If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I really like the places where I live now: Kansas City and Costa Rica. In another life, I think I might have enjoyed living in Europe, in particular Germany. But the truth is, I’m pretty happy with where I am at the moment.
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
I wrote my first novel entirely by hand in several bound journals, before typing it up on my laptop. My second novel was composed on my laptop using Microsoft Word; to organize my third novel, I began using Scrivener. I try to avoid writing in bed, because if I get a story spinning in my head too late at night, I’m likely to lose sleep. There are certain places in my house where I like to write: my office, the family room, the living room. Wherever I am, I like to have a window to look out of, so I don’t end up staring at the screen all the time. I also occasionally write in coffee shops.
Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support?
My most important partners in writing have been my editors, Eric T. Reynolds and Terri-Lynne DeFino (Finder, A Time Never Lived, Beyond the Gate), and my critique partner David Hunter (A Road of Blood and Slaughter). All of them are excellent authors in their own right, so please check out their novels and anthologies!
Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
Success is a state of being, rather than an ultimate goal. As a state of being, it evolves with the writer. Finishing a novel or short story is success. Having the courage to share your work for the first time with others is also success. Sending out queries, establishing your path to publication, developing and implementing a marketing plan are all elements of success. Every time a reader says, “I loved your book!”, that is success. I suspect most writers, like me, would like to reach a point where sales from our novels generate enough to live on. Some might consider that the defining moment of success, but it’s important to remember that success comes in many forms, and can be experienced at every stage of the writer’s journey.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
I love to seek out natural spaces and go for long walks or bicycle rides. I also enjoy dance, especially flamenco. I like to go out in the evenings and listen to good music, and have a drink with my friends. I very much like to spend time relaxing with my family, my parents and brothers and sisters, my nieces and nephews, and my husband’s family as well.
Sometimes it’s so hard to keep at it – What keeps you going?
Well, when it gets too hard to keep at it, I take a break. A bit of rest and relaxation does wonders for recharging the batteries. In truth, I rarely have problems getting back into writing; if anything, I really wish I had more time to dedicate to my characters. One thing that contributed to my motivation for finishing High Maga was the enthusiastic support of my readers, who have been anxious to read the companion to Eolyn.
How do you feel about social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter? Are they a good thing?
I was hooked into Facebook before I became a writer. Though I do use it for marketing, I tend to do most marketing through my page for EOLYN, while my personal page is more about interacting with friends, family, and colleagues. I enjoy Facebook. It’s a fun social platform.
I have to admit I am not so fond of Twitter. I joined last year, and have yet to figure out the social part of this social network. It does seem an effective tool for amplifying a message (as long as that message is no longer than 140 characters), but in terms of connecting with real people in a get-to-know-each-other kind of way, it seems very limited.
I recently joined Pinterest, too. Though the jury is still out on that one, I like the visual focus of this platform. I think it has a lot of potential.
In the end, Facebook seems to be the only network that really brings it all together for me: social interactions, the opportunity to market, and the ability to share with friends and family, using both words and images.
How do you feel about self-publishing?
My favorite route to publishing is small press. Small press hits a nice middle road between self-publishing and traditional large press, avoiding the hassle of the former and the headaches of the latter. My press, in particular, is a wonderful community of gifted publishing professionals who have played an important role in my success as an author. I think self-publishing can be an excellent option for many authors, but personally I am happy to have landed a home with a small press like Hadley Rille Books.
How important are friends in your life?
Is this a trick question? Life would be impossible without my friends.
What social issues interest you the most?
Equality and diversity on every level. I would like to see barriers to participation broken down in all aspects of life, so that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed and contribute to our society regardless of gender, race, ethnic origin, or sexual preference. I am also a strong advocate of wildlife conservation and sustainable resource management.
Do you find the time to read?
Yes. Reading is my number one strategy for relaxing in the evening before I go to sleep.
Last book you purchased? Tell us about it.
Shirley Graetz’s novel She Wrote on Clay is part of the Archaeology Series published by Hadley Rille Books. I’ve read several novels in this series, which features short novels that portray the lives of ordinary people in ancient times, based on archaeological evidence. Graetz’s novel relates the story of Iltani, a young woman living in Sippar some 3800 years ago, who dreams of being a scribe. It’s a very interesting book that communicates a lot of information about the lives of women during a period about which I know very little. I’ve enjoyed reading it very much.
Lands Ravaged. Dreams destroyed. Demons set loose upon the earth.
War strikes at the heart of women’s magic in Moisehén. Eolyn’s fledgling community of magas is destroyed; its members killed, captured or scattered.
Devastated yet undaunted, Eolyn seeks to escape the occupied province and deliver to King Akmael a weapon that might secure their victory. But even a High Maga cannot survive this enemy alone. Aided by the enigmatic Mage Corey, Eolyn battles the darkest forces of the Underworld, only to discover she is a mere path to the magic that most ignites their hunger.
What can stop this tide of terror and vengeance? The answer lies in Eolyn’s forgotten love, and in its power to engender seeds of renewed hope.
HIGH MAGA is the companion novel to EOLYN, also available from Hadley Rille Books.
Genre – Epic Fantasy
Rating – PG-13
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