Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I live in southeast Wisconsin with my husband Jason and our two sons. I have a full-time job in the corporate world, but I love to write and wish I could focus solely on that! I also love taking walks, riding my bike (especially with my kids), baking, playing the piano, and spending time with my family.
I currently have one published book, a contemporary Christian romance named Blast From Her Past. But I have two more in the works – Christmas in Meadow Creek (a novella due out this 2018 holiday season) and another contemporary Christian romance under contract with no set publication date yet (still in the early stages on that one :)).
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Blast From Her Past was written around one scene in particular. I had this vision of two people who really couldn’t stand each other suddenly stranded in a snowstorm and forced to work through their differences to stay warm and ultimately alive. The details evolved a little as I put the vision into writing, and the rest of the story got fleshed out as I went.
Since I work from home for a large corporation, it was easy to create a main character who did the same. And her relationship with her sister in the book was similar to my relationship with my sister in real life, but none of the characters or situations were consciously based on real life people/events … just some of the minor details and actual names.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
When I have an idea for a scene but not enough time or patience to fully flesh it out, I type the gist of the concept in all caps so it stands out as something I have to come back to later. I type over 100 words per minute, so I can get a high volume of ideas out on the screen and come back later to fine-tune the delivery.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
That’s a hard one. I was never a hardcore reader growing up – and even as an adult, it takes a while for me to get sucked into a book. But I appreciate reading a lot more now, knowing how much goes into each and every book that’s out there. One book that stands out to me is The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Despite not agreeing with its theology, I found it gripping and well written.
What are you working on now?
I am going through edits with my publisher on a Christmas novella entitled Christmas in Meadow Creek. It’s a Christian romance about a firefighter, a schoolteacher, and the small-town bond that unites them. I also recently signed a contract for another contemporary Christian romance with Anaiah Press.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m still trying to figure that one out! Twitter is definitely effective with hash tags and retweets. I’ve also done some guest blogs which have gained a lot of internet traffic. I am hoping once I have more than one published book on the market, readers will like one and seek out other books I’ve written.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Start building a wide social media platform right now! There is a lot of self-promotion/marketing involved in selling books. Also, don’t expect to make a lot of money writing. I used to hear that and think/hope I could defy the odds, but the truth is the market is pretty saturated and it’s hard to see high sales. Focus on the joy you get out of writing and the pride you feel when you see that published book rather than the monetary rewards.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
As it relates to writing, probably the same advice I just passed on – not to expect to get rich and write for the joy of it. Also, never pay a publisher to publish your book. That’s not how it works.
What are you reading now?
I just downloaded a series of Christmas novellas. Since I’m working on editing my own, I thought it would be nice to sort of get into the Christmas spirit or mind frame. I’m also in the middle of reading All For Love by Susanne Matthews, a Christian Romantic Suspense novel.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’m continuing to promote my first book, Blast From Her Past, and looking forward to the release of Christmas in Meadow Creek this holiday season.
What is your favorite book of all time?
I’m not one of those people that reads and re-reads the same book over and over again, so I really don’t have an all-time favorite. But one book I do come back to time and time again is the Bible. Does that count? 🙂