Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.
I can not remember ever not writing. It has always been a part of me. However, I burned most that I wrote and refused to let anything out into the light of day until I believed in it. Now, middle aged, I have reached that point. I’ve faked it with some well received non-fiction textbooks published in the past years by Focal Press, but continued to protect the secret novel that was always in the works. Recently, I was propelled by a small group of writing friends. Together we held each other accountable and pushed each other to finish the secret novel and publish.
Tell us about your books.
I have written textbooks mostly: Rig it Right and Hybrid Animation. Both books were published by Focal Press and did pretty well. I ignored them the second they were published—being pampered by a great marketing team. NOW, I’m self publishing fiction and that is completely different. Absolute Darkness is my first fiction novel that has been self published and I worry over it like a small, ill infant. I’d much rather be writing than marketing, yet I am learning so much about this side of things I can’t stop. However, I look forward to writing my next novel at the start of the new year.
How did you go about getting published?
Traditional: I approached a Focal Press editor with my book ideas. It was scary easy. Right time. Right knowledge. Right profession. (Now, those textbooks had been burning in my head for five years prior to that right time presenting itself.)
Self-Publishing: I have honed, wrote, burned things, cried, read, read more, wrote, burned the things again, cut, slashed, read, and finally found the characters I loved in a story universe that intrigued me. Then it was a romance and I fought it again. I finally gave in and wrote it then began figuring out this self publishing world. I have a great respect for anyone that makes a go out here. It takes a self belief of steel. I didn’t have that self belief at first. Drive, yes, and lots of self criticism. It took a group of friends to help me finally push into the self published world. We created “The Sh*tty Writers’ Club” A group of us got together and all confessed that we secretly wanted to write a novel – but since we were already accomplished in our own areas (animators, illustrators, jewelry makers) we were afraid to fail. So, we decided that as a member of “The Sh*tty Writer’s Club” – it is OK to fail and be bad. You just have to write it. So…we did. The other’s are not far behind me on their journey to a completed “bad” book! The approval to be bad – was a great release.
What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?
Since I work a full time job that requires a good deal of travel I tend to write mostly in planes and hotels. However, any moment I have an hour to spare—I write. My favorite, when possible, is to sit on the porch in a rocking chair and look at the valley. (Coffee and doggies at my side are required.) I drive a lot as well and failed miserably at dictating manuscripts. Instead, I think (aloud usually) about the current story problem at hand. By the time I get to my destination I usually have three or more solutions.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
First, I am a professor of animation and game programming which takes a lot of learning and love. Luckily, that is fun and easy. When relaxing I like to go motorcycle riding with my husband or caving with my buddies. I might possibly live in a zoo since there are many dogs and cats about.
Any advice for authors about book covers?
Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?
Don’t give up. I’m new to this—so do not have much to offer here.
What’s your favorite book?
I read anything with good characters. I used to listen to books from audible while traveling. It would be hilarious to listen to me comment and critique the dialogue while I drove “What’s the matter with you? A female detective would not say that.” At the point that I started becoming very opinionated about what I read – I knew I was ready to actually write a book. My favorite writers: King, Koontz, Cormac McCarthy, Lisa Gardner, Hugh Howey, Andy Weir to name a few.
What are you reading now?
Sherlock Holmes, The Unveiling 1.0, Not the Dark That Kills You
What’s your next book project?
I have to find out where the “Absolute Darkness” characters Alexander and Yindi come from. That’s next.