In your bio you say you’ve been writing since you were 18. Were you encouraged to write as a kid? Did either of your parents write?
Encouragement would have been wonderful as a pre-teen sadly that did not occur. Neither of my parents wrote. In fact I was discouraged by the both of them stating writing can be done by anyone with a paper and a pen. What made me so special? Those words alone were wood added to the fire within. I made sure to focus and encourage myself until I managed to finish my FIRST official novel myself.
Did you start with short fiction or did you dive right into novels?
My first book which I hand wrote with a paper and pen was 6 pages and 17 Chapters long. Obviously, once I got a computer I re wrote that story which then become over 200 pages with 19 Chapters. I went big or what was the point of being an Author.
Do you remember the first time you were paid for a piece of writing? What was it?
My first novel was picked up by a publisher which I was surprised and excited at that time. They helped me self publish my novel and 3 months after I was given a cheque for $300.00. It was for a novel which is now discontinued but it was called “Secrets of My Past”.
Do you follow a set schedule for writing, have a process, and have a certain word count you want to hit each day?
Every day, no matter what I come home, in order to de-istress from the day, I sit down and depending on my mood I will work on Character or Chapter Outlines for books pending or work on an existing novel which means I would write about 3-7K words.
Do you outline?
Yes, of course without that I would be lost.
What part of writing do you enjoy the most? The least?
-Dreaming of my Characters, what chaos I can ensue upon them and how they will get out of it…alive. I guess it’s the aspect of creating this new world in my mind then transcribing it on paper.
My least favorite thing is when I find it hard to shut my thoughts off and I have more than 1,2,3,4…and growing ideas for different stories or sequels. I find it hard to focus on the ones I have outstanding with new ideas popping up inside my thoughts.
Do you reward yourself/celebrate when you finish a book? If so, how?
I originally gave myself a goal that if I finished 10 novels I would buy myself a new laptop which I did. My new goal was if I did more than the last time I would buy myself an IPAD PRO which I am getting this holiday season as I did manage to surpass my goal.
To me having my book in my hand is exciting enough. No need to celebrate every novel, at least for myself.
If you won a two-week vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?
This world is so beautiful it is hard to even imagine where I would like to go. I am not a traveler at all. However, I think I would visit Kona in Hawaii. It just looks to beautiful and relaxing.
What dead writer would you have most liked to meet?
I would love to meet VC Andrews. I read all her novels growing up as a child and was mesmerized by the twisted storylines and characters entranced me. To have such an imagination was beyond words.
How’s your work/life balance? Do your friends/family understand about deadlines or do they sometimes “guilt trip” you into coming to parties/events?
Work/Life balance is pretty good. I manage to get everything done and on time. My friends understand fully when I am a “Do not disturb mode”, as for my family I do not see them that often enough for them to disturb my writing process.
Sometimes friends will guilt me to coming out to the movies which I go because it is important to have social interactions because people around you are and should be your MUSE. You never know what you see, hear or encounter which would add beautifully to one of characters or stories. I do it for research and to step away the computer sometimes. It is healthy not to obsess otherwise you will burn yourself out.
You have a cat, Karma. How did she come into your life?
Karma, bless her little soul. My best friend Lisa used to have a cat named “Princess”, she was missing an eye and she was the sweetest cat EVER. Whenever I would go visit “Princess” would love me and make me feel comfortable.
That being said writing can be stressful so I thought why not do a good deed and adopt a cat in need who can be my new buddy. When I first saw “Karma”, I didn’t think she was that cute but she was so sweet and cuddly. That type of cat I needed. So I brought her home and gave her all my love and we have been together for 23 years. I got her when she was 5. She is an old kitty.
Have you ever taken any courses on “how to write” or “how to market” or … If so, are there any you’d recommend to other writers? Any books on writing you’d recommend?
Currently, I have been taking Rebecca’s Hamilton’s course and it has been an amazing journey. I am learning SO MUCH which has improved my writing tenfold. I highly recommend writers to take advantage of this course. It is not every day you get taught by a Writing Mogul how to achieve her level of success. She is so easy to talk to, so any questions you may have she will gladly answer them.
Do you have a critique group? Beta readers? A street team?
I don’t except for my friends however I am trying to set up a Beta Reader group for future publications.
How would you define being “a successful writer?”
Success depends on the individual. I write for ME not for anyone else. However, that being said, success to myself is having my book in my hands. It is an achievement. Almost like running a marathon. Readers do not understand the journey writers have to go through to get 1 book out.
You live in one of the most diverse cities in North America and have talked about how the multi-cultural environment energizes you. Does it frustrate you that there’s such a lack of diversity in genre literature? Particularly in PNR?
It does surprise me that this day in age our novels are lacking representations of so many diverse cultures. However this also indicates to me that change is a slow progress still. I have started to stir the pot to say the least with adding different cultures and civilizations into my books only because I think it is about time.
You are a multi-genre writer. Did you start out in one genre and just expand? What was the genre of the first book you completed?
The first novel I ever wrote was a horror thriller. Based on my nightmares may I add. Everything was so distinct, names, eras, everything. It had to be written down. Before I even knew it a book was produced.
Now whenever I start a novel I do 2. 2 which are completely different genres from one another, this is how I avoid writers block.
Who are your favorite writers?
I love VC Andrews, Dean Koontz, Christopher Pike, R.L Stine & Neil Geimen.
What are you reading now?
Currently I am reading a novel by Indra Das called “The Devourers”
Tell us about your story in the Rite to Reign boxed set. How did you hear about the boxed set? And have you been in any other boxed sets?
Rebecca Hamilton, one of the Author’s I admire and look up to suggested I apply which I did and I was super surprised I was accepted. I was so happy.
I have been in other sets; one was with K. N. Lee, another favorite author of mine.
My story in Rite to Reign boxed set is the second book to my Fallen Kingdoms Chronicle Series. This follows the incident at the end of book 1 which is called “Lamp of Light”. Everyone who purchases Rite to Reign Boxed set will get book 1 for free by signing up for my newsletter and commenting with a picture to prove they made their purchase and I will then send them book 1.
My Fallen Kingdoms series is dark fairytale reimagining. So think Snow White where she is the enemy and the stepmother is the innocent. There is Black Magic, A Wendigo, Fairies and Pirate amongst any other memorable and lovable characters.
You have really striking covers. Do you have custom covers created for your books or rely on premades?
I do both. Honestly if the premade cover captures what is in my mind then it works grand however if it does not then I will get a custom cover that paints the image of what I am looking for.
What’s next in your writing queue? Do you have the next year of writing planned out or are you flexible.
I have a total of 16 novels that have to be done for 2019. I am super excited to start working on them.
As for current I am just finishing up on a few surprise entries. Other then that, I am done all my writing for 2018.
It has been an amazing journey.
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