Questions have been coming in and I've been responding as and where I can. I've also collected them all up - if one person has asked, I'm sure another will - so here you go (this will eventually get added to the FAQ section too):
1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I have been writing for as long as I can remember. My first real story was a ‘Chose your own adventure’ we were required to do in an English class in high school. I think I would have been around 14? I wrote it with my friend and at the time it was brilliant. Otherwise, my first ‘novel’ would have been a fantasy that I started when I should have been revising for my GCSEs (please don’t follow my example!). It’s finished – it took quite a few years, and while I’m proud of that accomplishment, I have no desire to set that free in the world.
2. How long does it take you to write a book?
It’s hard to say. They’ve all taken a different length of time, but for varying reasons. I was lucky enough to be able to write Angel in Training within about 4 months (for the first draft, at least), but I was able to write that at my day job as well as at home (ssshhhhh!). I guess the third book, Angel Tormented is probably the ‘norm’. I’m about two thirds through in about 2 months. With some dedication, I’m aiming to get the first draft done in 6 months.
3. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I work a full-time day job (9-6), and then DJ at least two nights a week. I’m not able to write as much as I like, but I will take what I can get. When I do write, it’s with the laptop on my lap, usually on my bed. I live with three cats, so it’s the only space we can all fit without them sitting on my laptop (this works 97% of the time!)
4. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m not sure? I guess my inability to put my plots onto paper. I have three series, each with 5 books and at least 1 novella, and an additional series of (currently) 6 books and they all live in my head.
5. How do books get published?
With hard work and patience. I can only speak for the self-publishing route, of course, as that is the route I chose, and while I don’t doubt that there is hard work and patience required when you go with traditional publishing, when you do it by yourself, you do it all yourself. Well, maybe not the editing (I’m a firm believer that no one can successfully edit their own work!), nor the cover creation (I wish my Photoshop/art skills were a fraction of what my cover designer’s is), but everything else is what I can do.
6. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I lived in Louisiana for a while, so I have first-hand experience of being in New Orleans – that was partly what drove me to setting the story there. Someone of the experience comes from time spent there, combined with a bit of help Google. The rest may draw on some other life experience.
7. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
My second job is DJing – I’m a nightclub DJ (and wedding DJ in the summer) and I love this. Otherwise, there’s not much time left over. I watch a bit of TV, and I’m trying to take up running.
8. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I think it goes back to just how much work is put into it – outside of writing it. Also, how despite this, I love it. I would love the ability to write full time.
9. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’m on the fourth (the first being that one which will not see the light of day). I’m not sure I could chose a favourite though. I like them all for different reasons, though there’s a special place reserved for Angel in Training, because it was the first I published and told me I could do it.
10. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
It’s probably the same suggestion any other writer will tell you: write. The more you write, the better you will get at being able to sit down and churn stories out. The more you write, the better the quality the writing. It’s practice. And read. Read to find out what you like and what you don’t like: styles, voices and points of view.
11. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Yes, regularly, and I love it. They’re mainly telling me to write faster!
I did get told by one reader that she love my books more than the Dresden Files, while another said he was more excited about mine than the Game of Thrones books. I still get giddy when I think of that!
The other thing I love to hear is their ideas of what the characters look like. I've had the ideas in my head (and that's now available in the Extras section), but I find it interesting to see what picture I've painted in someone else's head.
12. What do you think makes a good story?
Anything that can take you away from the real world and submerge you in another. It doesn’t matter if it’s a romance, a true crime, or even a space opera: if you can forget what’s going on in your life, then it’s a good story. What makes a great story is when you care about what’s happening in that story.
13. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I think I went through everything. I wanted to be a vet, a lawyer, and astronaut – but always a writer. I have a very old friend (I’ve known her since playschool – about 2 years old) and she said I was always telling her I was going to write a book one day. I don’t think I was doing at quite that age, but it’s certainly been something I’ve always wanted.
14. Who is your favourite character?
I can't choose! I like them all for different reasons. I will say I have the most fun with Cupid. Actually, I've realised that I will be able to share Cupid's story further - I can't promise when yet, but I can promise that he will be having his own dedicated novella at some point in the future.
The thoughts and musings of an author who can't get her brain to shut off.
I don't like rating books. I think a 'good book', much like 'good music', is subjective.
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