Questions people ask me . . .
Who are your favorite authors?
Anne Rice, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Nalini Singh, Jane Austen, Jeaniene Frost — These ladies rock. I enjoy Harlan Coben, too.
How did you get into writing?
By reading. I love to read romance. No matter the media I am rooting for a couple to get together. I’m addicted to the “happily ever after.” Um… I don’t buy novels, I buy the series. When I am done with book one, I set it down and pick up book two. Publishers love customers like me.
When I chose a profession, I didn’t consider writing. I chose nursing. Not because I wanted to be a Florence Nightingale, but because I needed a reliable income. I have absolutely no regrets over my choice, but I do wish I had explored writing earlier.
Naturally, I don’t love everything I read. One Sunday morning, I read a disappointing novel. I can do better than this!
As it turns out, I couldn’t do better than the author who disappointed me. If I remembered who it was I’d send an apology. Undeterred, I put together a two-year plan to “publish” my work in progress – my baby. After two years, four re-drafts, my firstborn is still not ready for prime time! One day . . .
Where do you get your ideas?
Anywhere! A conversation. A Facebook meme. Traumatic events that pull at my heart almost always spark something. Often, writers respond, “dreams.” I very rarely dream. But I am a day dreamer – always in trouble as a kid for not paying attention to the teacher. My classmates got scolded for talking to each other. Me? Doodling some fantasy I’d cooked up in my brain. Be careful what you tell me!
How did you get published?
Since my first contracted work is a novelette, many would say I’m not yet published. I’m going with “I am published.” I submitted, a publisher offered a contract and I accepted.
My friends were so helpful, too! Several critiqued and some beta read for me. Had I not laid the groundwork and became active in professional writer’s associations, who would’ve had my back when I needed it? Few do this alone.
Why didn’t you self-publish?
Self-doubt. Without a formal education in literature or creative writing, I needed the litmus test of professional review. If an editor or agent – the experts – thought my story was worth investing in, then I reasoned my work could go out into the world with some confidence.
If I ever choose to self-publish, it will be with professional back up; a professional editor, professional copy editor and professional cover designer. I will even explore the option of a hybrid agent. A friend has one who handles both traditional and self-publishing functions.
Do you have an agent?
No. Not for Jungle Rapture. However, when I have full-length novels to sell I will seek representation.
Will you read my novel and tell me what you think?
Yikes! Aside from the four to six hours it takes to read a novel, there are legal pitfalls, too. I won’t go into those here. You’d be wise to have a trusted critique partner read your work.
Network, network, and network some more. I belong to three critique groups, going on four. I started in the Nebraska Nebraska Writers Workshop (NWW) led by Sally J. Walker , screenwriter, author-editor and past ICU nurse. If you are close enough to attend, do it. This group has several published authors, but also welcomes newb writers and nurtures them like no other.
My first critique partner, Janet Nitsick (author), has helped me become a better writer. As a published author, she invited this nobody to join her and helped me figure out where commas go.
I joined Romance Writers of America (RWA) and their local Omaha chapter, Romance Authors of the Heartland (RAH). Later, I joined the Nebraska Writers Guild . Each organization led to other valuable resources. I attended workshops and retreats and took online courses.