- If any, what literary pilgrimages have you gone on? Did you enjoy yourself?
I’ve been to several conferences and signings. I’d definitely consider those literary pilgrimages because they’re where I found my tribe. The writer community seems large, but it’s has a small town feel as well. Everyone’s always willing to lift as they climb (I learned that at Utopia Con). And I enjoyed meeting the writers I knew from Facebook. I’ve made very close friends on these pilgrimages and am thankful for each and every one I’ve met.
- What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I think every author I know is willing to not only share their triumphs but are willing to talk through tough times. Every industry changes and the publishing world’s changes are rapid. I think that by learning craft and marketing from other authors, and thinking out of the box with friends, they’ve made me a better writer. More than that, I’ve learned how to better market my work and how to push through difficulties (i.e. writer’s block, learning to write full-time, etc.).
- What kind of research do you do, if any, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
It really depends on the book. If it’s historical, I try to research it very well. I don’t dwell on tiny details. I think you could spend years researching if you clung to every small thing, but I definitely think it’s important to research if you write in certain genres. My favorite genres, fantasy and paranormal, lend more creativity as most of the worlds are built by the author. I love making worlds.
- Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I do. I try to learn from any criticism and points I feel are valid. As far as good reviews, they motivate me to continue writing and bettering my writing and craft. So, I do read them. I do not comment on them or engage with reviewers unless they post it in my author group or FB timeline.
- Do you believe in writer’s block? If you experience it, how do you deal with it?
I do believe in it. I’ve experienced it before, but I’m weird. I usually write one story and plot two or three others. If I get stuck, I brainstorm with friends. If I’m still uncomfortable continuing the story until I work the details out in my mind, I’ll work on another book until I get it right in my mind. LOL! So, I’m always writing something.
- Who has been your biggest inspiration when it comes to storytelling?
I don’t know if there is one person. It’s more of a conglomeration of all the beautiful stories I fall in love with and want to re-read. Sometimes, it’s just a profound observation an author makes. Sometimes, it’s a character. Sometimes, a world.
- What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
I was a mouthy teenager and my mother sat me down one day and said that my words would determine how people viewed me and to choose them wisely.
- What is your writing Kryptonite?
Cool pens. I doodle notes for scenes to be written, etc. I love a great pen or pretty ink. LOL! I guess I should also say notebooks. I have a billion of them. On my desk right now, there are….eight. LOL!
- Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
Ego is an interesting term. I tend to think of ego as being a negative thing, as if someone is being egotistical. Confidence is important, but so is humility. I think you have to have a little of both of those to be successful – in addition to writing well, of course.
- What is the first book that made you cry?
November Blue by Amy Harmon. Hands down. I don’t cry very often, but I bawled like a baby when I read that book.