● Q: Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
○ A: Hands down, the characters in my head definitely hold the reins. I often just feel like a scribe, writing down the stories I see in my head that play out like scenes in a movie. That is actually how I began writing the Orion’s Order series, starting with Calypso’s Heart. I woke up one day and began writing bios for my gifted imaginary friends that I met that day. I absolutely love sharing their stories and the magical species world!
● Q: Where do your story ideas come from?
○ A: Honestly, I can’t logically explain it. The words and scenes are in my mind and play out like a movie. I know it sounds weird but the stories just... come to me. Some come in vivid dreams. Some come right when I wake up (in that magical state of mind between sleep and awake). Some come when I’m at the grocery store or in the middle of a workout or in meditation. Of course, I take inspiration from everyday life but the stories and characters seem to have a mind of their own and are definitely in the driver’s seat, calling the shots. There’s no plot planning or storyline strategizing for me. Instead, the stories are just in my mind, playing out like a movie and I just write them. I often joke that I just feel like a scribe writing down whatever the stories and characters show me. ;)
● Q: Have you written any other books that are not published?
○ A: Does Book 3 of Orion’s Order count? ;) It is currently in editing and will be released as soon as editing and formatting is done! I also have several stories that are outlined or have the first few chapters written. They are marinating, not quite ready to be finished being written yet. And I am super excited for when the day comes to share these stories with you all!
● Q: Do you use Pen/paper or computer/phone to write your notes?
○ A: Shout out to the Notes app on the iPhone! Seriously, I have about a zillion notes in there that house alllll sorts of things to help keep this crazy mind of mine somewhat sane… somewhat being the key word there. ;) Random story ideas, scenes, characters, words and conversations, etc. come to me at all hours of the day. I immediately write them down in the Notes app. Then, at some later time, I transfer the notes to these word documents that I refer to as my author bibles. Oh, and I should also give an honorable mention to those ancient inventions called Sticky Notes and a pen for those times I am quickly jotting down a random as hell note about something one of the characters decided to show me when my phone or laptop are not nearby. ;)
● Q: Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
○ A: Three words: Tattooed. Bad Boy. Still not convinced? ;) Well, Rhyker is a sexy as sin, black jaguar shifter with a side smirk that rivals Ian Somerhalder. He’s dangerous. Wears all black. Has black diamond stud earrings. Smokes indigo (a species plant). And his piercing, predatory, electric blue eyes are dangerously gorgeous. He’s got that tall, dark, and handsome thing down along with a good dose of muscled strength and wildness (in more ways than just his lethal feline within).
○ Still not convinced? Although, I struggle with understanding how that can possibly be. ;) Rhyker has his eye on Keena, a sweet and caring mind healer, who has been determined to keep him in the friend zone. Because, if she were to be with Rhyker and it didn’t work out? Then it would ruin her. The only problem is that she already knows what his kiss tastes like. What his big, rough hands feel like on her body. What that sexy smirk of his does to her. In fact, her mind won’t seem to stop reminding her of that one time they shared that hot as hell kiss in a darkened corner of a club.
○ Oh, there’s also an ancient evil who The Order, Rhyker’s pack of lethally skilled hunters, is tracking so they can avenge their alpha’s mate and make good on their pack’s sole mission: to rid the evil in their world.
● Q: How long does it take you to write a book?
○ A: Good question! As a brand new author, I feel like the answer to this question will morph slightly as I continue to write, learn, grow, and get into a natural rhythm that works for me. Also, I think it might be helpful to call out that the books I’ve written thus far are quite longer than the standard (clocking in around 700 pages each book).
○ With that in mind, I wrote Calypso’s Heart in 5 months (but boy the editing process was a long learning process!). I wrote Rhyker’s Key in 6 months (editing process was a little less). And I wrote Orion’s Order book 3 in 7 months (and I’m hoping the editing will be even better this time around too). Soooo, 5, 6, and 7 months.... Here’s to hoping this numerical trend does continue in that direction lol! ;)
● Q: What are some of your writing/publishing goals for 2021?
○ A: I’ve actually been thinking about this a lot. As a brand new author where Calypso’s Heart was my first novel, to say I’ve learned a lot about writing and publishing books is an understatement (and yet, there’s still so much to learn). One thing I’ve learned is that writing the book is really the just beginning and there’s a lot that happens behind the scenes before getting to the glorious step of pushing the publish button.
○ Another thing I’ve learned is that balance is important. And this is something I’m currently focusing on and will be one of my main goals for 2021. In fact, I may nominate the word “balance” to be my theme word for the year. So, here’s to finding some balance, a nice groove, and rhythm with writing and publishing books.
○ On a more specific level, I am going to play around with the goal of publishing 1 book per year in all formats (ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook) while leaving room to allow inspiration to take shape in the form of writing and/or publishing extra bonuses like short stories, novellas, or even more full blown novels.
○ Even more specifically, next year, I plan on publishing Book 3 in the Orion’s Order series and set a goal to finish writing Book 4 in the series.
● Q: What do you like to do when you are not writing/being an author?
○ A: Reading romance novels (duh!), eating yummy foods (double duh!), walking on the beach (while listening to audiobooks, of course), and swimming in the ocean (unfortunately, haven’t figured out to listen to audiobooks while in the water but I’ve certainly tried and ruined many earbuds lol!). Oh, and playing with my fur-babies (3 cats who love to run around with a random spurt of energy at 4am lol ;) ).
● Q: Do you see yourself in your characters?
○ A: In some ways and with certain characters, yes, I do see some relatable similarities. But there are also many qualities and characteristics that are wholeheartedly not me too. For example, in Calypso’s Heart, Caly and I both love music, morning drinks, and romance books (Oh, and we both love the hot alpha wolf, Blake! ;) ). And in Rhyker’s Key, we learn about just how much yoga, dance, and mindfulness play an integral part of Keena’s life—which I most certainly relate to. On the other hand, both Caly and Keena live alone, which I’ve never done nor do I foresee myself ever doing! And without giving away their stories, I think both Caly and Keena make some decisions that I don’t think I would ever do. ;)
● Q: Are any of the characters based on real people you know?
○ A: I would say that overall there are some characters and events that are definitely inspired by things in the real world, including similar characteristics, tendencies, experiences, etc. However, one of the characters in particular, Starr, does share quite a bit in common with my sister and best friend, Marchesa. They aren’t the same person in my mind and they don’t share everything in common but certainly the strong similarities between them exist. Not only is Starr’s physical characteristics based on my sister but they are also both fiery and independent alpha females that are unapologetically blazing their own way through the world. My sister is most definitely aware of this and we often joke about it all the time—to the point where I often call her Starr-chesa whenever she says or does something that I feel is just “so Starr.”
● Q: Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?
○ A: A big, fat, teary-eyed THANK YOU!!! Seriously, thank you! And somehow those two powerful words full of love and gratitude don’t even feel like enough. Thank you for your support, encouragement, inspiration, interest, excitement, emojis, gifs, comments, reviews, smiles, laughs… all of it and more! Oh, and of course, thank you for all of the incredible conversations and messages all about the Orion’s Order crew of sexy as sin males and awesome females and of course the resident fur baby Felix, and the supernatural world of species So, in case I haven’t said this enough, THANK YOU! The crew and I love each of you very much! :)