Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I have over 50 books written in several genres under a few different pen names. I write Romantic Suspense under Grae Lily, Cozy Mysteries & Psychological Thrillers under Ava Mallory and Steamy Romance under the name Jane Danger.
I’m an avid reader and read across all genres, so choosing one specific genre to write in was never an option for me.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is Milan’s Return. It’s a Southern Gothic Romance novel.
I love stories with suspense. I’ve always been attracted to old structures and the history that lives within the walls, but like many, I have just enough fear to not venture too far into them alone. I thought that by writing about an old structure and a haunted soul, I could live out a fantasy of mine and delve into the relationship struggles and triumphs that come into play when history, local folklore, and affairs of the heart all come together at once.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Do I ever! I write all the time. I mean, ALL the time. I can write in a room full of children or completely alone in my home office. Noise is never really a factor for me. I live with my bag of supplies draped over my shoulder at all times, day or night.
My supplies include my laptop, Alphasmart, notebooks, calendar, planner, and pens galore.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I knew I wanted to be a writer the moment I read my first Nancy Drew book. There was something about them that drew me to mysteries and solving them. I apply that basic theme to all books, whether I’m writing a steamy romance or a Cozy mystery.
Nothing in life is cut and dry and we always have to dig a little deeper to get to whatever it is that we desire.
What are you working on now?
Currently, I’m working on a Cozy Medical Mystery series. I have two books available for pre-order now and several just waiting to be written. I’m super excited about this series.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Facebook has been fantastic for me as far as marketing thus far. I enjoy making connections with readers, without having to use an in-your-face marketing technique.
It has helped me grow my fan base and build a street team that helps me promote and learn as I continue on this journey.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
My advice would be to keep writing, even when you think you can’t. I’ve had many obstacles along the way and I’ve kept at it.
My second crucial piece of advice is do not skimp on editing. I realize it can be costly, but it is an absolute must. Trade services or use beta readers at the very least, but do have your work edited. It makes all the difference in the world.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
The absolute best advice is to follow my heart and not focus on trends or the almighty dollar. Granted, there’s a lot of money to be had by following trends, but for me personally, I feel better about who I am and what I do by writing what I want to write and not hedging all my bets the latest fad.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading a Cozy Mystery by Amanda M. Lee. Truth be told, I’m reading three of her books right now.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’m participating in Camp Nanowrimo and have set a pretty lofty word total goal for myself. I’d like to get 120,000 words written in the month of July. That equates to two first drafts for my Cozy Mystery series.
That’s my main focus for the summer. In the fall, I’m adding several new novels across my main name and my pen names.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott