I absolutely love writing and reading Paranormal and Fantasy Romance. I'm from Atlantic Canada, where I let my adventurous spirit roam for inspiration. My main aim with my writing is to create meaningful stories with captivating characters in magical places. I hope to inspire readers with a sense of joy, excitement, love, and wonder.
Tell us about your latest book.
My latest book released on August 22, 2015 is Blue Moon Rising. It is a young Adult Fantasy Romance about a society of Mermaids co-existing with humans in Seabright, Nova Scotia. The female protagonist, Anya, returns home in this sequel to Heart of Shell (the first Mercrutian Chronicle), after transcending to a full Mermaid over the summer. Now she has new powers, a new and stronger sense of herself, and new challenges she'll face.
What do you have coming out in the future?
In December, I'll be releasing King of Shadows, the second book in the Arzulian Kingdoms Series. This will overlap with the first book in the series Prince of Fire to tell part of Salha's story from her perspective and then encompass all of the characters.
Is your book a stand-alone or a series?
Both of these books are part of a series but I do have a stand alone short story out right now called Eyesight. It is a quick enjoyable read in the New Adult Paranormal genre and was a winner of the Winter Solstice Short Story Contest.
Why romance and what makes your particular brand of romance special?
I would say that my brand of romance is fun and sometimes silly, but most importantly I support and explore healthy equal relationships between characters. My young adult books especially try to support positive ideas about relationships. I write females who are strong and don't define themselves only by love, they ask themselves questions to listen to their mind and hearts. I write males who don't feel obligated to follow traditional roles, and ask themselves questions about what they think or feel. I want my characters to express genuine love and affection to their counterpart without being archetypes.
Is romance the only genre that you write in or do you write in other genres? If so what other genres do you write in?
At this time I only write Romance. It's what I enjoy and I feel can have such a positive impact, so it is my area of focus.
There are a lot of things that I find inspirational. Walks in nature can be especially helpful to create a sense of calmness and serenity that helps me with finding the right tone and voice. Generally with my ideas though they are eureka moments. An idea kind of pops into my mind and takes over. Suddenly I'm swept up into a scenario outside of myself and my curious nature wants to know more. So I ask myself questions and delve further into the tale. Characters will introduce themselves to me too, which sounds funny but is the easiest way to explain how it happens. I'll be daydreaming and they just pop into my head and say “Hello” because they have a story they want to be told.
Do you ever base your characters on real people in your life?
I think every writer does whether we intend to or not. I wouldn't say that my characters are specific people in my life, but I would confess that sometimes a gesture, a thought process, or a way a character says things are slightly influenced by people I know. I think when it really comes down to knowing a character, they are telling me who they are – it's up to me to figure them out rather than create them.
What authors inspire your writing?
When it comes to Romance: Sherrilyn Kenyon, Katie MacAlister, Nalini Singh, Marjorie M. Liu, and Lynsay Sands are some of my favorites. I admire their strong characters and their writing is always just what I need, a bit of intrigue and mystery, or some humor and laughs. I start reading and immediately I'm enveloped by the worlds they have written.
How have your real life experiences influenced your writing?
I'm very fortunate to have the love that I do in my life, with my partner, with my family, and with my friends. I believe all of those experiences influence the way I approach love and romance. I think because of the positivity and faith I have with these people no matter how dark or challenging a situation might appear my characters prevail.
Spending time with my loved ones is important to me. As well as taking time to have little adventures in nature. I find wildlife inspirational so I try to spend some time recuperating outdoors. I also like to mediate, craft, and read.
How did you come up with the title of your book?
It popped into my head. I wanted something that would make you think of mermaids. The moon is equally important to the Mer mythology in my books like water is so Blue Moon Rising seemed very approriate. The rarity of the situation and the historical connotations and meanings surrounding a blue moon are reflective of the undelying themes in the book.
What is the easiest part of the writing process for you?
Coming up with ideas is the easiest part for me. Sometimes I have too many ideas and I end up scribbling them all down and tucking them away for later when I'll get the chance to revisit. Once I have an idea, from there the characters and places and events flow very easily.
Which of your characters is your favorite and why?
I actually haven't written my favourite character yet. She's a guardian named Stitia from a world called Morianna. I'll be writing her story in a fantasy romance series in 2017.
If I had to choose a character from my current books though it would be challenging. I would say that Samira from Prince of Fire is my favourite female character and Merrick from Blue Moon Rising is my favourite male. I like Samira because she's tough and doesn't ever give up. No matter what life throws at her, she will perserveer. Merrick would be my favourite male because he gets overlooked sometimes. There's so many things about him that the reader will understand over time. He has a lot of layers and he's not always what he appears to be.
My home office. :) With a cup of hot tea, some instrumental music softly playing and my curtains open to an overcast or stormy day. There's something very magical about lightning, thunder, and rain that I find highly motivating. It might be the sense of awe.
How would you describe your writing style?
It is very creative and imaginate and I try to focus on also building a world that you find yourself engaged in exploring. My pacing is often fast with reflective moments for the reader to pause. There's a lot of action and positive dialogue going on.
Do you have a careful plan when plotting your stories or do you just go with the flow?
I use both, I typically know what will happen in a book and will plot it out but when it comes to writing I think it is a very organic and cylical process. I'll write chapters, shift them around for the sake of flow and sometimes fill things in in chunks. I'm not a very linear writer. I write in circles until I've completed each part of the curve.
With many publishing routes available today, which felt the most reliable to you when it came to the many choices?
Online publishing by myself and through online publishing companies are my choice right now. ePublishing has been really accessible, easy to use and I think something that a lot of authors are exploring now. To me an eBook felt reliable since they're so widely used. I do certainly love a hard copy of a book and so enjoy the tactile feeling of flipping a page, but I feel like focusing on ePublishing is the way to start, print can develop later.
In my heart, I've always been a writer, but there are times when outside influences can drown out that love and that instinct to write. At the beginning of this year I decided I would change. I had written a book that I wasn't talking about and another book (Heart of Shell) was just sitting there waiting to be shared. I took a course in the early spring called Infinite Possibilites and it was then I realized I had all these stories I wanted to tell-- that's when I said to myself, okay let's do this... now or never.
What is your favorite quote?
“The secret to living the life of your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams today, in every little way you possibly can.” - Mike Dooley
Do you have any advice for other writers and what is it?
Keep writing. No matter what anyone ever says, there are millions of people out there waiting to read your book. The more you write, the better skills you acquire, so keep at it, and BE CONSISTENT. Write your plans out and know what you want to accomplish before you start writing. I don't start writing a book and know all of the ins and outs, but I do know that I will finish it and I think that's powerful in itself.
Forgive yourself too, you're going to make mistakes and someone will notice. Put your best efforts forward, and another person will think it's great. ; ) Writing involves a lot of evolution.
Wild Card Question.
As an author, what is the one question that you wish people would ask you, but no one ever has and what would your answer be to that question?
If you could ask your readers anything, what would it be?
I would ask for them to provide positive constructive feedback or reviews. I think we sometimes hesistate to connect with authors to let them know what we thought of their books, if we enjoyed them or that we're waiting for their next book to come out. For independent authors this is something that is highly motivating and so appreciated. Reading a review that someone enjoyed your book, or what they thought of your characters can be wonderful! It also helps us think of things we hadn't considered before. Plus on the bad days when we want to give up and throw in the towel, we then think, no I can't someone out there wants to know more.