What inspires your creativity?
Honestly anything can do that for me. Mostly music or things I hear in conversation when people are just being normal. My mind is always on, always listening, always looking for the next story I can tell.
How do you deal with creative block?
Well, honestly, my mind works more than my body can keep up with. I have a thousand stories in my head, but I can’t type that fast. 🙂
What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
Not having the book properly edited is a big one, and one that I’ve made a few times in the beginning. It haunts your reviews and follows you around, even after you have the books edited. That goes for the cover, too. People DO judge a book by its cover. Take the time to make sure it’s right. Do it right the first time, no matter how inconvenient . Nothing is worth putting out an unfinished book.
Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
Find something with a little bit of everything: a good representation of your story or characters, a nice balance between what you’re looking for and what’s popular for your book’s genre (you don’t want to be outdated but you don’t want your book to look like everyone else’s either), and pick something that makes people stop or think or take notice. The more time people are looking at your book it’s probably more likely they are to buy it.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
Reviews are good for feedback, especially on a new book release, but it definitely can have an adverse affect, especially if you spend a lot of time looking at them. I tend to look at my reviews for a couple weeks after a release and then I leave that book alone (Or I try. I find myself wandering over every now and then, but it’s a mixed bag.)
Every book is not for everybody.
So don’t take everything so much to heart. It’s okay if they didn’t like it. At least they gave you a try. If you go into this expecting everyone will like your book, you will be disappointed . Go and read some of the bad reviews for Twilight, Harry Potter, The Davinci Code, Pride and Prejudice and any of popular book you can think of. There are people who honestly hated those books. It wasn’t for them. And there have been people who have loathed my books. And that’s okay. Find the people who will love your book and then get started writing the next one.
How has your creation process improved over time?
Practice makes perfect is a true statement. And the more time you spend on this craft, you’ll notice how you’re growing. Not only in technicality, but creatively as well.
What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process for your books?
Best – The first time someone sent me a message after reading my book, and every time after that. I will ALWAYS remember that feeling. It’s amazing.
Most surprising – That people actually wanted to read my books!
Worst – Finding my book plagiarized . And pirated. The latter will happen if you publish. Be prepared.
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
I definitely balance the two. You have to write for you, the way the story comes naturally. A forced story–people can tell. But I always think about my readers when I write, and I can remember a couple times that I debated putting or not putting something in a book for them, so I think you just have to go with your gut, page by page. If you respect your readers AND your story, you should be fine.
What role do emotions play in creativity?
Everything! Don’t be a robot. Feel.
Do you have any creativity tricks?
Something works for everyone and it’s not always the same thing. Find what your thing is and do it. Mine is definitely music and reality TV.
What are your plans for future books?
I have a few sequels coming out in series, Undeniably Fated in the Significance series and the next book in the Gravity series, and also, a new contemporary book that I haven’t really talked about much, The Broken Bits.
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself.
I adore displays of chivalry.
I married my high school sweetheart.
I’ve written 23 books.
I’ve watched The Office about 8 times probably. The whole thing.
I was Shawn Michaels waitress at a Sonny’s BBQ in Jacksonville, FL once.
I’ve been to and/or lived in 46 states and Canada. We travel with hubby’s job.
You can find me on social media and my website here!