* Did you use any of your own experience as inspiration?
Absolutely. I cannot imagine any writer doesn’t allow a little of themselves to seep into every character or story. I lost my father last year in the middle of working on a story that the character also had lost her father, and I actually had to stop writing it for a bit because it was too much inspiration. I have written a short story based on a childhood incident and what I wish I would have done versus what I actually did.
* On average, how long does the writing process take?
This varies. I have written a first draft in as little as three weeks and taken as long as 6 months for another. On average, about 2-3 months is enough for drafting and revisions.
* When did you realize you wanted a career in writing?
While I have always created stories both on paper and in my head, it wasn’t until June 2013 that I made the commitment to make it my career. Four years later, and more rejections than I can count, my first book, Her Cowboy’s Promise, will be published.
* If you weren't an author, what other career paths would you have taken?
Most likely a school librarian. I substituted in my local district and love children, and to combine that with my love of reading would be a pretty great career.
* Out of the characters that you created, who is your favorite?
In my Fly Creek series, I would have to say Polly Brooks. She’s a septuagenarian who has no trouble speaking her mind or giving a nice kick in the butt to whoever needs it, and does downward dog with flair. She also has a heart of gold and a soft spot for cowboys.
Overall, my favorite is Delia Wilson. She has a weakness for bear claws and ginger haired men. Knows the power of a good pencil skirt and has a collection of corsets in her closet alongside her favorite books. She’s a librarian with secrets.
* What advice would you give to someone looking to be a writer?
First, there is no one path to being a writer.
Start now. Don’t waste a day or week or month saying, “I would like to write a book.” Do it. Write any way you can, on a napkin, in a notebook, text on your phone. Carve out a few minutes each day to do something about the desire or dream to become a writer.
I would also tell them that nothing about this career is fast. It is a long haul, cross country, marathon and you will never stop learning or evolving.
Finally, I would encourage them to find their people. I’m lucky to have a great CP, an awesome local writing chapter and national chapter that has my back. Not to mention all the amazing authors and readers I’m connected to through social media. They are your foundation through the good times and bad. They are your resources, your sounding boards, your wine and chocolate providers. You will need them and they will need you.
It’s not an easy career. It’s hard and heartbreaking, and at times may seem impossible, but it’s worth every ounce of that to see your stories out there. To have readers tell you they connected with your characters, or your story helped them through hard times. The rewards outweigh the risks.
* What kind of research (if any) was required for any of your books?
It’s very easy to fall down the rabbit hole of research. One question leads to another and another, and usually it is all just to get one sentence accurate in your book.
For Her Cowboy’s Promise I did research on Wyoming, the weather, the plants and animals, and also, dude ranches, yoga, and painting.
For another series, I researched how to make Whisky which led to growing seasons on wheat and barley across the U.S. That same series saw me learning about wildlife photographers and elusive animals in the Andes.
I cannot imagine any book not requiring at least some research.
*How long after you finish a book do you start another one?"
In the middle. Honestly, I often have more than one book going at a time, sometimes in the same series and sometimes not. But once I have finished drafting a book, I move on to the next within a few days. Of course, I will go back to the draft and revise at some point depending on the time frame I have set myself.
Thank you so much for having me today. It has been a pleasure. Happy Reading.
Normally, I would include a little bit of the plot. This time I thought doing so would reveal too much.
One thing that attracted me to want to read this book was Emily being an artist. This was the first book that dealt with a rancher. While I believed it to be predictable in the beginning, I was pleasantly surprised at many parts of the story.
Rating: 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥
I received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.