Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Hi! I’m Lily, a new author published with Vamptasy Publishing. I love vampires, the night, anime, manga, and anything horror (but I am also a sucker for 19th century romance novels). I love poetry and reading (obviously).
My debut novel, “Stake-Out (Paranormal Detectives Book 1)”, was published on 5/19/15, and I’ll be telling you more about it below. I also have a short story in the Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly anthology “Love Sucks”. It’s titled “Undead Ever After” and is about a vampire hunter who falls in love with a vampire. I also have an erotic horror story that will be published in the Hot Ink Press anthology “Death, Love and Lust” (release date TBA).
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest work is also my first, “Stake-Out”. It is the first book in what I plan to be a four book series and it follows disgraced Chicago detective Danny Mancini as he discovers that paranormal creatures exist and he is recruited by the beautiful Angelica Cross to work for a special division of the FBI to hunt down the rogue vampire Vincent, who is terrorizing Chicago.
As he and Angie get closer, old enemies resurface and past lives come to light to make things even more difficult.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Well, I never outline anything. It goes from my head to the page. I don’t have a “schedule”, I just try to get in between one and two thousand words per day. I like to write with TV or music in the background. Much of “Stake-Out” was written to music, and I put song lyrics at the front of every chapter.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
When I was a young adult, I discovered the classic writers who influenced me most: Edgar Allan Poe, J.R.R. Tolkien, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Charlotte Bronte, Bram Stoker, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu and Shakespeare.
For modern writers, my biggest influence is Stephen King. I also give credits to my favorite paranormal authors for inspiring me to follow in their footsteps: Ellen Schreiber, Terri Garey, Darren Shan and Heather Brewer (now known as Zac Brewer). Their work shaped my childhood and adulthood.
I also get inspired by the authors with CHBB and its subsidiaries. There is so much amazing talent there, and I love seeing their work ethic. It’s very inspiring to be in a community like that.
What are you working on now?
The second book in the Paranormal Detectives series is with my publisher now, and I have just started writing the third book. I wish I could say more, but I can’t!
I’m also working on a couple of short stories for upcoming horror anthologies: one about horrors of the mind and another about demons who possess wearers of secondhand clothing.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I do EVERYTHING. I love utilizing sites like this one, but I also use Twitter, WordPress and of course Facebook to promote myself. I spend over two hours a day on promotion, and it is well worth the effort. In indie publishing, you have to work very hard to get your name out there.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don’t EVER give up! I got countless rejection letters (some that were so bad they made me cry), but I have a wonderful mother who encouraged me and never let me quit.
So that is my only advice: never give up and work hard. It will all pay off someday.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
I think the best advice I ever heard came from “On Writing” by Stephen King: the road to Hell is paved with adverbs, read as much as you can, always be true to who you are when you write.
I think every aspiring and professional author should read that book. It is an invaluable tool on your arsenal.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading a lot! Of course, the new Stephen King book is amazing. I love Suanne Laqueur’s new book “Give Me Your Answer True”. Very deep and beautiful.
I am a huge fan of paranormal romance author Lisa Kessler. I think she is one of the most talented people in the industry today.
Darren Dash (the alter ego of Darren Shan) has an awesome new book called “Sunburn” I devoured in two nights. He is so good at what he does.
I just finished “Scarred” by Elizabeth Montgomery, which I recommend to everyone who has ever been bullied. The Storm Chronicles by Skye Knizley are some kick-ass vampire books I highly recommend. I’ve also recently enjoyed “Descendant” by LJ Amodeo and “Whitby After Dark” by Stella Coulson. If you’re a comic book fan, the “Starblood” graphic novel by Carmilla Voiez is just…wow. Finally, “The Devil’s Gate” by Rue Volley is an erotica book I really liked. It was very different and very entertaining.
I read so much I could just keep going haha!
What’s next for you as a writer?
I hope to keep publishing novels and short stories, and to keep gathering readers from around the world. This has never been about monetary gain for me, it has always been about knowing that people enjoy my work and want more.
Whenever I see a review that says, “I can’t wait for the next book”, my heart soars. It’s the best feeling, as a writer and as a reader, to know my work made an impact on someone’s mind. All I want to do is keep going till the well of imagination is dry.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Believe it or not, that would be “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte. I first read it when I was sixteen, and it was the first book that made me cry and had a real emotional impact on me. Mr. Rochester was my ultimate “book boyfriend” and I wish people still wrote such wonderful romances like that. (I can’t; I’ve tried.)
It was about female empowerment, pride and standing on one’s own two feet and needing no one to help you. Jane is the ultimate leading lady.