Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
I grew up in the middle of the woods in Maryland. It was about 45 minutes to get to the nearest actual library, 20-30 minutes to the closest grocery store, and the morning commute to my high school took 2 hours. Once I learned to read, there was nothing else to do but play pretend and read books, so I got lost in my own little world fairly often.
The next door neighbor and I played abandoned on an island using a picnic table as our island and boat pretty often.
I abandoned ship after I turned 18 to move to Canada, as my fiancé (at the time) had work there, so it made sense for me to immigrate to Canada.
How did you develop your writing?
I practiced, practiced, and practiced some more. Then, with an overly ballooned ego, I asked another writer friend for his honest opinion. My ego balloon was shredded to little scraps. Being the stubborn type, I rolled over and played dead for a few months, dusted myself back off, snapped my fingers, and decided I’d prove him wrong. It was about that time I realized I had to relearn most of what I thought I knew about grammar…
I developed my writing by writing, reading about how to improve my writing, and trying to emulate the authors I really enjoyed until I found my own style and way.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I don’t really know. I just love telling stories, so I tell stories. If anything, I’m inspired by the people who enjoy reading the crazy stuff I come up with. I don’t really get inspired by the usual culprits, such as sitting in front of a fire with hot cocoa or watching the snow. I just write. I’ve never been one to try to need inspiration to write. That requires some outside condition to do it, and that’s a trap I just don’t want to fall into.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
Marketing. Writing for me is easy. I love doing it, and even when the editing is difficult, I love the process enough I don’t mind doing it. Getting published has gotten a whole lot easier over the years, especially with all of the self-publishing options and small publishing companies out there. Marketing feels like work…. Hard, thankless work.
What marketing works for you?
Any marketing I can have someone else do for me. Honestly, my favorite is word-of-mouth marketing, because that means people are enjoying my story and are talking about it. This really makes me happy! The rest is hard work, often thankless work (as results are rarely immediate), and sometimes expensive. That said, I’d rather invest money for a professional to handle my marketing because I’d rather be writing.
Do you find it hard to share your work?
Not at all. That said, I don’t like sharing my work with others often. I don’t want to annoy people. I try to limit how much time I spend sharing my work, since I don’t want to annoy the people connected with me on social networks. That said, I’m very happy to talk about my writing whenever someone is interested.
Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?
My family and friends are supportive, in that ‘I don’t understand why you spend so much time on this, but you’re you, so we’re behind this’ sort of way. It works out well. They know when I get crazy-eyed from approaching deadlines, that it’s a writer thing. They will then send tea, cupcakes, or moral support in other ways. But, mostly in the form of baked goodies…
Do you plan to publish more books?
Definitely. Next year, I hope I can turn four manuscripts I’ve been working on into actual books ready for publication. We’ll see if that works out. I do have two set for publication next year, though.
What else do you do to make money, other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full time…
I am a freelance developmental editor. I help other writers get their novels whipped into shape on a structural level, with a focus on style, voice, tension, pacing, plot, and character development. A lot of the funds I earn as an editor, I turn around and invest back into my own writing.
What other jobs have you had in your life?
I worked as a marketer for an adult website company for a while, then that company entered the dating website niche. I coordinated the marketing teams, dealt with invoicing and contracts between our business and advertisers, and other jack-of-all-trades jobs in the office.
If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?
Archaeology. I always wanted to be a modern day, slightly more realistic Indiana Jones. Except female. As a second and third option, I’d love to get into Paleontology or Volcanology. What can I say? I have a thing for history, things buried in the ground, or explosions.
Kalen’s throne is his saddle, his crown is the dirt on his brow, and his right to rule is sealed in the blood that stains his hand. Few know the truth about the one-armed Rift King, and he prefers it that way. When people get too close to him, they either betray him or die. The Rift he rules cares nothing for the weak. More often than not, even the strong fail to survive.
When he’s abducted, his disappearance threatens to destroy his home, his people, and start a hopeless and bloody war. There are many who desire his death, and few who hope for his survival. With peace in the Six Kingdoms quickly crumbling, it falls on him to try to stop the conflict swiftly taking the entire continent by storm.
But something even more terrifying than the machinations of men has returned to the lands: The skreed. They haven’t been seen for a thousand years, and even the true power of the Rift King might not be enough to save his people — and the world — from destruction.
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Genre – Fantasy
Rating – PG – 13
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