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Do you enjoy writing??
I absolutely do… though when I’m under pressure it makes it not nearly as fun.
Who is your favorite author ??
Oh man. This is so difficult! I have so many. Tijan. Katy Evans. Ginger Scott. Harper Bentley. TC Matson. Penelope Douglas. Penelope Ward. JA Low. So many more. I have a list somewhere…
Who is your favorite character in your writing or reading ??
I can’t answer this for my writing. I love them all. For reading? Whew… there are a lot of favorite characters. Jesse Hunt. Caden Banks. Malcolm Kyle Preston Logan Saint. Reed Johnson. Nico Medina. Cole Mauricio. Esben Baylor. So many more…
Which of your books was hardest to write?
Amplify, without a doubt.
When did you start writing ??
I dabbled in grade school and high school, but I didn’t come serious about writing until about 2003.
Where did your influences for your characters come from?
Nowhere… they’re just there—strange as that seems. Physically there are models and famous people I get general ideas from.
Would you ever consider writing a MC series?
No… I don’t read them either.
Do you listen to other genres of music besides rock?
Yes. I listen to a little of everything.
Who is you favourite band?
I’m torn between saying Metallica and Avenged Sevenfold.
Do you ever have fan girl moments over certain celebrities?
OMG, absolutely. M. Shadows. Milo Ventimiglia. Chris Pratt. Ryan Reynolds. Jennifer Lawrence is my girl crush… just to name a few.
Have you always had a passion for books?
Actually, no. I read sporadically when I was younger, but it wasn’t until I was about 22 or 23 that I really dove into reading.
How do you write such great “love scenes”?
It’s all fantasy. Just… imagination.
What did you want to be when you were a child?
When I was really little, I wanted to be a cashier. When I got a little older, I wanted to be a teacher. In high school, I wanted to be a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere I look there’s something to inspire me. This may be weird, but yesterday it was these tiny yellow finches outside jumping around in a tree. They work so hard to build their nests, feed their young, etc., and not many give it a thought.
If you were only allowed three items on a deserted island, what would they be?
My laptop, solar powered electricity, and Internet. LOL
If you could meet someone from the past, who would it be? And why?
I’m sure I should say someone like Jane Austin, but I think with the way the world is today, I’d have to say Thomas Jefferson. I’d like to talk to him about the way things are, how changes could be made—positive ones to benefit all, etc. He’s a brilliant mind and I’d love the chance to pick his brain.
If you had one wish to change the world what would it be?
I’d wish for Joe Biden to be President right now.
Do you have notes everywhere and in anything or do you carry a pad with you?
I have about five different notebooks. One for the Rockstar series. One for the Truths series. One for The Way series. One for another series I’ve got in mind. The last one for everything else.
Have you ever considered having a sketch artist draw out your characters in you head? (That would be awesome)
I have, but I don’t know anyone who can sketch like that who would be willing to.
Have you met M. Shadows or Milo Ventimiglia?
Milo Ventimiglia, yes! I met him in March 2015. There were eight of us, including Milo, who sat down and just chatted about his job and career for over an hour and a half. It was one of the best experiences. He’s so real and down to earth. I loved that about him—and he smells like heaven. I’ve seen Avenged Sevenfold – M. Shadows in concert three times in the last two years.
Favorite body part on a man?
List of favorite things…food, drinks, songs, candy people places, etc.?
Favorite food… fruit. Steak. Pizza.
Drinks: Diet Rootbeer. Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper.
Songs: That’s like asking for a favorite book. Too many to name.
Candy: Milky Way. Mike & Ike’s. Caramel.
Favorite Places: Southern California, specifically Oceanside on the beach. Ahhh. I love it there so much.
What inspired you to write?
Life. The career I’d chosen was being rendered obsolete which meant I had no job anymore. I worked as a cashier at Wal-Mart… do you have any idea what a shitty job that is? How rude those people are? Oh em gee! If that isn’t inspiration enough, I don’t know what could be.
How do you come up with the characters names?
Google. Sometimes I have names in my head—first names. I mostly Google for surnames. Or I just ask my editor, Nicole. She’s fantastic at coming up with titles and names.
What made you want to write a Rockstar romance?
I was writing Whispered Truths when one day there were these voices in my head that demanded attention… and the Rockstar series was born. Whispered Truths was put on the back burner while these bossy Rockstars got some of their stories told.
Does someone tell you daily how awesome you are?
Was it difficult to get started as an author for you? i.e. Knowing what programs were best to write in, who to use for editing/proofreader/etc., how to publish, etc.
