Please give a warm welcome to author
Tell us a bit about yourself
Hmmm…. what would someone really want to know? I’m from the East Coast of the US.
As a kid, I lived for my weekly allowance when I was able to go to the bookstore and buy a brand new book.
The name on my Starbucks card is Caffeinista and I like drinks that have 5 shots of espresso. I’m a foodie and have a Pinterest board dedicated to Food Porn and Budget Wines for Wine Snobs. My pen name is derived from 2 of my cats – Mercy and Simon. In my former career I traveled extensively for business. Consequently, I’ve visited at least 44 of the 50 contiguous United States.
I’m a bit of a chameleon and I’m constantly trying to reinvent myself.
And in the private sector I run a high end salon and have been nicknamed “spellcheck”. Oh, and I have a passion for music and can usually be tracked by my incessant humming.
Have you always wanted to become an author?
I don’t consider myself an author so much as a storyteller. In my previous career I spent much of my time as a verbal storyteller. I have no fear of public speaking. I had joked for years with people about writing a book just about the ridiculous things that have happened to me during the course of my life and careers. In my senior year of high school I took four English classes to avoid having to take Chemistry. Despite all of that, I think I was as surprised as everyone when I sat down one day and actually put words on paper, and then kept adding more.
What was your inspiration for your current book/series?
My first book was a crime of opportunity. Chloe Gunter and I met when we acting as betas for a new author. She wrote a one chapter short that she shared with a few of us from a funny RHRA thread, and I wrote a follow up chapter as a joke to continue
the story. I really expected someone else to pick up the next chapter after mine. Instead, Chloe demanded that I write the book with her and I agreed to try it as an experiment. As someone who used to travel a lot on business, I had a special affinity for our MC, Katie, and the lifestyle of a woman who lives for her work and has to navigate the games of the corporate world.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently in the midst of writing a sci-fi RH story which is taking me longer than anticipated. Normally I’m more of a pantser… but I’m feeling compelled to really outline a story that depends heavily on world-building. And sometimes it’s difficult
to find time to write while juggling a demanding full-time job. But if all goes as planned, this will be a three book arc, with the first book dropping this Spring. I’ve reserved a table at PennedCon for 2020 so the pressure is on to be ready and finish
all three books by then.
Do you have any quirks while writing?
There must be music when I write. My life has a soundtrack: in the car, at work, at home, there is always music. It heavily influences my mood. I prefer to write on my MacBook and I usually start off with coffee to get the ideas flowing. I’m really trying
to learn how to become more disciplined at getting the work flowing in a way that I’m more consistent and productive with my writing time. Some people create mood boards for their stories – I write playlists. In fact, I’ve been known to write playlists for
other writer’s books as well.
What are your hopes for the future?
I hope to turn out stories that I’m proud of, and that people enjoy reading. My biggest goal right now is to finally meet in person my inner circle of writer friends. And I really want to hold a formal print version of a book I’ve written in my hands
and smell the pages.
Do you have any advice for new authors about the publishing world?
1. If you have the opportunity, beta for another writer first. It will give you an inside peek at the process and help you understand what it takes from not just the writing side, but the business and marketing side as well. Be sure to be respectful and
bring value. Which brings us to…
2. Find mentors. I’ve been blessed to have amazing mentors, who incidentally were writers I beta’d for. ‘K’ was a new writer who is now a true rising star. ‘A’ was an established writer who I harassed until she let me on her team. I now get to alpha
and beta for people I admire and in turn, I get advice and a master class on writing.
. Find your tribe! You must have a support group. My immediate tribe consists of other betas and writers at different stages of the process. Some are truly on the fast track and some are building slowly, but everyone is incredibly supportive with ideas,
advice, technical info. And the craziest part is that most of us are purely virtual friends and have never met in person. The bulk of our interactions occur through Messenger or Discord. But we hope to remedy that very soon.
Do you have anything to say to your readers?
Keep reading! Anything and everything. Reading has always been one of the greatest pleasures of my life and if there’s anything that thrills me, it’s watching people fall down the rabbit hole of a great story, whether it’s mine or someone else’s.
And to the amazing readers who follow my group, thanks for hanging out with me! I hope my words give you even a fraction of the thrill I feel reading stories by my favorite authors. Remember, we’re all stories in the end…