I have always enjoyed reading about monsters in love and now I write about them because monsters need love too.
I adores beasties of all sorts, fictional as well as real, and have a farm full of them in my Southwest Missouri home, including: one child, one husband, two dogs, two cats, a dozen hens, thousands of Italian bees, and a guinea pig.
I may or may not keep a complete zombie apocalypse bug-out bag in my trunk at all times, including a machete. Just. In. Case.
Tell us about your latest book.
My latest book to publish is Reap & Reveal and it’s the third in my Reaper Series. There will be a least one more title in that series, Reap & Reckon, which will publish in 2016.
What do you have coming out in the future?
Currently, I’m working on a sci-fi/space opera romance entitled Space Cowboys & Indians. Think of a movie mashup of Cowboys & Aliens meets Six Days Seven Nights.
From where do you draw your inspiration?
Often I’ll read a weird news story or just get a little snippet of something and think, “What if…”. Once I have that spark, I go about chasing down leads and ideas from that single idea and the story begins to germinate from there. Haunt My Heart came to me after I was leaving to go on my first-ever ghost hunt and my husband asked, “What if something follows you home?”. Indeed! And Space Cowboys & Indians was sparked by the real-life space mission to harpoon and land the Rosetta's Philae lander on Comet 67P. That’s when the “What ifs started.”
Do you ever base your characters on real people in your life?
I haven’t so far although real-life experiences have been worked into the pages like the ghost hunt I mentioned for Haunt My Heart. That whole EMF detector thing in the book…happened to me.
What was your road to publishing like? Tell us about it.
Well, it’s been interesting. I didn’t start writing until 2011. In 2012 I entered the Harlequin So You Think You Can Write contest and from more than 700 global entries I made it into the Top 28. Then I lost. Sadness ensued. A few months later, I got THE CALL from Harlequin, and they contracted the first three books of the Reaper Series. Two were briefly published with HQN, then they decided to close down that line and returned my rights so I could re-publish them independently. Reap & Reveal, Book 3, just came out in April for the first time ever. Haunt My Heart was completely independently published. It’s been a rollercoaster few years, but I love indie publishing!
How did you come up with the title of your book?
Reap & Repent actual started as Reap ‘Em & Weep. HQN wanted something shorter and I hit upon the Reap & theme. Book four will be Reap & Reckon.
Is your book a stand alone or a series?
The reaper books are a series and would be best read that way.
What celebrity would you chose to play the main character(s) in the movie rendition of your book?
Ooooooo, I want Jensen Ackles as Deacon. Mostly so I can meet him and drool a bit :D
Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.
Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.
A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound powers.
I am heavily involved a local writer’s group called Ozarks Romance Authors. In fact, I was President one year. That group has been very influential in my success thus far. Great bunch of writers!
Have you won any awards for your writing?
Reap & Repent placed Second in the Paranormal Romance Guild’s 2014 Reviewer’s Choice for Urban Fantasy and The Reaper Series placed Third for Best Urban Fantasy Series.
What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Finding (scratch that) making the time to write. I can’t write every day. I stay up late after the family has gone to bed to eke out some words. I usually average 750 words an hour so a couple of hours a night tends to be pretty productive. Still, it’s a slow process for me since I also have a full-time day job, family etc.
Which of your characters is your favorite and why?
Kylen of Reap & Redeem is by far my favorite so far. He’s such a dark character and a bad, bad boy. Seriously, he was possessed by a demon for a century. He has issues. Still, well, let’s just say the title says it all.
Who or what are your inspirations/influences?
J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood books are a huge inspiration for my writing. Dark Lover started my love of paranormal romance/urban fantasy and it blossomed from there. Of course, the television series Supernatural is also huge in my life. I’ve seen every episode. I love them ALL. #TeamDean
How would you describe your writing style?
I started out totally pantsing it. With each book, I’ve gotten more and more detailed with prewriting a synopsis, which is a HUGE help! Gosh, it’s nice to know where you’re going before you sit down to stare at a blank page. Sure, I deviate from the script from time to time, but it gives me a direction to aim for. I think I write must faster and better now because of that transition.
With many publishing routes available today, which felt the most reliable to you when it came to the many choices?
I’ve gone strictly with Amazon KDP Select. I tried going on B&N and Kobo with Redeem for a week with no sales. I like the flexibility of offering Kindle Unlimited subscribers the chance to read my series for free. For now and the near future, I’ll stay on that track.
When did you know you truly wanted to give writing a shot?
Crazy question because you know what? There was a defining moment. Writing had always been in the back of my head but when a coworker quit his job and left his wife (with her blessing) to go to Los Angeles for a year to try to break into acting before they started a family, I decided I had to follow my dream too. What did I have to lose? I mean all I was doing was cleaning out my craft room and transitioning it to a writing cave. The worst that could happen was my family would eat more Ramen noodles, which is NOT a hardship to them. They love them and would eat them every meal if I’d let them. THAT was the moment :D