Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.
My love of writing probably I began with my passion for reading as a small child. I read at every chance I got – instead of spending time outdoors or hanging with my friends, a good quality part of my time was spent reading. I think reading all of those stories inspired me. Then – when I was in fourth grade – my teacher had this canister of “story-starters.” (one to two sentence writing prompts). I would pick out one every week or every other week and write a story and then share my finished story with my classmates during milk break. I got to sit in the director’s chair and read my story – I have to admit-as a fourth grader- that made you feel pretty important….
As I got older, I moved towards poetry. I think as we studied poetry in English class, it really identified with me. In 7th grade, we read “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe- and I remember thinking how beautiful it was…. And then there was the “Tell-Tale Heart….” After reading Poe, I knew there was no going back and writing was what I wanted to do… I wanted to write like Poe… His writing was both beautiful, mysterious and horrifying all at the same time.
Tell us about your books.
My early books contain inspirational and life inspired poems (“The Real Me-Xtended,” “Through Her Eyes”and “Divine Poetry for a Spiritual Mind.” As I have grown older and gotten in touch with more of my “Poe-side”, I decided to move back to horror.
As a young writer, I actually wrote a little bit of horror, but I was afraid of what others would think and felt that it wasn’t accepted as part of our society. Some horror writers get a bad rap sometimes. But horror is what I love to write – it is how I like to entertain. And I realize – that sometimes – a person does have to walk through or conqueror a bit of darkness – before going into the light… And life can be dark – sometimes we need to write about the dark – to help those who are fighting inner-demons.
My most recent two collections that are of the horror genre are “Twisted Paths Poetry” and an epic horror tale/poem, “Only If.” Twisted Paths of Poetry is a collection of both dark and horror poetry with a mixture of some short poetic tales. “Only-If” is an epic poetic tale about a man named Billy who literally goes crazy sitting in a prison cell because he was framed for the murder of his wife. His thoughts are truly maddening and it takes the reader and quite the psychological journey.
How did you go about getting published?
My first few books were published with Lulu.com and as of recent, I now publish with Amazon. The internet has made it somewhat easier for authors to become self published. There is a lot of competition out there though! As self published author or “indie-author,” you are responsible for your own marketing and publicity. But if you do want to break into the publishing world, I suggest trying self-publishing. In my earlier publishing years (early 2000’s), I was published in a few anthologies.
What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?
My favorite time to write is late at night. It is peaceful and everyone is asleep. Certain music inspires me too. I actually have a horror song playlist that I listed to when I am writing. It consists of some steampunk, Gothic- Rock and melodic rock. Although – that isn’t the only thing I listen to – I have a wide variety of music tastes. That specific play-list just sets the mood for my writing. I usually always write on my laptop. Every now and then, I will write in a notebook, but my thoughts come so fast, I don’t think I can write fast enough – my little Nextbook is perfect for my writing. I simply pull up a notebook file and type away. Later on, I will edit and put it into a Word document or post it on my blog.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
I am a reporter for a small local newspaper, The News Progress and I am an Administrative Aide at a United Methodist Church. On the side I like to read,draw, do digital oil painting on my tablet, graphic art, take nature photos and create jewelry. I also have a few kitties that I love dearly that are all rescues.
Any advice for authors about book covers?
If you are able, create your own book covers. I like to think that most writers have an idea of what they want their cover to look like. I browse free stock photos, and then enhance them digitally with Photo Editing software. I like to combine free stock photos with my own photos that I take.
If you aren’t able to create your own cover, then ask a close friend or business partner who will deliver the idea that you have in your heart. A cover can set the atmosphere of your book. While we are told not to judge a book by its cover – sadly – sometimes the cover is what catches a reader’s eye still. And if that is the case – make sure the description of your book is on the back cover or on the jacket – so the reader can truly know what you are presenting.
Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?
In this day and age – social media is very important. Create a Facebook page and Twitter account most definitely. Then, you can have accounts with Pinterest, Instagram and Linked In. Blogs are also very important. Blogs can be used to feature your writing and get readers interested in your work. If there are nearby conventions that fit the genre of your book – attend those. Conventions are great for marketing and meeting new people. And even though, it can be bothersome to sound like you are “tooting your own horn” – as an Indie-Author – you have to do that online. Don’t be afraid to post links to your books, blog posts or anything else relating to your work. Also -reviews! Get plenty of reviews….Reviews are what will draw people to your books.
What’s your favorite book?
Remember Me by Christopher Pike
What are you reading now?
What’s your next book project?
I am working on two projects right now. One is another dark/horror poetry collection titled “Between Light and Darkness.” It will have a collection of poems dealing with the inner battles of darkness and how the darkness can lead us back to the light.
The second project is part two to my series, “Only If.” This one will be “Only-If- Clara’s Story.” Clara – the one who was murdered in part one, returns to avenge her death in part two.