Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am the author of The Blood Moon, which will be out August 1st and is currently up for preorder. My second book will be out in February 2016 and I’m currently working on my third book. Beyond my fiction writing, I work at a local history magazine as an assistant editor and I’ve contributed several articles about the history of the area I live in. I also work at a pet store part-time, which is really just an excuse to hang out with my friends.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The Blood Moon was inspired by my love of magic. I wrote it when I was 15 and I didn’t have a life. I would come home from school and write, write, write. My love for magic has softened now, but it’s still present. I choose to exercise that passion through my writing now, which will hopefully be a lot more profitable. If not, at least it was fun!
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Nothing unusual, really. I like my quiet space, my comfy pants, and a glass of water. But even without those, I can still punch out some words. I can’t promise they’ll be any good, but I can get them out.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I’ve been asked this before, but the answer really is just a great story. I’m pretty open to genre and the author doesn’t usually matter to me (if you can write a good story, I don’t really care who you are). I’ve read all across the board and have found books that have drawn me into the book so that I didn’t want to put it down. That’s the kind of writing I strive for. I don’t believe I’m there yet, but I’m working on it.
What are you working on now?
I just sent my second book to my editor today and I’m already about a third into the first draft of my next book. I haven’t really written a first draft since last winter, so it’s great to finally get back to basics and just write without worrying about plotting, character development, or grammar.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m still new to this, so I’m not sure. I’ve been told that Bookbub delivers the best results for the price, but I’m sticking to free sites now. I’m also trying other forms of marketing, namely getting my face out there so people know who I am. I’m on forums, social media, blogs, anywhere that I go online that I can also include my photo or my book cover is good.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Well, I’m a new author so I don’t really feel entitled enough to dole out advice, but I’d say to remember why you’re doing it to begin with. You love writing, so make sure you leave time to write. Make sure the other parts of publishing don’t consume you so much that writing isn’t fun anymore. Scale it back if you have to. The great thing about self-publishing is that you decide how much or how little you consume yourself with it.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
To be a good writer, you have to be an avid reader. I think it’s important because it supports your love of words and how to use them. I’m not a fast reader, but I read at least 4-5 books while writing one of mine. That means that I’m influenced by 4-5 authors and their writing styles. I think those influences, blended with your own writing style, creates a uniqueness to each book that varies from book to book, even from the same author.
What are you reading now?
I’m almost done with David Gaughran’s Let’s Get Digital and then I’ll be starting Arts & Entertainment by Christopher Beha.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Finishing the first draft of my third book and getting the second book ready for publication.
What is your favorite book of all time?
You expect me to pick just one? I have hundreds! Here are a few: Firestarter by Stephen King, Harry Potter by JK Rowling, A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer, The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Steadman, Old Magic by Marianne Curley, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Deadline by Chris Crutcher, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, and the list goes on…