• What made you start writing? I'm not sure I know how to answer this question Sirena. I have always had a vivid imagination and saw so many possibilities in every event that happened. I guess I saw what could have happened as well as what did happen. It was unnerving until I got used to it, then it was kind of fun. One day I just decided to write a story as a way to give my imagination its way. The rest is history.
• What genre do you write in and why? I write primarily mystery/fiction although my latest novel adds paranormal to the mix. I find it stimulating to allow my mind free reign. I'm not sure I know why I write mysteries as I prefer to read horror.
• What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten about being an author? Wow, that is a difficult one. I'm not sure I have ever received any advice other than from my English teachers along the way, encouraging me to pursue writing. Does having my readers push me to "hurry up and finish" a project count as advice? LOL.
• How about the worst? I could probably use editorial examples but I decline to do so...joking of course. I can't think of any examples.
• How do you name your characters? They name themselves for the most part. All of my books to this point include some real people, who sign a waiver allowing me to use them as characters. I have done this since the second book because so many friends have asked to be immortalized in my work. So far these have been heroes or good guys...I'm waiting for my first villain to step to the plate.
• Do you have anything you have to do while writing? Music? Television? Not really. I can work with the television blaring or with complete silence. My surroundings do not dictate my ability to create...my muse, my brain does.
• Thinking about your current work, if it was being made into a movie, who would you pick to play your main characters? Sweet mercy Sirena that is an awesome question. For my main characters...Mike and Angela (Angel) Lancer...I would choose Johnny Depp and Susan Sullivan I think. They are both vibrant personalities, funny and sensitive...yet strong.
• How are your books being published? What brought you to your publisher? My first three novels, Lancer, Inc. Lancer, Inc. South of the Border and DEAth Conspiracy were published by Publish America. As an unknown author that was the best I could do at the time. My first book was published in 2006 although I co-authored a Sci-fi novel in 2004. At that time the big houses were only taking submissions from authors with well known names. I recently came to PDMI because I loved the way Tc and Nessa wanted to be involved with their authors, they talk to us and answer questions. I came in at a time of rapid growth for PDMI. I am anxiously awaiting the publishing of Vengeance.
• Any words of wisdom for the aspiring authors out there? I always have words, wisdom, however, has yet to be judged. I will say this: If you are meant to write, you will know it the first time you sit down with a pen and paper or at the computer. Follow your instincts, allow your imagination to dictate your actions with the storyline and the characters. Use the knowledge you have of people you have met, or imagined, to build strong characters. Let your mind/imagination be your muse. Most of all do not be discouraged when you come to an impasse, what some call a writer's block. This too shall pass...relax and love what you do. You will meet some wonderful people between the pages of your work.
• Part of writing is reading, so what are your two favorite books right now? I am currently reading Dark Road to Paradise by Clay Gilbert and enjoying it immensely. I am also reading Breathless by Dean Koontz.
• How do you get your work from the “crappy first draft” to something polished and shiny? Self-editing, beta readers, copy editors? I edit often as I go about my work. I also share with my husband, Mike, he edits as well. I do have a third party that reads chapter by chapter and provides editing. I have recently discovered that the use of ellipsis (I love them as a slight slow down in a sentence, as opposed to over use of commas etc) are frowned upon by some. I prefer sentence structure that reads like regular speech sounds. How many people rattle off a sentence without using a slow down or slight pause to add depth to what they are saying?
• Last one: tell us one thing about you as an author that I didn’t get at with the other questions. Although I have been writing since high school...I did not publish until many, many, many years later. Mike and I have three wonderful, adult children. I chose to devote my energy to my family before my art. I worked full time in a very demanding job while raising three active children...I doubted I could add a writing career and do any of them to the best of my ability. My husband is a Vietnam Veteran who has PTSD...my first novel was therapy for him but that is a topic for another time...
Thanks for a great interview, Andrea!
For the next few days, I will be doing some author features of people I know to give me a break from writing posts and everyone else a break from reading my stuff.