Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia and have been living in the U.S. (Nashville, Tennessee) since 2008, with my soulmate (Robert) and two naughty black cats (Vali and Thor). I have three books published (ebooks and paperbacks). They are part of a quadrilogy – called “The Storming Archives”.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
“Totem Shift” is Book 3 in the Storming Archives. We’ve followed Delwyn through the mirror to the world of dreams in “Delwyn of the Realms” then traversed the hellish realm of Nidar in “Portal Stormer”. Delwyn and the Portal Stormers must now face their most difficult mission – to learn how to shapeshift into their totems in order to slip unnoticed into the realm of animal spirits – known as Erankorun.
The Founders are coming to destroy the Realms – including Aletheia (Earth). Delwyn must now lead the charge to Erankorun – through provinces where animal spirits have finally found a safe haven away from humans. Delwyn and the Portal Stormers must do their best to stay in Totem Shift. They need to make their way to the Ural of Erankorun – who must be convinced to join the Realms and create a united front.
Delwyn travels through a variety of bizarre worlds and forges a tighter bond with her fellow Stormers – who are a motley bunch of characters from all over the Universe. She meets a new man who possesses the same “mental afflictions” as herself. Could this be her destiny? Can she avert the destruction of Aletheia – not to mention the Realms? Will Delwyn and Ross need to be the new Adam and Eve?
A percentage of sales will go to various animal rights and protection groups.
I adore Angela Carter, Anais Nin, H.P. Lovecraft, Helen Garner (Monkey Grip was the first novel I became addicted to – in my teens. I re-read it many times). I’m an avid fan of the Beat Generation – especially Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs. I love reading surrealistic novels (On the Road by Jack Kerouac is one of my favorites), fantasy, horror, erotica, poetry and anything else which strikes my fancy at any given time.
I’m inspired by all the above, as well as music by artists such as Kate Bush, Tool, Concrete Blonde, Soulfly, Pink Floyd and many more. I’m heavily influenced and inspired by Vali Myers (Australian artist), Alex Grey, Mark Ryden – I could go on and on!
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I utilize cues from a variety of genre’s and mediums. I make story boards using Paint, Corel Draw, Powerpoint and Excel. I also have Pinterest boards where I curate pictures that inspire me. I like to create playlists with music and songs that have the same atmosphere and vibe as the stories and characters – playing in the background as I write.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
As advised in the answer above – Angela Carter (The Magic Toyshop, Love, My Bloody chamber), Anais Nin (Henry and June, Ladders to Fire, Delta of Venus), H.P. Lovecraft, the Beat Generation writers and so on.
In regards to fantasy – I love Madeleine L’Engle ‘s – A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Piers Anthony’s – With a Tangled Skein, Terry Brook’s – The Sword of Shannara, Penelope Farmer’s – Charlotte Sometimes, Lucy M Boston’s – The Children of Green Knowe, and many more.
What are you working on now?
A novel (not fantasy this time!) about a doomed lover’s triangle, called – The Willow Lake Group. It’s about a young man who falls in love with a woman’s handwriting, while an older man with a checkered past wins out and get’s the woman for himself. It’s full of colorful characters, magical recipes and a reverence for poetry – set in the make-believe town of Willow Lake (somewhere near New England.)
I also have ten other projects – including a strange horror – in the works.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Still looking – but I currently mostly use Twitter, Google-Plus, WordPress, Co-promote, Book Buzzr and so on.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write like crazy and don’t look back until you’re done. Then start at the beginning and revise several times before giving to someone to proofread. Try and get beta readers to give feedback before publishing. As you write, highlight whatever you think needs fact-checking or research, then check at the end or as you go.
Don’t allow yourself to become bamboozled by what others are doing or saying. Learn to develop your discriminative senses and sort through the chaff carefully. What works for someone else might not work for you. Be wary of services that require you to sign on and pay a nominal amount each month – when you can find cheaper or free alternatives. (In terms of promoting and marketing, etc.)
Sign up for newsletters or publications about writing – such as Poets and Writers, Writer’s Digest, etc. Link up with other writers and find a good, supportive network. Book Country is a nice place for networking and feedback.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“First thought, best thought” and “Re-writing is censorship”. I was the kind of writer who fussed over eveery line and paragraph – which slowed down the creative flow. Once I dropped the pettifogging nit-picking and just let the words flow, I found that the “magic” opened up. Before I knew it – I had a rough draft of a manuscript – ready for revision, which can be just as fun and creative.
Of course, I could easily shoot down both of those quotes – but for the first draft, they are golden rules. The second draft is where you can start editing and revising – as long as you don’t lose the initial spark.
What are you reading now?
The Red Book by C.G. Jung.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I have a wonderful, supportive husband who is encouraging me to focus on my writing full time, so I am quitting my job (last day will be 1/4/16!) I will be freelancing and writing my butt off in 2016.
What is your favorite book of all time?
On the Road by Jack Kerouac.