In your own words, please describe your book.
There are really two levels to this story. On the one hand, it’s about Lilly, the heroine of the Lilly Frank series, trying to win Torren from Vittoria while she also trying to prevent a vampire war. But on the other hand, at its heart, this is really a story about how Lilly learns to stop trying to repress, run from or distract herself from pain, grief, fear and loss. It’s about accepting that safety is an illusion, that, as Vittoria says, “everyone you ever love will die,” and then choosing to love anyway. It’s Lilly’s journey toward living fully and feeling fully alive. Yes, even as a vampire. 😉
What genre/genres does your book fall under?
It’s primarily a steamy paranormal romance with a scifi setting. It’s also classified as paranormal erotica.
Is this book part of a series?
Yes, it’s the final book in the Lilly Frank trilogy.
What was the inspiration behind your book?
It really just started out, back in 2008, as a fun thing to do in my spare time that helped me cope with being alone in a foreign country and helped me feel less lonely. But as it has evolved over the years, it’s been influenced a lot by my own experiences and personal growth. All the characters reflect some part of me, but Lilly’s journey is most parallel to mine.
What led you into writing? Was it a lifelong ambition, or the result of some type of turning point in your life?
Yes to both. I’d wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember (except for that brief period of time when my life’s ambition was to be a bride), but I hadn’t taken it seriously as a career aspiration since my first year of college, when I got the impression I was no good at writing fiction. But in 2012 I was unhappy in my work (again) and trying to figure out which direction to go next. That’s when I realized it was about damn time to take a big chance on myself, so I did. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
So far, what has been the greatest moment in your writing career?
That’s a tough one. Can I pick two? The first would be the moment I hit the publish button on Amazon for Awakening back in 2012. That was a super important moment for me because I had decided to finish and publish a book and I’d followed through. That was the greatest gift I’ve ever given myself.
The second moment happened last week, when I realized that there were people out there whom I’d never met who were reading and liking my books. People who seem to get what the books are about and appreciate them for what they are. To be able to connect with strangers in that way and know that what I write resonates with them…that’s priceless.
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’m self-published. Honestly? I was tired of doing things the way others thought they should be done. I also knew that if I got rejected by publishers I’d probably give up on writing for the rest of my life, and I didn’t want that. I wanted to start publishing so that I was motivated to keep going, because continuing to write is the only way to get better at it. Don’t get me wrong – I definitely think the Lilly Frank trilogy is worth reading; I’m just looking forward to my books getting better and better as I go. 🙂
What are you working on now?
My next novel is a contemporary romance called At First Blush that takes place in New England. The heroine, Serran Winters, is a high school English teacher who’s secretly a bestselling romance author. When Serran’s book tour leads to a chance meeting with her high school flame, Nick Enfield, and he doesn’t recognize her because she’s in disguise as her pseudonym, Serran takes the opportunity to see if Nick lives up to her memories of him.
In your own words, please tell us about yourself.
I work a lot – both the day job and the author job. Every so often I’ll indulge myself by staying up all night reading a novel. I have a tendency to be very serious, but when the clown comes out there’s no stopping me until I either embarrass myself or fall asleep.
What are some of your likes and dislikes?
If chocolate is an option, I always choose it, though I also like mint, lemon and strawberry. Ice cream in a waffle cone. I like long walks in the city, domesticated animals, and buffalo wings.
I don’t like…being woken up. Unless it’s by a totally hot guy with a cup of coffee fixed just the way I like it who wants to give me a massage. That would be okay.
How can readers connect with you?
Tell us one thing about yourself that we wouldn’t know?
That thing I said earlier about wanting to be a bride? That was true. When I was like five or six, whenever someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d say “A bride.” I think it was really about getting to wear an awesome princess-y dress and having a big party with food and drinks and dancing. Now that I’m grown up, I’ve realized I can wear an awesome dress and have a big party with food, drinks and dancing whenever I want. Or…well…whenever I can afford it.
If there was one thing you could tell your readers, what would it be?
Forget labels, conventions and cultural norms. There’s only one you, which makes it your responsibility to be the most you-like you can be.