2019 was a whirlwind of making connections, networking, and researching in order to get get my books available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
2020 is going to explode! I’d love an opportunity to share what I’m doing via an interview in person, by phone, or via podcast. I also like to talk about the practical side of making your writing dream come true.
Were you a big fairytale fan growing up?
Actually not. My favorite reads were more about alien cultures and SF. However, somewhere along the line though I absorbed a bunch of knowledge about fairytales. Probably because I love symbols and psychology. My husband is the big folktale lover and we often discuss the archetypes and Jungian meanings behind the stories.
In each story presented in Wicked Wolves of Windsor there is a real life issue highlighted. What was the hardest and easiest story to write, if you have one of either?
The easiest to write was A Society of Heartless Women. I’ve read so many Regency period pieces that I could easily slip into that world and write a horror-parody of it. As I wrote it, I found myself laughing which always makes writing go faster. This story is probably the biggest surprise in the collection as the heroine is not quite the likable lady.
The hardest story to write was Granny Starseed. It was the last story I worked on and I was flagging under the deadline I set myself! It took me awhile to figure out what the ending scene was going to be but it has been one of the favorites of readers.
The Queens Favorite was amazing and I feel like it could be such a great book all on its own. Have you given a thought to follow some of these stories in a second book?
I had so many doubts when writing The Queen’s Favorite but it has consistently been one of the most loved of the short stories. While the medieval period has a historical feel to the story, Queen Elaine’s issue is one many readers can relate to.
I do have plans on putting The Queen’s Favorite into a chapbook and providing it for book clubs. This is something I’m currently developing and hope to have ready to go in January 2020.
Why a book of short stories?
Writing the stories started as an exercise to break a writer’s block. I asked my husband: give me a fairytale and I will write a story about it – the end result was Milking Time.
I took that to a writer’s critique group and they loved it. So I thought, hm okay maybe I should do another?
A little question for readers to get to know you: who are your writing inspirations and what made you choose writing as your career?
I always knew writing was my passion. As soon as I learned to read I was obsessed with reading (I drove my parents crazy with reading road signs out loud).
Reading and books were magic.
Attending college I chose journalism for my degree. While I kept writing my own stories, I never seriously considered getting published because I knew I didn’t want to approach traditional publishing houses (for various reasons). Not until the publishing industry changed did I think, wow, I could finally make this happen! And I did!
Writers I admire include: Patricia McKillip, Martha Wells, Carol Berg, Dorothy Dunnet, Judith Merkle Riley, and Susanna Clarke. I need to start reading more fiction that isn’t from older authors so that is on my agenda!
What advice do you have for those who have writing dreams?
- Write every day. Big or small it doesn’t matter, it’s about consistency.
- Build a good network of like-minded people to support you.
- Keep learning your craft. The biggest problem I see with writers, is they think once published, they don’t need to improve. Quite the opposite!
- Before publishing, work with beta readers, ARC readers, and an editor to make your book the very best.
With changes in technology, self-publishing and seeing yourself in print is achievable.
The Wicked Wolves of Windsor and other Fairytales
Young Adult, College Fae Magic Series
Never Date a Siren #1 College Fae
Knight of Cups, A Magic Fae Adventure (short story) #1
A Study in Spirits #2 College Fae
Bane of Hounds #3 College Fae (coming August, 2020)
Podcast: Book Wordy
2020 presentation topics for your group:
All talks includes hand-out materials with resources and a multi-media presentation. These can be adapted to a hands-on workshop if participants can bring their laptop computers and have internet access.
Steps to Success: Self-Publishing your Book
Want to self-publish but are confused by all the information out there? Don’t know where to start? This 43 minute slideshow with voice-over takes you through the A-B-C’s of publishing that first book. Or if you have already published, goes over the legal and marketing steps that I consider the most essential.
- Basic resources for the writer
- ISBN numbers
- Library of Congress control number
- PCIP for libraries and bookstores
- Publishing platforms and required formats for KDP, Ingram Spark, and Draft2Digital)
- The importance of book covers
- Finding a book cover artist or designer
- Top 10 mistakes I see New Authors making
Promoting! Next Step Marketing Tools
Getting your book seen by your reading audience doesn’t have to be a pain! I offer simple, step-by-step ideas on how to make your own marketing plan.
- Why a website with a newsletter is the foundation of building your book publishing empire.
- How to use a newsletter to promote your books. How often to send it, and how to find ideas.
- How Reader Magnets work to entice readers to check out your book.
- Social Media platforms – which ones work best for authors?
- Why have an Author platform on Amazon, Goodreads, and Bookbub?
- Book reviews: the two types and how one can be paid.
- Where to find reviewers for your book and how to ask for a book review.
- Paid book ads and what to do before you jump into the deep end of advertising your book.
- Preparing for in-person events where you will sell or promote your books.
Beta Readers: Building a Better Book
Using Beta Readers can improve your end book. But how do you find them? What questions do you ask them? How do you incorporate their suggestions (or do you?) into your finished manuscript?
- What is a Beta Reader?
- What can you use then for?
- Where do you find Beta Readers?
- What questions do you ask Beta Readers to spark discussion and feedback?
- Troubleshooting problems with your Beta Readers.
- Building relationships with Beta Readers leads to reviews for Book Launches and builds your Street Team.
- How to thank Beta Readers.