What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
The toughest criticism was that my early books had sagging middles, stilted pacing and not a good enough opening scene that grabbed the reader. I think it was hard because they were right. I hope I’ve worked on that part of my craft enough that that’s no longer the case.
The best compliment was when several readers compared my writing style in my Maiden Series to Sherrilyn Kenyon! I LOVE Sherrilyn, and she’s one of the writers I want to be when I grow up, so I was ecstatic!
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Don’t stop. Don’t give up your dream. Listen and be open minded to feedback. Your writing isn’t perfect no matter how much your Mom or your sister or your best friend thinks it is! Be open to feedback and work on your craft and never stop! Write, read, write some more! Get your butt in the chair and write every day –even if it’s only a paragraph or two! Don’t expect your publisher to do all your work for you! Don’t waste your money on being professionally edited, when you sell your book it’s going to be professionally edited for free! Even if you’ve already paid to have it professionally edited elsewhere. The money should be coming to you, not going out from you in any book deal! Read and understand any and all contracts before you sign them! Don’t be afraid to find an agent. They are worth their weight in gold! I gladly pay my agent, Paige Wheeler, 15% and she’s worth every single penny!
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
I’m so incredibly lucky to be able to do what I do –live my dream. And I wouldn’t be able to do it without all of you – the people who “get” the weird stuff that goes on in my head and that I scribble down on paper! Bless each and every one of you!!
Have you ever gone out in public with your shirt on backwards, or your slippers on, and when realizing it, just said screw it?
I’ve gone out with my shirt backwards and walked all around the grocery store until my son pointed out that the Mickey Mouse should go on the front. Ijust shrugged and went with it. I’ve been in a hurry and pulled on my jeans that I’ve taken off the night before and later realized Ihave a “bump” on my butt, which is the underwear I was wearing yesterday that I forgot to take out of my jeans and toss in the hamper. Okay – I did stop to pull that out!! I have walked out of the house with two different shoes on and made it all the way to my Corporate America job – that was also the day I realized I had totally spaced putting on my bra! And my girls are…well, let’s say….generous. So I spent the day wearing my light sweater that I kept at the office since they constantly crank the air in the summer…LOL! I’ve gone to work at Starbucks with only one eye with eyeliner, shadow etc – and nope – it wasn’t Halloween! At a certain point I just went with it and laughed when people noticed…sigh. And that was all BEFORE my brain blowout so I can’t even blame it on that!