Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
I've always written something—poems, stories, plays. But I started writing novels three years ago with my first book Someone To Kiss My Scars, followed by Some Laneys Died. My newest book will release May 24 and is called Crystal's House of Queers.
What makes writing your passion?
There is no activity so all-consuming as writing novels. The characters live in my head, and the story simmers and surges in my brain for the entire time I'm writing. I'm a pantser, meaning I do not plot out details before I write. I start with a general idea and let it develop as I write. That constant heat of creation is like a high.
How long have you been writing?
Since high school.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Elation. Fear. Intense vulnerability. An aching sense of loss because my characters would fade from my brain after I came to love them.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
Having to plan promotions and marketing—the business aspect of it.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
Go outside and work or walk in the woods for miles.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
What keeps me going is the occasional heartfelt response from readers, when my story has touched someone deeply, empowered them, made them laugh or cry or both. My advice would be to write—just get words onto the screen and try like hell to finish what you start.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Start writing novels, you idiot. Stop the poems and the songs and the plays. Write a book. Then another and another.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
Yes, I read my reviews. When I first started receiving reviews, negative ones would hurt badly, even though most of the time they were obviously written by people with issues. :))
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
I will tell you a story. I paid a very reputable, well-known review service for a review. The one I received was entirely negative. The reviewer seemed to enjoy destroying my book. I wrote to the main editor with complaints, and she assigned me another reviewer. That review was a starred review, their highest, with not a single negative remark. So much depends on the individual likes and dislikes of your reviewer. Pin the good ones to your wall and toss the others into the trash.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Certainly, but I will never tell what those things are. It is not true that authors take their own lives and twist it into their novels. But it is true that every writer's story is affected by the life they've lived.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
I will never tell.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
Yes, which is why I used Cherie Chapman. She's the best. She's never given me anything but a beautiful, eye-catching cover which captures the essence of the story.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
Truthfully, I dislike social media. Sorry. Just not something I want to spend my time with. However, I love emailing readers who want to connect. email@example.com
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
I'm somewhat of a loner. I would rather see someone reading my book from a distance than calling me out in public.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
I don't have a favorite author. I do like Kristen Hannah, especially The Great Alone. Great story set in Alaska which made me cry.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
I'm not seeking to be as big as anyone. I would like to write at least ten books before I can't.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
No. Once I finish all the drafts and correct all the typos, etc., I'm done with it and on to the next one. Someday I will read them again.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.
How about the trolls on Goodreads? I recently received a 1 star from Charles who did not read the book. Then the next day I received a 5 star from AntiCharles2.0. Then another 5 star from another version of AntiCharles. None of them had copies of the book to read. I've had several reviews start with, "I really wanted to like this book. I really did. But . . ." and then comes ridiculous sentences of criticism. Of course, they never wanted to like the book. For some reason, some people think they can show their superiority by denigrating others. Very sad, actually, that the only way you think well of yourself is to try to destroy others.