My latest book is called Complicated Heart. This is the fourth edition in the Avery Detective Agency Series, a series that was first inspired by my grandfather. I decided to write a fourth installment because several readers had contacted me requesting this addition, and since I love mysteries, the writing process flowed naturally.
Tell us something about yourself.
I realized that I was fascinated with books when I was eight. I was walking in my school library, and I saw a book that was written by a boy my age. After looking closely at his work, I was inspired to try and create my own story. I started by creating picture books and comics, and later on, I wrote screenplays and for newspapers. It took a while for me to realize that my true calling was writing novellas and novels.
I first considered myself a writer in 2015. It was around this time that my spouse encouraged me to pursue writing full-time, and I was given the opportunity to craft several pieces that year, eventually jumping into publishing.
What inspired you to write this book?
Many of my readers were so engaged in this series that they emailed me privately and requested a sequel. It was then that I realized that Parker and Kay’s story was not finished.
How did you celebrate when you finished writing the book? When it was published?
I celebrated by taking some time off. I have been working almost every day since August 2019, and I did not take a real break until the book was in my distributor’s hands. It was published in early September, but it will not be officially released until October 30th.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
When I was younger, there were not that many lesbian fiction novels to choose from. In fact, when I went to the store to find them, I would encounter a large amount of nonfiction books about coming out and the history of LGBT people in the United States. Nevertheless, I just wanted to read something adventurous where the main characters were lesbian. Since there were very few novels of this kind to choose from, I decided to write my own.
Are you a pantser or a plotter?
I am usually a plotter. There are times that I write outlines, and I do this, because sometimes, I will have a scene completely thought through. However, that scene may be in the middle of the book, so in order to write out that scene, I have to keep track of what came before it and what will come after.
Do you have a daily or weekly writing schedule, or do you write only when you are inspired? How many words or pages do you complete in a typical day?
I write almost every day, and I try to get 1,000-1,500 words completed. I do not push myself if I am experiencing writer’s block as sometimes this can ruin one’s story.
How many drafts did you write before publishing your most recent book?
I usually have two or three drafts before I publish. It really depends on where I am when I am writing as sometimes, I will have ideas to add to my work, and I end up jotting those down on my phone or in a notebook.
What software do you use to write? Or do you prefer to write longhand or dictate your work? What made you choose the method you use?
I use a writing application that allows you to keep track of your word count and separate your chapters into different windows. Then, I transfer the document to a regular Word document and save it on multiple platforms.
I chose to do this to prevent errors. When I first began writing, I used a notebook, but I found that sometimes, when you type out something that you have written by hand, you make a lot of mistakes. Therefore, after I transfer my original draft or drafts to the Word document, I have it go through an editing program before saving it.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
If I had the chance to start this all over, I would familiarize myself with social media marketing and professional cover design. I would also pick-up an editing program right away, and I would break into the audiobook business much earlier than I had.
Do you read reviews?
I do read reviews. Sometimes, they dictate if I read a book, and sometimes, if I really like an author’s story, I might just read the book without looking at the reviews at all.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
The best advice that I have heard is to do something that you love and to try and inspire good in people by doing it. I think that this is especially important advice, and as I get further into my career, I have been working more towards pieces that are somewhat inspirational. I think that a lot of my earlier work was a bit more personal to me and the situations that I had gone through at that time, but now that I have been writing for a while, I am working towards bettering my writing habits and attempting to lift people up with my newer stories. It is important to empower yourself, but it is also important to empower others.
Do you have friends who are writers? How do you help each other to become better writers?
I do not have any friends that are writers. Most of my friends have blue collar jobs, but they are incredibly supportive of my work.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
I think that my work can aspire to a number of people. I write anything from romance to thrillers. I like to diversify my work to match my interests as I like to read multiple genres as well.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
Amazon Author Page