Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I found myself at loose ends when arthritis ended my illustrious career as a corporate drone. To keep busy, I started writing two years ago, as it’s something I can do at any time, from anywhere, as my body allows. I am the author of the paranormal romance series, Team Red. So far I’ve written 6 books (2 of them modified and re-released for PG-13 readers), and a couple novellas which were included in the Shades of Pink Anthologies 2013 and 2014.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book, Blind Luck: Team Red book 6 is due for release May 14th. It is the official conclusion of the Team Red series, although I’ve left the door open for possible stand-alones or novellas. I used to live in Reno, Nevada, so I was inspired to take the Team out of Spokane and send them across country for a mission.
The series is a romantic mix of military tech, police investigation, a strong-willed blind woman, a paranormal element featuring a German shepherd who can speak into his owner’s mind. lots of humor, and more sex than I’ll let my dad read (he’s only allowed to read the PG-13 versions of the series).
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I think authors are weird as a species, and we all have our quirks. I suppose my most unusual habit is my working schedule. It’s not unknown for me to wake in the middle of the night with a character plot or idea, which I have to type up right away.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I have an eclectic mix of authors I enjoy reading, but I can’t say I feel influenced by them. Writing was not my first choice as a career, I simply fell into it. I think I’m more influenced by friends and family, or things I see which trigger an idea for a character trait or situation.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on an Urban Fantasy trilogy called Posse. The first book, Posse: Legends, will release August 2015. Followed by Posse: The Dragon Gods (Winter 2015), and Posse: The Fall of Atlantis (Spring 2016). I was inspired by a documentary of Boudicca, a Celtic warrior queen; which had me thinking– what would happen if a band of historical heroes came together to fight supernatural criminals? The trilogy will be a blend of the supernatural, real history and historical figures, and mythology.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
As an Indie, I do a mix of promotion through Facebook, twitter, street team involvement, my blogs on Goodreads and Blogspot, and my author website. Bloggers are a huge part of my promotion, as they can get involved with cover reveals and release days. Another bonus is when a blogger follows the series and will feature their reviews in a spotlight.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Self-edit, then get an editor! Regardless of your degree in English Lit, or whatever experience you have, it is very rare for an author to see their own mistakes. We have a tendency to read what we meant, rather than what we’ve typed. A good editor is an investment if you are serious about writing as a career. Note: An editor is not there to fix your sloppy mistakes, they are to help. You have a duty to submit the best possible version of your book to the editor. Many, like mine, will do a sample edit of a chapter and quote a price based on the amount of work they have to do– the sloppier the writing, the more you pay. I’m a fairly “clean” writer and I’ll still pay almost $1000 for an 80k edit (in my case, this includes two passes by my editor).
I edit myself (searching my known quirks: over-use of that, just, and let’s, and the use of “I”),My team of 6-8 beta readers help with continuity, and after they read the rough draft, I re-edit before my editor does her initial edit. When I get my first edit back, I re-edit again, and send to two of my proofreaders. After I make corrections based on their (thankfully honest) feedback, I read the book aloud to myself as I do another edit before I send the book to my editor for the second pass. After making final changes based on her input (no matter how many eyes have been on it, there is ALWAYS something missed), I send it to my two original proofreaders and the other two who only read the final version. Based on proofreader feedback, I edit once more before I format the book for uploads to the writing platforms (like Amazon and Smashwords).
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Read your book aloud to yourself when doing a final edit. It’s amazing what you’ll catch.
What are you reading now?
I read over a book per day on average, and often I am reading more than one book at a time. Right now, Alphas on the Prowl anthology, Forgotten Sins paperback by Rebecca Zanetti, Crystal Dragon, and ARC for Lynn Mullican, and Venus Rising by Celia Kennedy.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’ve got the Posse trilogy mapped out and I’ve scheduled an additional 2 (unnamed) books with my editor (who is already pre-booked through early-2016 by now). After Posse, I will attempt a military romance series, probably called Wild Horse(s), Wild Horse Security, or Mustangs– it will feature some of the military men introduced in the Team Red series. I’ve received a lot of reader requests for Frost, one of the Team Red guards, to get his own story, so he’ll be the first book some time in mid-to-late-2016.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Oh man– I hate this question because there are so many great books and different genres out there. I’ll default to the book I’ve re-read the most, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I discovered this book in 1978 and I’ve gone through four copies. I’ve read it probably a dozen times.