Here it is! So what do you guys think?
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Brett sold his soul to the devil. Only hell isn’t a fiery pit in the bowels of the earth. Hell is the Carnival of Darkness where the freak shows are real, the screams never end, and the girl of his dreams has become a part of his nightmare.
Charlee has been kidnapped by the freaks that run The Carnival of Darkness. If that weren’t bad enough, she’s harboring a secret that will put her life in even more danger should her captors find out. Now, she has a decision to make – keep her head down and wait on someone to save her, or fight to escape and get back to the ones she left behind.
Brett wants to trust Charlee with the reason he is working at the carnival, but she still has reservations about his intentions. Charlee doesn’t trust anyone, but Brett may be her only hope.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Oh gosh! That’s a toughie. I started writing short stories and poetry when I was in late middle school. But at that point I still wanted to be an early childhood teacher. I love the little ones! I started writing FaeTAL, oh wow, going on 8 years ago! I kept starting and stopping for a variety of reasons. Last year I went to a writer’s conference called Pay It Forward and made some amazing author friends. Through them, I have finally completed the book and really feel like this is what I am supposed to be doing.
How long does it take you to write a book?
I honestly couldn’t say at this point. FaeTAL took me YEARS and YEARS to write. But that was because I kept putting it to the side instead of actually working on it. Carnival of Darkness (which I should put the finishing touches on this week) was written in less than a month.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Schedule? What’s that? I’m a stay at home mom to two lovely young ladies, ages 3 and 7. During the summer things get a bit crazy! I also work from home doing custom sewing and embroidery. A typical day for me involves spending the morning doing random things with my girls, mid-morning sewing, afternoons at the pool with my laptop (attempting to write dark adult paranormal things while listening to two kids giggle and Disney music playing loudly), nights spent with the hubs and girls doing family things. Finally, once the girls are in bed I typically sit down with my computer, some good music, a glass of wine and write…before I pass out!
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have very little control over my stories. I sit down and plan them out. I story board. I fill out extensive character development sheets. And then I sit down to write and the character goes… Ya know, I’m just not feeling this. How about we do this instead? Who am I to force them into a story that doesn’t fit them anymore?
How do your books get published?
I’m 100% indie and have yet to hit that publish button…so I suppose we shall see how my books get published soon. Hehe
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
The general idea behind the FaeTAL series came from a dream. Well, I call it a dream. It was more like someone stepped into my head and refused to stop yelling their story at me until I wrote it down.
Once I have the basic idea/story down on paper I do research on the interwebs to get my details straight. God forbid anyone ever checks my search history…I swear I’m not trying to do anything illegal!
I also have been taking hand-to-hand and knife fighting with a one-on-one trainer in order to keep my fight scenes as accurate and action packed as possible. It’s been fun, but painful. I have walked way with quite a few bruises for these books.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I started writing FaeTAL in 2008. I had just graduated college, married the love of my life. I was 22 years old and raring to go!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I’m a total dork. I’m a gamer chick. I don’t care if it’s a board game or a computer/console game. I’ll play it! I also tend to the animals in our little mini-farm (we have goats, chickens, guinea pigs, gerbils, dogs, cats…the list is constantly growing) and spend time with my two beautiful little girls. When I’m not doing any of that and I’m not working on my sewing/embroidery orders you can almost always find me with a book. I’m an avid reader. I read anything and everything.
What does your family think of your writing?
Most are supportive. My hubs is my rock. He tells me every day how proud he is of me. Even when he is picking on me about when I will finally click publish on my first book (it has been 8 years in the making so I suppose he has a right to pick on me) I know that he is doing it with love.
I’ve had a few family members be quite mean about it. Questioning what makes me think that I can be an author. For a while I let it get to me. Their negative thoughts and comments pulling me down and causing me to stop writing. To question if I should continue at all.
With the help of a few close friends (that I met online and sadly all live WAY too far away from me) and the support of my husband I have gotten myself into the mindset of: What makes you think that I can’t be an author? Hehe, this is happening whether the nay-Sayers like it or not!
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Hmmm…I’m not really sure. I have learned so very much through this process and have met so many wonderful people. I suppose the biggest thing I’ve learned, the most surprising, is that nothing is set in stone. There are a GAZILLION ways to create a book and every single one of them is the ‘right’ way. As long as the book you end up with is what you wanted, what makes you happy, then you did it the right way. Never let anyone tell you other wise. It is YOUR book and only YOU can decide when and how it is done.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve written 2 books. One novella and one full length. I could no easier pick my favorite of the two books than I could pick a favorite between my daughters. I love them both equally. They both have qualities that I adore and qualities that need work. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for FaeTAL because it was the first book I wrote. (It will be the second published, though.) However, having the chance to dig deeper into the C.O.D in the novella was a blast and opened up a whole new world for me in this series. This little prequel to FaeTAL may have been an after thought, but it is one I can’t imagine not having published.
Writing is a never ending process. No matter how many times I go through each of these books I’m always going to find something that makes me think ‘huh, maybe I should…’
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
I suppose the only suggestions I have at the moment are the ones I have needed to hear as I’ve gone through this process: No one is perfect. Never let someone else’s opinion over rule your own, especially when it comes to your book. People can be mean. They don’t always think before they speak/type and because no one is perfect there are going to be things that people find wrong with your baby (yes my book babies are practically teenagers at this point…yelling for me to get out of their room already).
The hardest part of being an author (at least in my opinion) is putting your book – that you have worked so hard on, poured your heart and soul into, not to mention the ungodly amount of money spent – and having someone bash it. It’s going to hurt.
You’re probably going to think about quitting.
Don’t. You can do this!
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I don’t have readers yet…but I sure do hope that they contact me once my book is out there! I adore feedback and would love to hear from readers 🙂
Do you like to create books for adults?
I do. I find it fun to create a new world for someone to delve into. I know that I use books as an escape from reality (not that my reality isn’t great…but who doesn’t want to live vicariously every now and then) and I hope that the worlds that I create can help someone else do the same.
What do you think makes a good story?
For me it’s all about consistency and a sense of ‘real’ness that pulls me in. My favorite books are those that make me forget that these things aren’t actually happening. That I’m not going to run into the character in town. That I can’t actually call up ‘Brie and tell him to calm his butt down so that the storm will go away (haha I still find myself messaging Author C. Tuttle every time a massive southern summer storm hits telling her to have her characters calm down so that I can sleep.)
I think that so long as a book has a strong story, well-developed characters, and an active plot line…a few grammatical errors can be over looked. It drives me bonkers when I see reviewers bashing an author for the little things. If only they knew how much those little things can cost an author to have someone help with.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a teacher and I was for a few years. I enjoyed it while it lasted and at times I miss it now. However, I wouldn’t change being able to go on field trips or spend this time with my girls.