In your own words, please describe your book.
Move is a worst case scenario of wishing your problems away. It’s about a young woman in a life rut that crosses paths with a djinn (genie) and accepts his help to make her problems go away. As his misplaced efforts cause her more problems, she comes to realize that she could have solved them herself is she had been willing to accept some changes in her life.
What genre/genres does your book fall under?
Move is a mystery novel with a paranormal element.
Is this book part of a series?
It is now, as I’m working on a sequel to the novel.
What was the inspiration behind your book?
In 2010, my job was transferred to a new department. Although I accepted and supported this move, it was much harder than I anticipated. I had to make adjustments I hadn’t considered, and the work involved with incorporating my position into a new department was bigger than I imagined. During the two years that it took me to fully integrate the programs into the new position (you read that right – it was a process that lasted two full calendar years), I realized how so many people are stuck in ruts by fear of change. A lot of people thought I was absolutely crazy to go through this voluntarily instead of jumping ship and letting somebody else handle the mess, but I was so fed up with the rut I had been in before the move that the hard work was worth it to me. I realized I was in a unique position and started to wonder exactly what it would take to make most people fearful of change to finally reach the point I did and say “heck with it, I’m sick of this rut and will do whatever it takes to improve things.” And as usually happens, the plot of Move evolved from that simple “what if” question.
What led you into writing? Was it a lifelong ambition, or the result of some type of turning point in your life?
Writing has been a lifelong ambition, but I have to admit that the great advances in technology have made it easier. I initially planned to pursue writing after I retired from my “day job,” but the advancements with computers and the ebook revolution convinced me that it would be wiser to act now than to wait 15-20 more years. And besides, these stories kept coming to me and wouldn’t leave me along until I wrote them. I couldn’t imagine trying to hold all of that back for a couple of decades.
So far, what has been the greatest moment in your writing career?
Publishing my first fiction novels in 2011 and 2012. I published them through epublishers, but it really opened my eyes to the potential for ebooks. I started self publishing some of my shorter works that didn’t meet the criteria of those publishers, and the whole indie-author thing took off from there.
Are you self-published or published through a small-press? Can you tell our readers what led up to that and your publishing experience?
I do both. Three of my books, Blurry, Anywhere But Here, and Splinter, are published through epublishers. The rest are self published, including Move. In fact, I decided to self publish Move after one of those publishers turned it down because they were uncomfortable with the mix of mystery and paranormal. They weren’t confident that readers would accept such a mix and asked that I remake it strictly one genre or the other. After some thinking, I realized that I could self publish it a lot faster than I could rewrite and resubmit it. So I struck out on my own with this one and so far, it’s been received as well as my other novels.
In my experience, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. When you epublish, the publisher provides the editing, artwork, and does a lot of the legwork for you in terms of getting it out to readers. When you self publish, you have to find editors and cover artists on your own, which costs some money and takes some time – but on the flip side, you can usually get pretty good turnaround times and get it published faster if you self publish. Plus, if you self publish, you have more control over pricing of the novel than you do with an epublisher (where you have no control, so you can’t, for example, choose to run it half off for a special offer, and they usually don’t do giveaways unless you buy the copy yourself). As with anything, there are pros and cons to it.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on the sequel to Move. It’s called Obsidian, and it’s about the consequences of many of the decisions to “work things out” at the end of Move. Although I feel that Move ended as it should have, I had a nagging feeling that it wasn’t done, and there was a need to revisit Tanger Falls to bring good, honest closure to the events that shook up that small town. I had a couple of people read it and say “that’s it? You’re going to leave it like that?” After thinking about how the novel ended, I realized that the big surprises at the end were too big to just leave out there without any follow up.
In your own words, please tell us about yourself.
I really am a normal, everyday person just like everybody else. I have a full time job, a husband, a home, and family that lives nearby. My husband and I built a house on two acres of woods where we live in relative seclusion, but we both work, so being hermits didn’t work out for us because we see people every day anyhow. I absolutely hate getting up by an alarm clock, but my escape fantasy is about getting my big break in writing instead of the winning lottery numbers. Instead of kids, we have two parrots that fancy themselves my muses and believe they should have a cut of the recognition and earnings from my creative endeavors (here’s your shout out, Zack and Chloe), and an outside cat named Genevieve that relieves us of our leftovers every evening (with a little help from the raccoons). Being a writer doesn’t really make you different from other people – you just turn your observations to creative endeavors instead of whining and complaining about what’s crazy about the world, and hope that readers can relate to it in ways that speak to and entertain them because, after all, the best fiction is inspired by reality.
What are some of your likes and dislikes?
I obviously love books, as I’m always reading, writing, or often doing both. I love birds – we have two parrots, and I’ve previously had four parakeets. I’m love sci-fi, fantasy, and mystery, although I haven’t been brave enough to try my hand at writing fantasy yet. I’m a tree lover and have been known to ask tree trimmers around my home and workplace what they’re doing when I see them with saws. I visited The Grand Canyon last year, and absolutely loved it. I don’t like early mornings, alarm clocks, sushi, or snakes. Noah really should have left the snakes off the arc, because something living above ground without legs isn’t right.
How can readers connect with you?
Tell us one thing about yourself that we wouldn’t know?
I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan, thanks to Netflix. I was hooked from episode one and have not only caught up on the TV series as much as I can, but read all five books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series in a little over three months. For you fellow fans, I’m House Targaryan. I love those dragons, because their personalities remind me of my own parronts. It’s amazing how much dragons and birds have in common in terms of personality and mannerisms.
If there was one thing you could tell your readers, what would it be?
Take a lesson from Move: don’t let fear render you useless. So many people allow fear to dominate them and keep them in places they really don’t belong because they don’t have the courage to stand up to it. Fear is a dragon that you can neither flee or defeat – you can only stand up to it. Stare it in the face, and you realize that the fire is not in it, but in you. Find your fire, get to work, and tame that dragon to take you to victory over the very thing it’s trying to keep you away from.