What was your first sale as an author? Ah, The Kraken’s Mirror, to Decadent! I’m really excited to have my first sale with such an unusual premise. I think 2011 will be the year of the older heroine paired with a hot man of her generation and I hope my book starts a real trend! I mean, yes, it’s a book with pirates, but I also threw so many odd bits into the mix. (Ipods, kraken, blenders, werewolves, vampires, zombies…) I loved toying with rules, throwing caution to the wind and letting my wicked mind take off into the wild blue yonder!
Do you have critique partners or beta readers? I have the best crew I sail the cyber seas with. I bounce ideas off of my fellow bloggers at the Romance Writers Revenge. They laugh and sorta pat me on the head, but they are very supportive writing pirates! And the brainstorming that goes on aboard the ship is wild and has sparked so many ideas for me.
When I finished The Kraken’s Mirror I asked Sabrina Heise of CheekyReads to be my beta reader. I met her in Orlando at the 2009 RT and really respect her review site and her knowledge of the genre. She was very helpful in pointing out weak areas and I appreciated her help.
Do you listen to music while writing? If so what? My very first foray aboard the Revenge was in response to a blog about music and writing. I don’t always listen while writing, but I am inspired by music. I’m lucky with the books I write inasmuch as there are so many wonderful soundtracks available with pirate inspired themes. I really do find soundtracks a great way to invigorate myself and charge ahead. I imagine this is because they are specifically timed to drive through a movie, but with subtly. I also find pirate music at the pirate festivals I attend. There is a surprising amount of modern pirate music out there! (I recommend The Jolly Rogers.) (BTW, a great steampunk rock band, for those wanting some inspiration… Abney Park.)
One of the pirates on the Revenge introduced me to the music of Evanescence at a time I was struggling with a block in an urban fantasy I was writing. The song, My Immortal, drove me through the finish I needed. The entire CD, Fallen, was inspirational. I could hear my heroine singing her confusion and the hero trying to reach her. Oh! Just gives me the shivers remembering how it went.
When in the day/night do you write? How long per day? I write mainly during the day, at one of the several Starbucks that litter the county I live in. There is something about the energy around me at the chain that translates into getting work done. I buy an iced, decaf Americano, sit and just type. I blog, I e-mail, I write. I’ll do this for about 4 hours, starting around 10am. If I’m feeling really on fire, I’ll write at home, on my couch into the late hours after the DH has gone to bed.
How do you describe your writing style? I am a total pantser. I’d even say I’m a wild-assed pantser. I get an idea and I just start off. I barely plot. Or as I tell my friends, I am a secret plotter since my muse despises plotting and will stop cold if I try to plot too openly. I like to treat my muse to a marshmallow roast and a bottle of rum around the fire at the beach. We make s’mores and talk about the book. Plot? No! It isn’t plotting, it’s telling stories! (Don’t say plot where he can hear!)
I’ve tried the big board and the colored post its and totally froze up. I have found that technique can work nicely when I’m revising or even for synopsis format. Otherwise? I do not plot!
Where do you dream of traveling to and why? Oh, so many places! I want to visit Catalina Island, off the southern California coast because part of my urban fantasy is set there and I want to write it off as research. ;-) But the big dreams consist of time on the Caribbean; especially a particular beach on Grand Turk called Malcolm’s Beach. I saw a picture of it once and just melted at the seagreen curl of a wave over a sand that made my mouth water… I also want to wander Ireland for a few months. And cruise the tip of South America, see the mountains of Patagonia and sail the Straits of Magellan.If you could spend the night anywhere, where would it be? On a sail boat, on a clear night, crescent moon on the rise, floating on a calm Caribbean. I swear, I dream of this. Laying on my back, counting stars and then turning and gazing into the water and seeing the stars reflected in the water…