Please give a warm welcome to
Tell us a bit about yourself
I’ve been writing off and on since I was a kid. I love to write and was writing a children’s book but couldn’t decide how to end it. About the same time, I was writing an offworld series and it became too confusing as to what was happening when. However, it was good practice for this series. I think if I went back to it now that I could finish it. I know people who were reading it back then wanted me to. It didn’t have as much bedroom time in it as my current books do.
I’ve also been an accountant, a server (AKA waitress), a hostess, a door-to-door salesperson, a mail handler, an airport package handler, a cashier, a blogger, and so many other things. It makes it easier to write about a character that is doing one of those jobs.
I love reading and watching Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Paranormal books and movies. I couldn’t help putting many of my favorite things into the books.
I also have a three-legged cat named Sharkey.
Have you always wanted to become an author?
As a child, I wanted to be just about everything: an artist, an author, a nun (that never would have worked out, ahem), a baker, a firefighter, a veterinarian, a doctor and more. I think I just couldn’t choose because that meant I couldn’t be those other things too. As a writer, I have the opportunity to become all those things, and more, through my characters.
What was your inspiration for your current book/series?
Dreams and daydreams were and are my inspiration – I would dream or daydream about something and take notes. Then I decided to write about them. However, I messed-up the first several drafts because I was writing them the way I would a recipe. This stemmed from me writing recipes for my gluten-free blog a few years ago.
Once I hammered that out of my system, the writing flowed a lot faster. I don’t think I’ll ever get to the point of being able to knock out a book a week but who knows?
I also remember conversations from people I knew in the past and blend their stories into various characters.
Additionally, I read facts about what is happening in our world today and try to blend some of those into the books. For other inspiration, I look at a variety of art, such as fantasy, sci-fi, and nature. I even love watching nature videos and science videos. Did you ever watch Connections with James Burke? I used to love that show.
Another thing, I try to imagine what it would be like to be on a world you know nothing about, know no one, and have none of your personal belongings. Wouldn’t you want to bring some of that to the new world – such as chocolate? I can’t imagine a world without chocolate – especially dark chocolate. I know when settlers came from the old world, they brought many things with them, including grapes. It was only natural the ladies would want to bring a few of those things if they could.
Jennifer, the FMC of the two books that have been published, requires they test everything to ensure that the foods from Earth will not make people sick and that they are safe to bring before she allows them to import the products and/or the plants. She’s concerned about many things, including any impact on the environment and the treatment of sentient beings. By book three, she’s a whole different person than she was when she first arrived on Xaerdu. It might be more accurate to say that she feels more empowered to take action about the things in the first two books.
I had a fun time writing her ‘meet cute’ with her Xaerd mates. When you think about it, humans often ‘rename’ their ‘mates’. We call each other names like ‘honey’, ‘sweetheart’, and ‘hot lips’ (shoutout to MASH). The Xaerds all think this is a human custom of claiming and don’t feel comfortable until they receive their new names from their mates.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on Matched: Karla’s Diary for an anthology called Men of Summer. Several authors are gathering together to contribute their stories for it. If you want to know more, contact Eva Delaney. She’s a reverse harem author that I love. She makes some seriously funny videos that she posts in her group.
I’m also working on Jennifer’s third book in the Xaerd series. Additionally, I’m working on first drafts of Sue’s book, Violet’s book and some others. If you haven’t read the books, these ladies are characters in Jennifer’s books.
Do you have any quirks while writing?
My quirks are that I have to imagine the scene in a dream or daydream – I sometimes can’t sleep because I’m trying to force my mind to focus on the problem or the solution. I also binge write – I can write 50K words in two weeks (or less) but then have to edit it like crazy forever.
I’ve laughed out loud about scenes I wrote that I had forgotten. I’ve also cried at times. I hate putting my characters in danger and had to work on my dislike of risking their lives in order to write a better story.
I have plot bunnies for so many more stories in the series – even spin-off series. I hope I manage to write many of them. I’m dying to write a series about the cyborgs that appear in Jennifer’s third book (not published yet).
What are your hopes for the future?
I just want people to enjoy the stories and escape whatever is happening in their lives for a bit. I hope that my writing brings tears, smiles, and laughter to their world.
I hope to write many more of the stories that are buzzing around in my head. My characters want their stories told.
Do you have any advice for new authors about the publishing world?
Cross your fingers, it can be a wild, tumultuous ride – I hope you love rollercoasters.
I spend a lot of time helping new authors. Explaining that they should set up their pages and their groups early so that when they are ready to publish, they have someone to share their news with.
Link the page to the group on Facebook. There’s a long list of reasons for this but I don’t want to take up the space for it here.
Do takeovers (that’s when another author lets you take over their group to promote your book) as much as you can around your release date.
The big groups have rules about what you can post, when, and how often. Follow the rules of that group. I’m still learning what those rules are. It’s confusing to new authors because they all have different rules.
If you’re an indie author, then be prepared to spend money on cover designers, editors, and other services like Bookfunnel.
If you can afford to pay a PA (personal assistant), they can be invaluable in helping you get your book off to a good start. Ask other authors for recommendations – especially if they are new and their books are doing well.
Learn about social media – Twitter, Facebook, BookFunnel, BookBub, GoodReads, and more.
Set up an author page on Amazon as soon as you can.
If you’re an unknown author, romance books tend to do best in Kindle Unlimited. It gives readers a chance to get to know you before they spend money for your books.
Do you have anything to say to your readers?
I want to thank them profusely for reading my books and for writing reviews about them. I appreciate it when they post reviews on the various sites. I love it when they post notes for me in my group, on my wall, or on my author page to let me know how much they enjoyed the book.
I hope they enjoy reading about Jennifer’s antics as much as, if not more than, I did writing them. I post on my author page almost every day. My group often gets more personal posts and I share a lot of page posts from other sources that I see and think are funny. I have a few group members that love to share things they love or they think are funny too. It can get pretty crazy.
The fans that let me know what they think about the books are truly appreciated. Hearing about a specific scene they enjoyed makes me feel great about writing and sharing.
From Jennifer’s first book:
The first excerpt is from when Jennifer ties up Alf because she thinks he needs to learn to relax.
I crawled onto the bed, lightly running a fingernail up his powerfully muscled leg, feeling the warmth of his smooth skin and the firmness of his toned muscles under my fingertip. I ran it across his abdomen following his taut muscles as he gasped. He was fighting to not break loose now. I lightly ran my fingernail…
This excerpt is from when Jennifer decides she wants minions to do her bidding. They were just a lark at first but then they become important to running the Keep and other things.
Excerpts from book two
This excerpt is from when Alf takes Jennifer to the waterfalls the first time.
…keeping my face out of the water and dipping my head back to feel the water against my scalp. Brr, the water was a little cold at first but not too bad; it turned pleasant quickly. I stood up out of the water and Alf swallowed hard as water first rushed, then dripped down my body – my hair and clothing soaked.
“I suspect it’s time we return you to your safe room,” Alf choked. I smirked; I loved that I still had that effect on him.
“All right, this was a nice little retreat,” I told him as I wrapped my wet body around him and gave him a kiss. My libido was dead for once in my adult life but that didn’t mean I couldn’t tease him.
He wrapped his arms around me and held me tight. “I’m pleased you enjoyed it,” he murmured, kissing me on top of my head, avoiding my horns and nuzzling my neck.