Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.
I began writing poems and short stories around the age of ten. My grandmother encouraged me to continue writing and I thought I’d eventually become a songwriter. However, once I entered high school I started writing more stories and put songwriting on the back burner. During my high school years, teen pregnancy was on the rise and the show, Teen Mom was just starting out on MTV. That inspired me to write my first full-length novel, Cami’s Decision. It explores the idea of a young pregnant teenager who’s bullied by her narcissistic classmate.
Tell us about your books.
Many high school students across the world deal with bullying at some point. I include this in some of the young adult books that I write because of its prevalence. There are far too many sad stories of kids being bullied not only at school but online as well. When I was in high school, Facebook and Myspace were gaining popularity, but there were still a lot of kids who didn’t have a profile on those websites. They could go home and not have to deal with cyber bullying. Now, social media is everywhere and most people have a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter page and cell phones now. So then it becomes: how can I get away from all of this? Sometimes things get so bad that you want to delete your social media pages but then you think why should I have to do this.
I have also explored writing in other genres such as romance. I love to put my own twist in anything that I write. My most recent romance series, Unpopular in Love, starts out with Linden. She wasn’t very popular in high school and she and her friends stayed to themselves and kept their head in the books. Linden goes on to college and reconnects with an old classmate, Addison who’s always been secretly in love with her. Linden’s focus is solely on school and Addison wants nothing more than to gain her attention. In the meantime, he’s dealing with his own personal demons and trying to get over the death of his younger brother who died from a drug overdose.
How did you go about getting published?
When I started out with my first book, Cami’s Decision, I queried agents for a few months and received both positive and negative responses. Then, I researched self-publishing and felt that would be the best route for me.
What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?
For my writing process, I normally write an outline for a chapter before I type it. Sometimes I just write a short description of what I want the chapters to be about. Anytime I write a story it’s typically when I can catch a break from my other full-time job as a customer service representative. I normally write at home at night after I get off from work.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
I’m a fashion merchandising and apparel studies graduate. Because of my love for fashion, I will read any fashion magazine (Vogue, People Style Watch, Marie Claire, In Style, Elle, etc) I can get my hands on. I love to bake desserts such as my favorite strawberry cake. I also love to read, listen to music, and watch reruns of my childhood favorites Scooby-Doo, Sailor Moon, and Dragon Ball Z.
Any advice for authors about book covers?
You don’t have to pay a fortune to obtain a decent book cover. I use Self pub book covers website to choose some of my covers. The prices start at $69 and their covers are very professional looking. I’ve also used Shutterstock for stock photos. Their prices vary depending on what package you choose. I’ve purchased their 5 images plan for $49 in the past.
Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?
This is the hardest part for me. I’m good at writing and bad at marketing, but I’m working on it. Start a facebook or twitter page for your books to get the word out. And tell all your friends and family. Word of mouth marketing can be very powerful.
What’s your favorite book?
Fabulosity: What It Is And How To Get It By Kimora Lee Simmons
What are you reading now?
I’m not currently reading anything. I don’t read as much when I’m working on a new project.
What’s your next book project?
I don’t want to give too much away. It’s something different from what I’ve written before. The story is about an overweight woman who’s on the verge of death. She feels as if her only hope of survival is to get weight loss surgery. Or else her daughters will be motherless.