It is such a huge honour to be Interviewing the lady who created the “This Series”
Thank you for joining us J.B
H-What inspired you to write?
I'm often asked about what I read before becoming a writer. In all honesty, I had lost that interest until the summer of 2012.
I had been hearing a lot about this Fifty Shades of Grey. I didn’t even know it was a book at first. I Googled to find out what it was, and came across a blog talking about how horrible it was. This perked my interest. This was a Christian blog (not like Christian Grey, but Christian as in Jesus lovers, like myself). I decided after reading this review that I wanted to read it myself. Clearly these people finished it. It must not have been so bad. And if I am going to form an opinion, it’s going to be based off of my own knowledge, not someone else’s. That night I bought it. If only you could have been a fly on my wall in chapter five. I had never read anything like that before in my life.
But what I found was that for the first time in a long time I couldn’t put the book down. My love of reading that had been buried deep inside me was re-ignited. That almost seems like too light of a term. It was a raging forest fire.
I read it several times. I discovered new details every time. My opinion of the book was the complete opposite of the blog that led me to it. This is a prime example in my life of where I think God leads me to where I need to be. See, had I not read that blog, I would have never written Broken.
After reading so many other books, a lot that were self-published, I decided that I wanted to see if I could do it. And I’d be lying if I said money wasn’t an influence at all. There was maybe one percent of me that thought I might make it big. The other part of me hoped that I could at least supplement our monthly income. Even grocery money would have been a tremendous help. See, when I started writing we were beyond broke.
All four of us having and fighting Mitochondrial Disease had taken its toll on our bodies and our bank account. Our family and friends were supporting us the best they could. There are a few things you probably don’t know about me. One, I hate asking for help. I am very independent. Two, I’m very spoiled. We weren’t always broke. Before the economy crashed, if our kids wanted something, they got it. It was pretty simple. We had worried prior to having our kids about being able to provide. When we found out we were finally going to have a baby after years of struggling, we were elated that we had a padded bank account. We never thought we would be in a position of needing so much help.
So if I was humiliated to even call and ask for groceries, imagine how horrible I felt calling to ask a family member to fund my book venture two weeks after the impulse crossed my mind to write it in the first place. I needed money for an editor and formatting. Those were the two things that scared me the most. Well…besides being a failure and not being able to buy ourselves groceries while adding to our debt.
I guess you know the rest of the story.
Made it big? Debatable.
Blessed? Most certainly.
Life changing, no longer begging for grocery money? ABSOLUTELY!
H-If you could write with any author who would it be and why?
Tough. I am already writing with two other authors I love. I feel like this is a loaded question that could get me into some trouble no matter how I answer. Nicholas Sparks.
H-Who did you base your male character after?
There are three muses for Bradley Banks.
1. Ian Somerhalder (eyes!)
2. Colin Egglesfield – not sure exactly what it is about him in Bradley. I just know that there is some Colin there.
3. Henry Cavill (body)
Oddly enough, I had never seen David Gandy before, but he’s pretty much Bradley personified.
H-Why did you changed from trilogy to series?
When I started writing, I never intended to write full length novels. That thought was very overwhelming to me. I had always planned to write three novellas and combine them into one big novel. As I started writing Mending, I realized that I had at least two other stories in my mind that were not a part of my original plan. So I changed it.
H-Have you ever thought of writing anything other than romance?
I am currently writing a book with J.L. Mac that has a touch of paranormal. It will primarily be erotic suspense. I’m excited about this project. I could see myself writing back and forth between romance and romantic suspense. Also, I haven’t decided if my true story book will be fiction or non-fiction. But I have another story. It will be a combination of genres.
H-What were your favorite books growing up?
Nancy Drew and The Babysitters Club. In fact, in 7th grade when I was told that I could no longer do book reports on these stories, I quit reading for fun. I pretty much quit reading period. I spent most of my academic career skimming text books and buying cliff notes. I was quite the slacker, but I did a very good job of making it look like I read my books. Highlighter in hand in class, first row student, etc. My husband always laughed at me and asked why I even bothered wasting money on text books.
H-Besides romance, do you have a favorite genre?
Romantic suspense. I love The Kathleen Turner Series. It’s like a modern day Nancy Drew with Ian Somerhalder cast as Kade. Need I say more?
H-What is your favorite non romance book.
I loved The Left Behind Series. It’s old, but it’s the only other set of books I couldn’t put down and read back to back.
H-Do you write chapter by chapter, or skip around
I am really ADHD, so I usually skip around. I will write stuff as it comes to me, even if it’s out of order. The only book I didn’t write and skip around with was Conspiring. This was because that book was leading me as I wrote it. I couldn’t skip because I had no idea where I was headed.
H-What is the best part of writing?
I love teasing the reader. I love knowing ultimately what happens and comes next, but twisting the story to make the reader think the opposite. The absolute best part is when a major plot twist comes to me out of thin air. I can’t describe that high.
H-What do you think may be the biggest down side of writing?
It takes a toll on my already weak body. It’s been hard to juggle my health and writing. Starting a manuscript and getting the first 10,000 words for me is the hardest.
H-What is your favorite time to write?
I love writing at the library, so whenever the library is open is my favorite time.
Fan question-What do you think of the surge in Indy publishing in comparison to going with the big three or even smaller publishing houses.
Initially, having a publisher was what I thought I wanted. It felt like validation. If I had a publisher, then I would know I had made it. Now as I have watched some of my best friends get offers from publishers, I’ve realized I don’t need a publishing deal to validate my success. I have really made it. I’ve met and exceeded almost all of my own goals.
Aside from making a living for my family; my fans are my next biggest priority. When publishing as an Indie, the author retains so much control over the work, such as when to publish, price setting, choosing graphics, editing, creating covers. It’s actually 100% of the control. It’s more work, but for me, that means I get to make sure I take care of my readers. So if I can make a living AND make my fans happy by publishing books really fast, then that is a win for everyone.
I’m not saying I won’t ever take a publishing deal, but if I do, it will have to be the perfect deal, one that I feel is too good to pass up. I won’t settle.
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us.