Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
This past June, I published my debut novel — a murder mystery/superhero/sci-fi story called Bounty — and last month, I published a digital short called Boundless, which is a prequel to Bounty. Those are my first published works, but I am currently working on three novels at the moment — which are all in various stages of writing or revision. My second full-length novel, a Bounty follow-up called Blood Ties, is scheduled to be released in early January.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Bounty and Boundless feature a character I’ve had in my head in one form or another for almost 20 years now. When I was in high school, I had designs on being a comic book artist and I had just started creating my own characters. One of my creations was a female homicide cop who doubled as a costumed vigilante — and thus Bounty was born.
Over the years, my writing abilities have surpassed my artistic talents, and my growing desire to write a novel was what led to me turning Jill Andersen — the main character in Bounty — into a book character. It was a strange transition from panels and word balloons to straight prose, but I think the murder mystery elements were what really made the transition work.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Does the fact that I don’t really have any habits qualify as unusual? I don’t have a set routine or schedule or anything like that — mostly because my job is so unpredictable and time-consuming that trying to keep to a schedule is pointless. In fact, about half of Bounty was written in airports and on planes, because that was where I had the time and the opportunity.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Anyone who’s read Bounty probably understands the influence that comic books — superhero books in particular — have had on me, but aside from that, I don’t really have any overt influences. Joss Whedon probably qualifies, because discovering Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel really helped spur my creativity at a time where the well was dried-up, but I can’t really point to a single author or story and say that was the one that really spurred me on.
I will say, though, that every time I read something, I take a little bit away from that. Every time I read, no matter what I’m reading, I can feel myself becoming a better writer.
What are you working on now?
My second Bounty novel, Blood Ties, is in the revision stages and is on-schedule for a January 2016 publication. I’ve begun writing the third novel in the Bounty series, titled Behind the Badge, and I’m also working on two other novels: a supernatural epic called Notna and a first-person political thriller called The Pen is Mighty. I’m hoping to release those sometime in 2017.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Goodreads and social media have been my best bets so far. Twitter and Facebook can be tremendous promotional tools, if you know where to look and who to network with, and Goodreads is great not just because it serves as a database of so many books, but also because there are plenty of support groups and discussion boards in which you can brainstorm, converse, and commiserate with other authors.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Just write your story. Don’t worry about cover art or publication dates or editing or any of that stuff; those issues will have their time and place, and that is after you’ve written your first draft. And that’s what it is: a first draft. Don’t delete or discard anything; just write your story until it’s done. Then you can start focusing on the other stuff.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
The only way to improve as a writer is to write more and read more.
What are you reading now?
Driving Heat by Richard Castle, Children of Fate by Casca Green, An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, and Betrayal by Sharon Brownlie.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Ideally, branching out into other genres and spreading my proverbial wings as a writer. Hopefully, the more work I produce, the larger an audience I can attract. Eventually, I’d love to make a living off writing novels, but I’m clearly not there just yet.
What is your favorite book of all time?
This type of question is always so hard for me to answer, because I can never just come up with one book and label that my all-time favorite. I have a ton of books over the years that I’ve loved — Jurassic Park, The Da Vinci Code, the Harry Potter series, Kathy Reichs’ books — but I can’t elevate any one over the others.