What’s your story? How did you get into writing?
I graduated with my second masters in May of 2011, and I came to realize I was bored. I was use to constantly writing in those classes so I started a blog to get the creative juices flowing. Everyone was putting together a bucket list then, and I decided to do one as well. On that bucket list I surprised myself when I put down I wanted to try writing. I stared at the bucket list every day. I kept coming back to the part about writing and I decided I owed it to myself to give it a shot. I started my first novel, The Road to Justice – A John Fowler Novel on October 3rd, 2011, and finished it on December 3rd, 2011. As I was writing it, I asked a few friends to look at it to see if it made sense. I didn’t know what a beta reader was then, but that’s what they were. One of them said he couldn’t wait to see where this series went. I had to stop what I was doing. I had planned on killing the hero at the end of the book. After about the fourth reader told me I had to get my book published, I pulled back and tried to figure out where to go from there. I thought up all these ideas and what I was going to do in different books. After I was satisfied, I finished the first book, and sent out letters to five agents or so, just knowing that they were going to bowl me over with offers. While I waited I began working on my second novel. It took me six months to write it. Remember all those ideas I had for my “multiple books”? They all went into the second one. After 75+ agents said it was them, not me, I decided to jump into the self-publishing world, and here I am today.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Write. It may sound simple, but I know too many people who keep telling me they have a book. When I ask them where they’re at on it, I usually hear, “Well it’s in the conception stage.” If you’ve got a block, then start putting things down on paper, or typing, or however you write. It’s amazing what the mind can free up for you once you start putting ideas on paper.
What are you working on now?
I’m working with my editors on two books right now in my John Fowler series, (Books 4 and 5) and writing on Book 6. I’m tinkering around with another short story that I may publish on my blog, but I can’t quite figure out exactly where I want the story to go.
What has been the most challenging part of publishing or marketing your book?
Just getting people to know I even exist. While some of the stigma of being an independent author is going away, some people still turn their nose up at my work. My local library refuses to carry my books even when I offered to donate them. It’s their policy. That being said the library in the town I grew up in can’t keep my books on the shelf.
What has been your favorite part?
I come from a family of teachers, so I have known most of the teachers I had in school my entire life. When they text or email me and tell me how much they love my work. . . I’m telling you there is no greater thrill than your fifth grade reading teacher, one of the people who is responsible for my love of reading, to brag on my work to all of her friends!
Who are your favorite authors?
David Eddings, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, John Grisham, James Patterson, Sue Grafton, Janet Evanovich, and Jeffery Deavers. As a kid I read the Encyclopedia Brown works, Hardy Boys, Box Car Children, Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and The Three Investigators. Seems I’ve always enjoyed mysteries.
What gave you the idea for your current work?
I had to chuckle at the question. One day in the shower the idea that became the main mystery came to me. I had this whole elaborate detective story planned out. I had all the murders, twist and turns figured out and outlined, and then I sat down to work on it, and there was nothing. I didn’t know how to write the first sentence. I finally decided I needed a main character just to get the juices started, and that’s when John Fowler came, sat down beside me, whispered in my ear his story, and we’ve been going strong know for almost two years!
If you could be any character in the book, which one would you be?
I guess it would be John Fowler. He is so simple, but so complex, all at the same time. To be able to watch someone and know when they’re lying would be a gift, and an absolute curse. His sense of right and wrong is like no one else’s. Life would be very interesting as John.
What other books have you written and/or are working on for the future?
I’ve got three total books published, all John Fowler novels: The Road to Justice, Sins of the Son, and This Thing of Ours. I’m wrapping up editing on my fourth John Fowler Novel, Journey’s End, and we’re just beginning the editing process of the fifth John Fowler Novel, Days Past. I’m about 25-30% done with book 6, The Hunt for the Truth. I have a short story I’m done with on my blog called, Bad Day in Queen’s Landing. I have three or four more of those planned, but haven’t gotten around to them just yet. I’m working on another novel here and there. It’s tentatively called Kat Can Do (I know it’s a goofy title, but it kinda grows on me) It’s the story of Katherine Lance, a forensic accountant and a case she stumbles into. I’ve been working on it on and off for 6 months now. When it will ever get finished is anyones guess right now.
What’s your favorite quote?
“Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail”
What’s your favorite supernatural creature?
Favorite? Wow, I’m going to have to go with a good old fashioned ghost. I even went on my own personal ghost hunt once in Savannah.