You currently released Petals and Nails, are you currently working on anything new at the moment?
I am currently wrapping the second installment of the Little Bird series that will be published this fall. I am also currently working on my second novella, I don’t want to give away too much about it now, but I am excited about how it is slowly turning out.
When can the readers expect your next book in print?
With the next book I would have to say by the end of 2019 or beginning of 2020. I know that I will be able to keep everyone up to date as the book progresses and give little snippets of it through the rest of this year.
Your book, Petals and Nails was recently released back at the beginning of July, tell us about the main character, Ingrid?
Ingrid is a bit of a complexed character, she is living with two different mental health issues: bipolar and depression, and this in turn has turned her into an extremely sensitive person that craves healing, love, and a place in society. She is a very relatable character, cause just like Ingrid, we are all created by layers that seem to only scratch the surface of what we showcase to the world.
What genre are your books?
Most of my work dives into romance, just like Petals and Nails does. However, I do have some mythological based books that turn into adventure books.
What draws you to the romance genre?
I grew up reading the classic romance books of A Room with a View all the way to Anne of Green Gables, and each of them influenced me in many ways. If you think about it, there are many types of romance stories that are waiting to be told: the type where you find the love of your life, the type where you find the way to love yourself whole heartedly, among many others; and I want to contribute to this genre cause it influenced the way I look at the world.
If your book were to become a movie, which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character?
You know, I never really thought about who would make a good Ingrid. But if I were to choose, I would have to say, Karen Gillian who was on the Doctor Who show as Amy Pond. She is an amazing actress, and she would be the perfect Ingrid in my eyes.
You already have an audiobook for your Little Bird, Little Bird book; do you plan on having Petals and Nails becoming an audiobook?
Yes, in fact, it is currently in production and on its way to becoming an audiobook for audible. By the end of this year, I will be able to say that I have two audiobooks available.
What other books do you have available on Audible?
Little Bird, Little Bird is out on Audible. I got to work with an amazing narrator who I am going to work with on other Little Bird audiobooks in the future.
Almost every author gets this question, why do you write?
I’ve been writing since I was a little kid, and as I grew up I couldn’t stop writing. And I have figured out that writing has become my outlet to let my emotions and the unique fictional worlds come out on a piece of paper. In many ways, it is highly therapeutic for me.
And where do you get your ideas from?
They come from everyday life, from the people around me, and especially with what I have gone through in my life. Life is full of inspiration and for me, I want to be able to take pieces of it and create a story that everyone will enjoy and relate to.
Were any of the characters in Petals and Nails based on real people that you know?
Yes, several of them were indeed based on real people that I know personally. Ingrid was loosely based on me. I, just like Ingrid, suffer from mental health issues, and in many ways, I have learned to heal and live with them in unique and unusual ways, one of those ways is through the dream world. With the main male character Mathew, he was loosely based on a person that I care very much about, and out of respect for that person’s privacy, that’s all I am going to say.
As a writer what are your thoughts on having a diary?
I think having a diary is a great idea, I have several. When you have a diary or journal, whichever you want to call it, you can jot down all of your emotions and everything on your mind. And when you look back at what you had written, you are able to see inspiration between the words. You will be able to create a whole new story for a few journal entries, a story that you never thought you would write.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
Well, currently I am writing a book series for children based around a bird. But for any adult books, I don’t think I am wanting to create a book series around them.
Do you read much, and if so who are your favorite authors?
Much? That’s a bit of an understatement. I love to read a lot, I’m what you would call a book dragon, not a bookworm. I devour books and let them consume every inch of my soul. I’m very passionate about reading. When it comes to choosing my favorite authors, it is hard to pick them because there are so many fantastic authors out there. But if I must choose I would say Elif Shafak, Rudolfo Anaya, Jane Austen, Nadia Hashimi, Angela Carter, Jules Verne, EM Forster, Laura Esquivel, and Lucy Maud Montgomery.
Would you say that these authors influenced your writing style?
I would have to say yes, they have, some more than others. Elif Shafak has become one of my greatest influences as a writer, the way she creates vivid imagery helps set the scene and entices the readers to keep on reading. Laura Esquivel and Angela Carter showed me the magic realism world, and how it is one way to combine the real world with the surreal-magical world together.
Have you ever experienced “Writer’s Block”? How long does it usually last?
Absolutely, it sucks! For me it can last for several days to a year or two. With Petals and Nails I had writer’s block for almost a year before I continued writing.
Keep in mind, writer’s block can be triggered by an event, mine had been triggered by some health issues that I was needing to address before I could move on.
How did you overcome it? Any tips that you would like to share to overcome it?
What works best for me is to listen to one of my favorite artists, Imogen Heap. Her music and lyrics seem to draw me out of the writer’s block and throw me straight back into inspiration.
For anyone who is overwhelmed, and experiencing writer’s block, I recommend listening to your favorite musicians, or reading a book by an author that you look up to, to get inspired and draw you out of the block that is keeping you from being creative.
Petals and Nails is your first novella; however, you have several other books, did you ever create one of your own book covers?
Yes, I did. Two of my poetry books: Songs of the Mist and Hearts of Glass were both taken by me. I had an idea in my mind of how I thought the book cover could look, and I wanted to create it myself. So I had taken pictures in the two different states: New Mexico and Alaska, and filtered through all of the photos until I came across the ones that I loved the most.
The story inside the book is extremely important, but do you think that the cover plays an important part of selling the story to the audience?
I believe it absolutely does play an important part of selling the story to others. It either invites and lures the reader to the book, or it can throw the reader off guard and send them packing down the book aisle far away.
Have you ever marketed your own books yourself?
Yes, I still do. It makes it more personal and even though it makes a million times harder on myself, it shows me the other side of the book business. But if you have a literary agent, then let them do the marketing for your books, cause in all honesty it is a bit rough to keep up with it.
It certainly sounds rough; do you think you might get a literary agent in the future?
Honestly, I think I might. It would certainly make things easier for me in the long run, but for now I think I will stick to marketing my own books to learn the ropes of every part of being an author.
Thank you for taking the time and sitting down with us. Are you sure that you can’t divulge any information about your next book right now?
Thank you very much, it was a pleasure talking to you. (Laughs) Unfortunately not right now.