Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
It took me about 18 months from story seed to publication with The Breeders. I wrote the original draft in five months and then started the querying process. I got a request for a full ten minutes after I sent the first queries and I almost peed myself. Unfortunately, that agent declined and the many others followed suit. I revised and tore my draft apart. Then I went to a pitch conference in New York and got more feedback which I employed. I queried again. More requests and more rejection. I had been reading a lot about self publishing and since I’d gotten such great feedback about The Breeders, yet couldn’t quite break in, I figured I’d publish it myself. People were starting to make big waves as Indies and I thought with some hard work, I could be one of them. It has been a great experience and I would self-publish again in a heartbeat.
Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
By day, I am a high school counselor for at-risk teens. I love my job, but it is also very emotionally draining. I think it gives my writing a deeper insight into the young adult mind however. I get to hear their inner-workings on a daily basis and that helps me tune in.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
The Breeders is my debut. Here’s the pitch
Sixteen-year-old Riley Meemick is one of the world's last free girls and the Breeders, who control everything -- the local war lords, the remaining factories, the fuel -- are hunting her.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
Right now I am working on the sequel to The Breeders which I hope to release this summer. Before that, however, I will release the first book in a new series titled Eyes Ever to the Sky. It is a Young Adult horror/hero’s origin/paranormal romance story in a similar vein to I am Number 4. I’m pretty excited to see how readers react to it.
(Well, please don't forget me when you need reviewers etc, As I seriously am reeeally looking forward to BK#2)
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
My life is so crazy that I have to write wherever and whenever I can. I’ve written in the car during my daughter’s gymnastics, during my lunch hour and at many coffee shops. I prefer to do it at home, but with two small children who like to investigate what I am doing at all times, I have to be flexible. I do dream of a day when I will have my own office that looks out over a sunny landscape. That’ll be the day.
Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
When I first started I begged friends to read my drafts. That was a big mistake. They were wonderful, but they aren’t writers and therefore had a hard time telling me what was wrong with my draft. Also they don’t want to hurt feelings. Then I joined an online critique group with three fabulous writer peers who still read my stuff. It has improved my writing by leaps and bounds. Lately, I’ve been making connections with other Indie writers and have been swapping chapters as well. It is always fun to partner with your peers. They are so supportive and friendly.
How do you market/promote your books?
I think the better question is how don’t I? :0) I have tried everything. I have a blog post about my experiments here if you want the long version, but in short I’ve done giveaways, guest blogs, Twitter, freebies, you name it. I want to leave no stone unturned.
What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?
Relax? What’s that? :0) I have am a very tightly-wound person, so I don’t relax well. When I do, I usually read or watch a little TV. I have no hobbies outside of writing. I wish I had time for the fun, crafty things I used to do, but with a full time job, two little kids and a part-time writing business hobbies had to die.
What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
I read a lot. Usually I have about four books going at one time. Right now I am reading Dalva by Jim Harrison, The Twelve by Justin Cronan, Halfway Home by Hugh Howey and A.P.E. by Guy Kawaski and Shaun Welch. Reading that many books at one time might sound weird, but I have varied reading moods. Each book is good in their own right, but I am loving The Twelve. Justin Cronan is a master at giving you a detailed horror story, yet still keeping the pace at heart-thumping rates. He reminds me of Stephen King in that way.
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