Yes! I started writing in Word and still do—even though Word sometimes “eats” my manuscripts. I did find a solution to that. I toggle between saving (example) Xander and the next day Xander A. It stops the “lack” of saving Word is well known for. How to publish… I asked authors I knew. Ella Fox was one of the most helpful people when I started out and she still is. As for editing and proofreading, my editor, Nicole, contacted me when she read Falling Down and saw typos (cringe). She was immediately hired and we’ve worked together ever since.
What was your biggest mistake as a writer & your greatest accomplishment?
My biggest mistake was not planning better. I mean, I never expected for Falling Down, the first book I’d written, to become an Amazon bestseller within three weeks of its release. I said to my bestie at the time that if it sold 100 copies I’d be happy. So, this meant, I wasn’t prepared. I didn’t have a website. I hadn’t even started on book 2. I didn’t have an assistant to help me answer all the PMs and emails and questions when I was trying to write book 2 as quickly as possible. So my biggest mistake was underestimating myself or the anticipated level of success. I think this would also be my greatest accomplishment… the instantaneous success. Maybe… I don’t know. There’s probably something more profound I could list here.
Do you have a hard time finding a way to balance your home life, job (if have one), and finding the time to write?
OMG, YES! I write full-time so I’m lucky that way, but if there’s anyone around and I’m writing, they don’t even notice and interrupt anyway. Grrr. It’s like… I’M WORKING! And sometimes I get very pissed off and snap their heads off. Eeks… The hardest part of being a writer, for me, is balancing the writing and the administrative tasks. I have a PA, but some tasks I have to do myself and it weighs heavily on me. That’s when the pressure begins and writing isn’t as fun as it should be.
If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you be doing? (I.e. Other career, SAH.mom, etc.)
If I had a choice? Hmm. I probably would have gone back to school for computer programming and/or graphic design. I like both equally. They’re both challenging and I love a challenge.
What do you enjoy besides writing! Hobbies, interests, etc.
Listen to music. I don’t watch a whole lot of TV, but I have some favorite shows like Scandal, Chicago PD, and Grey’s Anatomy. I read so much. I love to read. I design my own teasers and graphics (not covers, though I did do that when I first started writing). I’m sure I’m forgetting something…
How do you keep track of all the events in these character’s lives?
Mostly it’s all embedded in my brain, but I’ve started writing things down now. I need to go back and read all the books from the beginning and make a list of the characters, their traits, ages, things that happen and in what book and at what age, etc.
What kind of reviews do you like? Do you like long drawn out reviews or short and sweet ones? When I’m looking at reviews I don’t like the long whole page ones that basically tells me everything about the book, all I really wAnt to know is if it’s well written, great storyline etc. Just wondering from a authors perspective.
I don’t like when the reviews basically summarize the book… I, personally, think it ruins the story for others. Some may disagree. I like to know the readers feelings about the book. What was it you liked? The characterization? The romance? Was there something you didn’t like… why? Constructive criticism is ALWAYS welcome… hater reviews, well, I avoid them like the plague. If you hated the book, don’t just say, “I hated this book. It sucked ass.” Tell me “why” and it might help with later books. Again, constructive criticism is always welcome.
What was the first thing you wrote and when?
Just little short stories in grade school. I always enjoyed writing. I think it’s because my imagination was, and still is, so vast.
Do you put life experiences in your books?
So far, nothing much. Maybe bits and pieces, but in the future I have books that will have some of my own experiences in them. Truthfully, my life isn’t all that exciting.
Do you base any of your characters on people you know or events that have taken place in your life?
Sometimes. Usually just little pieces of things, events, conversations—but they’re usually exaggerated. Sometimes character names.
What do you do if you are in the of one books and another character won’t be quiet? ( do you stop one book to get the new story down?)
If it’s a completely different story, then I write the idea down. If it’s just a scene, I write it immediately. It may never end up in a book, but it can end up as a bonus scene somewhere.
What is your favorite thing about meeting your readers(fans)?
Listening to them talk about the characters. It’s really awesome to see that they’re as real for you all as they are for me. I also like letting them know how much I really do appreciate them–each and every one of you matter.
Ever have have stalker?
LOL Yes. Just a Facebook stalker… or so I thought until she showed up at a signing in Dallas. I nearly peed my pants, but my assistant at that event, Ashley, kept a close eye. I did what I could to placate the stalker girl until another reader came to my table. Even then she just stood there staring at me. One of the scariest moments of my life.
What is something you always wanted to do but didn’t do?
Go sky diving. I may still do it one day. Go to Hawaii–I’m hoping to get there in the next couple years.