Interview with the Author

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes…It was fan-fiction…and probably terrible! I think I still have a copy of it burned on a disc somewhere. Back then, I was in college and still hooked on soap operas. I knew nothing about point of view and passive voice…and the characters were already created so I didn’t have to bother with building their personalities or layering an interesting conflict. Whenever a couple or character I liked would leave the show or meet an end that I felt was unsatisfactory, I would write my own version of their story…and end it how I wanted. It was great fun, to be sure, but awful writing.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I workout 4 to 5 times a week (stress relief & exercise all in one). I own and operate a ladies boutique, The Aesthetic Domain located in Houston, Texas. I work on two simultaneous Blogs, A Writer’s Journal which catalogs my experiences as an aspiring writer and my Boutique & Blog site which provides colorful insight on my experience as a Boutique owner as well as gives helpful tips, advise, instructions on developing a unique style and staying stylish for life.
What is your writing process?
Well, things start off a little shaky. I’m generally at the track, running….or asleep…or washing dishes or something…when an idea or an interesting character hits me. I drop whatever I’m doing to write it down. (There are notebooks of varying shapes, sizes, and colors all over the house filled with random ideas of mine.) Most of these ideas go nowhere or they end up as one great line in a book that I’m already working on. If the idea continues to nag at me and I get a good two or three pages of cohesive ideas together, I’ll write a summery (again, sketchy.) If I’m still interested in it after I’m done with the summary, I do some character bios to nail down personality traits, history and what not. If I do this, I’m vested. Next up is the outline for the plot…(Who does what when…the timeline, yadda, yadda, yadda). Then, after that’s done. I start Chapter 1…or in some cases a prologue.
How do you approach cover design?
I like ambiguous images that evoke a feeling…curiosity, humor, unease. etc. For example, I prefer just a pair of eyes gazing out from darkness as opposed to the photo of a complete face looking out at the reader. The former is more interesting because you’re unsettled by eyes with no face….makes you want to know more…who’s eyes are they? What’s the expression in them? Etc.
What do you read for pleasure?

ROMANCE!  Love it!  Paranormal and Gothic Romance is still fav, but its becoming harder and harder to find a really good Paranormal.  And Gothic romance is almost defunct.  I’ve gotten sort of burned out on YA and Dystopian stuff…just too much of the same.  I am reading more Indie books these days.  Good, Bad, or Ugly, books written by Indie authors tend to be more unique…they write outside the established norms of the publishing world…and they’re all the better for it.  Burn all the storyline templates, I say!

How do you discover the ebooks you read?
A variety of different ways…but my most common method of discovery is word-of-mouth or a random chance mention. If I hear about a book from a friend or see it online a coupla places and something about it arouses my curiosity, its a done deal. My interests is peaked by the oddest things. Two notorious examples: I stumbled upon a book title, “The Naked Duke” while doing some online research and was so amused by the title that I read the book…and went on to read the whole “Naked” series. I once read an amusing anecdote of a gentleman who sat next to 2 women reading “Fifty Shades Of Grey” on a plane…his description of their complete captivation while reading the book so intrigued me until I downloaded the first book on the spot and was done with the trilogy over the next three of four days.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I’m a bit of a loose woman in that respect. I read some in Kindle and others in iBooks…plus, I recently downloaded ADE. Sometimes I read them on my iPhone other times my iPad. Depends on my whereabouts and my mood.
Describe your desk.
Messy. I work better in creative chaos.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Houston, Texas…but I’m not sure this had much influence on my writing style. I was initially inspired to write by watching Soap Operas…which are available to watch Nationwide here in the US. I suppose maybe some of my locales were based on my experiences with Houston’s weather.
When did you first start writing?
In College and just after. I posted it on several fan-fiction sites around the web…had a decent following.
What are you working on next?
Right now I’m working on the sequel to Dominic’s Nemesis…which will be Book 2 in The Ambrosi Legacy Series.  The title has swung back and forth between Gabriel’s Demons [in keeping with the same general form as the first title] and The Twin Paradox [which I really like, but its a deviation from the previous title form.]  Of course, that may not be enough to dissuade me from changing it.  In terms of word count, I’m about at the half-way mark…but the plot is still a bit chaotic.  I’m having a bit of trouble deciding where I want to go with it, but I am determined to get the book done.  Nothing worth doing is ever easy.  Not to mention I have a lot of distractions vying for my attention.  Life was much simpler when I wrote the first book.  Still, I really pulling for the summer of 2017.  *Sending up prayers*
What’s the story behind your latest book?
‘When Lucifer Met Calamity’ is kind of a smash up of a couple of ideas which seemed compatible in my mind.  I like chick-lit…or rather I went on a binge of reading them a few years back.  I still like the genre but they’re fewer and farther in between because the craze is over (to be replaced by YA/Dystopian, but that’s another story.)  So I liked chick-lit…but I didn’t like that most of them starred the same type of heroine.  There seemed to almost be a writing template for them…which grew weary after a while.  So, as is the usual custom with me, if I can’t find what I want at the store (in this case the bookstore) I make my own.  I decided to do a ethnic Chick-lit of sorts.  The cast of characters is mixed to more closely resemble the real world.  I also ditched some of the classic Chick-lit elements…1st person narrative (Bleech, that had to go!), the bizarre obsession with fashion and food that most of these Chick-lit heroines harbor, and some of the rambling silliness that many descend into.  And….’When Lucifer Met Calamity’ was born.  There’s still some silliness, I mean its a comedic romance after all, but its not too ridiculous (I hope).
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Common sense. I don’t want to spend years and years trying to get noticed by a traditional publisher only to have them make all the profit whilst they dictate to me how I should write my own book. I’ve heard that some of them won’t even let you title your own book. No thanks. I prefer to keep creative control and I’m honestly just a non-traditional person by nature. I can’t think of any aspect of my life that has ever been average or traditional.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Being creative. I have an imagination that runs a mile a minute…and I like following it and seeing where it takes me.
Who are your favorite authors?
Nalini Singh, Christine Feehan, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Linda Winstead Jones, Lisa Kleypas, Jayne Castle/Amanda Quick, Julie Kenner’s Super hero series was one of my favs, though I’m not much into her demon-hunting soccer moms books. JR. Ward’s Lover series was pretty good.