Not a magazine quiz this time but the sad story is…I knew I owed someone a blog post this week, so I dug up their questions document from a previous guest post I did a few months ago, picked a few new ones to answer – I truly do love people who give you 100 questions to play with, yay – and assembled the book blurb and an excerpt, etc. Only then did I realize my invitation to be a guest was from a completely different person (similar names) and was to cover an ancient Egyptian book, not a scifi romance! I had a migraine at the time so I have a (thin) excuse but rather than waste the work I’d done, here is the Q&A Nobody Asked For.
(I’ll skip the book blurb and excerpt since they’re all here to be found on my blog page.)
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why? I think I want to live somewhere that probably doesn’t exist, but I’d love to be in a big cabin-type house in the mountains, near a lake, but with good access to a major city fairly nearby (and no freeway traffic jams). The place would have to have excellent internet and cell reception, lots of pretty snow in the winter (but never snow me in)…I have quite the dream list. The more I let myself think about this question, the more I probably realize I’m basically describing a 2016 version of a cabin in upstate NY that my grandfather built when I was a kid. We used to spend a lot of time there in the summers.
Have you had other careers before becoming a writer? Actually I’ve been writing stories since I was seven so I regard ‘writer’ as being my first calling, but I did do other things to put food on the table and keep a roof. I loved working in retail during college and even became a department manager in Housewares for a major department store chain. The next promotion was going to require me to leave the store and move into an office in the downtown warehouse, where a woman I knew had recently been murdered (!), so that was scary and the pay was less than half what NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory offered me to come work in acquisition for them so….easy choice. Off I went to JPL! I had a long and satisfying career there doing all kinds of contracts and business-related things in support of the scientists and engineers.
Do you have a view in your writing space?Yes, my apartment has a balcony overlooking some beautiful trees and the San Gabriel foothills.
What genres are you drawn to as a reader?Mostly romance, including everything from Regency to romantic suspense. Science fiction and paranormal romance are my two most read genres though. Occasionally I read a nonfiction book, a biography for example.
Has your muse always known what genre you would write and be published in? Yes, I’ve always been drawn straight to science fiction, but with a healthy helping of romance. I also loved ancient history as a kid so I’m not surprised to find myself writing novels set in the Egypt of the pharaohs as a break from SFR.
What are you reading now? I just finished two new scifi romances – Dark Planet Warriors by Anna Carven and Dark Minds by Michelle Diener. I’m waiting for an Advance Review Copy of the next Ilona Andrews novel and I have Lover of Thorns and Holy Gods by Grace Draven next on the kindle. I also recently read and enjoyed Rock Weddingby Nalini Singh.
What advice can you offer to anyone deciding to self publish? Be prepared to find that you will spend significant amounts of time on the business aspects of publishing. Get yourself into some author networks where there’s all kinds of good advice being offered about literally every aspect of self-publishing. Don’t feel you have to reinvent the wheel.You need an editor! I can’t emphasize that one enough. I have a developmental editor and a copy editor. You don’t have to do it all yourself , build a team – I have two wonderful cover artists, a book trailer creator, resources for graphics and banners, and professional formatters (thank you, eBook Formatting Fairies!).
The thing I love most about being independently published is the total control over everything from plot and length of the books, to the covers, to the pricing. I can change anything I want at any time, if necessary. Which isn’t to say I won’t go hybrid some day and also have a series with a traditional publisher. Never say never is another of my mottoes.
So there you have it, my post that wasn’t actually requested!