend for an editor?” 
Like I said earlier, author groups like the Indie Author Group and stocked full of information and recommendations. They will give you an honest opinion and help lead you in the right direction. Word of mouth recommendations are far more valuable than who pays the most for advertising so they show up in your internet search.

I love the nature of the relationship in The Bed Wife. How the friendship and intimacy goes beyond most adult romances. Explain a little bit of what you hoped your readers would get reading the book.
Though there are some very steamy adult scenes in my book, they are very limited.  I love the butterflies; the anticipation of love. That is what I wanted to write about. Not how two people fell in love at first sight, but about two people who had to learn to love one another.  My hope is that readers will feel those butterflies and get excited or even a little mad at me! Because when the result they have desired through the whole read finally comes, it will be worth the wait.

Do you think you will ever write in any other genres besides fantasy/historical/ romance and if so other genres interest you?
I think so. I don’t want to limit myself (especially with as many ideas as I have in my head!).  I have a modern romance in the works as well as a zombie/vampire tale that I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with it, but I like it so far!  I even have a few ideas for some other books (sorry, top secret!) that I have notes on.  I guess we will see. After all, I have just gotten my toes wet with this first book.

I am that person who cries over fictional characters like when Dobby dies in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Was there any character or scene that was tough to write?
Dobby dies!?!  Call spoiler alert next time will ya!  Just kidding, yea, I cried too.

First thing first, I don’t believe in killing off the main characters.  I have been burned a lot lately with my book choices (the ones I read). Everyone keeps dying!  I need a Happily Ever After, so no ‘Romeo and Juliet’ tragic love deaths here. 
I think writing the battle scenes, the male interactions, is harder for me. I want to write it with a good balance of masculinity and femininity.  After all, I don’t want him to come off sounding like a gushing school girl, but I don’t want him to be a testosterone filled pig either. I would like the reader to feel like they are really hearing it from the guy’s point of view.

You have shared that your family encouraged you to write. Are there any you wish to acknowledge and mention now?
Well my husband has definitely been by my side from day one. When I brought him the first draft of The Bed Wife and said “I think I wrote a book” he didn’t even know I had been attempting to!  But, being the faithful husband, he grabbed it from my hands and began reading and editing it.  He has read it more times than I have!  I think of everyone in my family, he definitely has been the one constantly encouraging me and helping me. I couldn’t have done it without him.

What would you say your preferred style of writing is for example? I prefer to read books with a HEA (Happily Ever After) ending. Do you have a preference and if so what?
I definitely require a Happily Ever After.  As for a writing style, I prefer third person. I don’t writing “I ran across the room into his arms” as much as “she ran across the room into his arms.”  Third person is much more comfortable to write (at least for me).

The ending of The Bed Wife was so tough for me because I wanted to know what happens next. When might fans expect book two to be released?
Yea, call me the cliff-hanger Queen (though I try to end mine so you feel like you have had some satisfaction). I know a lot of people aren’t big into cliff-hangers, but I ask you, why do you watch certain television shows? Many of them end with a cliff-hanger type ending so that you will get excited for next week!
It’s hard to say too much without giving spoilers away to those who have yet to read book one. I can tell you that there are still some trials and tribulations to be had for the couple. There will be an introduction of a new character that will throw a wrench in Baylin and Luana’s life.

I don't often see trolls used as villains what prompted you to choose them?
I don’t know if they are villains so much as ‘bad guys’. Villain implies intelligence, and these things certainly do NOT have that! Haha!

I’m a lover of fantasy; Lord of the Rings is definitely one of my inspirations. I love the idea of worlds with elves, dwarves, trolls and dragons. It was a very natural place to go in my mind.

17.    Before I ask my final question I want to thank you for taking a moment to sit down and talk with me. Thank you! My question are: What signings do you plan to do in the next year? Where might fans go if they want to meet you? How might new fans follow you through social media?
Thank you for having me!  This has been fun!

As of this year, being so new, I don’t have any conventions that I will be attending as a signing author (though I will be attending some to get to know other authors and take advantage of informational seminars and such). In 2015 I am signed up as a guest author for Penned Con in St. Louis!
I live in Southwest Missouri, so if anyone is out this way and wants to have coffee, they are more than welcome to drop me a line!

There are numerous ways to keep in touch via social media.

One final question, just for fun. If you could have anything in the world what would your perfect day include?
Oh, well, if you promise not to tell my husband! I would have to say spending the day listening to actor Richard Armitage read a book to me. Have you heard that man’s voice?!

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