Tell us a little about yourself.
Firebrand Provocateur – someone who provokes change by radical thoughts or actions, Author of Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Romance, Director of Domestic Operations (aka Mom & Wife), Actually Autistic, Avid reader, Starbucks tea addict, Goth girl, Lover of dark and spooky things.
My personality and being an Autistic person creates this dynamic naturally. I’m an Autistic mother of two Autistic kids. Although, in our house, it is more of a collaborative effort rather than the traditional role one would think of as mother. Autistic life can differ from neurotypical lifestyles. I’ve been married for twenty-three years to a wonderful soul who is very supportive, and that’s really the best thing ever.
I started reading from the time I could understand that words created pictures in my mind and never looked back. Reading saved my life as a kid. If I didn’t have any other responsibilities, I could sit and read a book a day. I’ve done it while on vacation, and it’s amazing to get lost in the world’s other people create. As an adult, I took up sitting at Starbucks to read and write because it doubles as in person social time. Otherwise, my entire social life would be online only as I am highly introverted and I get overwhelmed easily by sensory stimulation.
Outside of my family, books are my life.
Why Do you write?
I know people are probably expecting a grand answer to this, but honestly because I can. There are stories in my head that want to be out, and I have the means to do it. It helps that I enjoy creating the worlds and the characters, too. Once I figured out that I had the possibility to write and publish, the floodgates opened.
What genre do you write and why did you pick this genre?
Currently, I’m writing in Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. I don’t think I consciously chose these genres; they chose me. I sat down to write and these are the stories that came out.
Tell us about your book.
No Rest for the Wicked is the first book in the Life is Hell series. It started out with the name of the main character – Delilah -and that she is a demon. The rest of it came to me as I was writing. I originally planned for three books in this series, but the characters took on a life of their own, as they often do, and now I’m working on book five and have one more planned to make six total. I *may* write a holiday short for it. It depends on my schedule.
How much time do you dedicate to your author career?
As an Autistic person, my schedule often varies depending on how many useable hours I have available on any day. Whereas neurotypical people can recharge their energy fairly quickly, it takes me much longer sometimes, so I write when I feel like I have enough mojo to fully dedicate myself to my characters. Typically, this means that I can write a minimum of five hundred words a day, unless I have hit Autistic burnout. If I am in a burnout cycle, it may take several weeks for me to get back to my usual stamina. The short answer is: I write when my brain is on board with it and don’t force it. This translates to: I write the majority of the time, but not every day.
How long on average does it take you to write your books?
Since I’m writing shorter books (35,000 – 40,000 words on average), I take about three months on the writing part. In a perfect world with no interruptions or sensory challenges, I could do it much faster, but I have to work with what I’ve got, lol.
What is the best money you have ever spent on your author career?
There have been several useful things I’ve invested in. Cover design for sure! Book tours, if you get the right company, can be a good investment. Canva for whipping up nice graphics for teasers. ProWritingAid for self-editing has been a lifesaver. On a side-note: one of the best free tools I’ve used is access to an author group on Discord. Having a community of like-minded authors is invaluable as a resource and as a personal connection, so authoring doesn’t become lonely.
What is the hardest part of being an author?
For me, almost every part has some difficulty. My brain works differently, so a lot of writing methods and advice out there doesn’t work for me. I’ve had to do a lot of trial and error to find a process that I could use to keep me productive. To be perfectly frank, I think my biggest struggle is marketing my books. Despite taking many marketing classes, both book related and otherwise, I have never developed a knack for it.
What is the best piece of advice you have for other authors?
Figure out what works for you and throw out the rest. There is no one right way to write a book. Don’t get hung up on getting things done “just right.” What works for one person may not work for you, and that’s okay. Find something that does and go with it. And remember, you can’t make everyone happy, so don’t try. Some people are going to love your work, others will pick it apart unmercifully. As long as you are growing as an author and learning as you go, you’re doing what you need to do. Don’t let other people bring you down.
What is your favorite book?
There is no one-book answer to this, lol. Right now my all-time favorite indie authors are K. A. Merikan (Guns N’ Boys series/ Jack Addison series), Hailey Turner (Soulbound series), and Domino Finn (Black Magic Outlaw series). My favorite trad pub author is Laurell K. Hamilton. Her Anita Blake series is awesome!
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