Who is your favorite author?
Nora Roberts is probably my favorite author. She does so many things so well as a writer. Her characters are compelling and her pacing is dynamic. Even after having written so many wonderful books, she still amazes me nearly every time I read her.
What book should everybody read at least once?
Gone With the Wind. I've read GWtW at least four times, and every time I read it, I learn something new.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
With the advent of indie publishing, getting published is almost too easy. Not that I discourage anyone with a good story idea not to give it a try. Writing and marketing are equally difficult, but in different ways. Sometimes you sit down to write and you have the black screen and that darned blinking cursor staring at you and you haven't the slightest idea what you're going to write. Luckily for me, those moments don't stretch out into something more substantial. I don't necessarily ever get writer's block, but I can understand how some people do. That blank page can be intimidating. I just remind myself that I control my output. Marketing, especially for a new author like myself, can be just as intimidating as that blank screen. Approaching reviewers can feel like those awkward childhood moments when you wanted to ask a boy to dance at a junior high dance.
Do you plan to publish more books?
The Good Life series is a trilogy, so yes I do. I'm hoping to complete the trilogy by the spring. And after that… I have an idea for a YA paranormal series. I don't want to give away the details, but it's going to be fun to write!
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
Ever since I was little, I always had the romantic notion that someday I would write longhand in journals. But, realistically, that's not how my brain works. I'll write a sentence on my laptop and then rewrite it sometimes a dozen times. While I still harbor those romantic notions, writing in longhand would never work for me.
How much sleep do you need to be your best?
I wish I could get by with less sleep, but I'm a crabby zombie if I sleep less than eight hours a night. Nine hours would be even better, but the demands of work, family, and writing won't allow it.
Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
Really, if my characters entertain my readers for a few hours, then I'm doing my job. It's hard to predict how many readers I'll ever have, but I would feel like a success if my readers follow me from one book to the next.
Tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it?
From the book description:
A failed actress, twenty-something Julia McCarthy begins writing a fictionalized blog as a form of self-therapy. Based on her carefree summers at her grandparents' farm, she never expects her little experiment to garner a viral following, but it does. Boy, does it ever.
Now, with thousands of loyal blog followers, and a syndication deal with the Chicago Herald, Julia is approached by GreenTV to adapt her blog into a TV show. The producers see her as a "Rachel Ray on the Prairie-type". She sees herself as a fraud.
In Julia's fictional world, she's successful. She can pay her bills on time. Heck, she even has a fictional gorgeous husband and charming little boy. Ready to realize her dreams, Julia returns to her grandparents' farm to shoot the TV pilot.
Brad Taylor is definitely not her type: he’s rugged, sensible, and oh-so smug about learning that Julia’s blog is a farce. As the manager of her grandparent’s farm, Brad doesn’t have time to deal with whimsical women who don’t even know how to cook.
Julia can't allow her attraction to Brad to distract her, not when her dreams are about to come true. But are these truly her dreams, her good life?
A fun, fast (150 pages) contemporary romance
What’s your next project?
Right now I'm wrapping up Madi, The Good Life Book Two. Next up, I'm planning to write a Christmas novella: Trudy, A Good Life Christmas. That story will focus on Julia's grandmother when she was a newlywed during the 1950s.
How do you feel about self-publishing?
I find it both liberating and scary. On the one hand, it has freed so many talented authors from the confines of the traditional publishing model, many of whom never had the chance to get their work published until now. One the other hand, with few constraints to what gets published there is also a rising tide of bad books on the market. It makes it confusing for readers. I would encourage any reader in this new publishing world to read samples before you buy. Reviews are helpful, but they can only help so much.
I LOVE my Kindle Paperwhite, I just wish it was waterproof so I could relax a bit more when I take it into the bath. When I find a free half hour I enjoy romance, paranormal romance and new adult books, mostly.
Do you find the time to read?
It's hard to find the time, but when I do I read mostly romance, paranormal romance and new adult books.
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?
My family. We have three happy, healthy boys. I met my husband in high school and we've been together ever since. What we've built together, it's like a dream come true.
What’s your favorite place in the entire world?
Realistically? I would say Grand Haven, Michigan. It's a short drive for our busy family. We've vacationed there a number of times, enjoying the quiet beaches and nearby small towns. Laying in a hammock and a good book is serenity.
How long have you been writing?
About three years.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
I love writing romance, but I can picture writing paranormal and even a thriller at some time down the road.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My husband has been writing since high school. He's been a published author for over a decade and over the years I've always been his first reader. I guess you could say I've become a writer out of osmosis. After giving my input for so long, I finally decided I wanted to tackle my own stories. While Glen mostly writes horror stories, I much prefer HEA (happily ever afters).
Write now I write because I enjoy it. Even with indie publishing, I think selling the amount of books it would take to make writing a career is still a lot like winning the lottery. Sure, some people win, but the odds are against it.
Have you developed a specific writing style?
My goal is to try to establish the characters' emotions. You can't have a romance without an emphasis on emotions. I figure, emotions + conflict = a recipe for a successful romance novel.
How much of the book is realistic?
Julia is set, as are all the books in the Good Life series, in Harmony Grove, Iowa. These are stories about small town charm and hard-working people. I don't sugarcoat these aspects, even if some of the narrative is on the nostalgic end of the spectrum.
What are your goals as a writer?
I want to tell stories that I would like to read. I figure if I can accomplish that, then readers will eventually find my work.
What contributes to making a writer successful?
Having a thick skin is important. If you shy away at the slightest criticism, either in the critiquing phase or after your work is published, then writing might not be in the cards for you. Writing is a hard and oftentimes lonely business. One day a reader might call your book an all-favorite, while the next day someone might question your ability to string together coherent sentences. Hard work and a thick skin will take you far.
Do you have any advice for writers?
Reading is just as important as writing. I sometimes read about a writer who doesn't read when they are in the middle of writing a novel. Aren't novelists always in the middle of writing a novel? Does that mean that they don't read at all? I read for enjoyment, but I also read to learn about improving my craft. You can learn as much from a poorly written novel as a literary masterpiece. But you have to take the time to read, or you'll lag behind those writers of equal talent who do.
Do you have any specific last thoughts that you want to say to your readers?
My readers have been so supportive so far! I love talking to readers, either about my work or books in general. You can drop me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Genre – Contemporary Romance
Rating – PG-13
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