So this blog post is a little (okay, a lot) “me” focused, today. I was honored by a very talented author, TW “Todd” Brown recently when he tagged me on his blog. Someone somewhere started a meme (have you noticed that’s two “me’s”???) where an author answers a few questions and then passes along the challenge to three other authors they find to be talented.
I can’t tell you how much it means to me that someone as talented and as well respected in the horror genre has chosen me as one of his three, as well as to be included with such gifted writers as Gregory Carrico and Catie Rhodes.
And just so it’s not totally me focused – let me tell you a little bit about the three people above. Not only are they great writers, but they’re remarkable and supportive friends as well.
I haven’t known Todd as long as I have Greg and Catie, but I can tell you, he does a lot to help others out – from charity anthologies to his current goal of raising $1000 for Camp NaNoWriMo. He’s currently at $971, so if a few of you have a couple of dollars to spare this month, maybe we could push him over his goal line. Todd, dude, you really should do an Authors Give Back post for me one day. I think I’ve mentioned a time or twenty how much I really really like his ZOMBLOG and DEAD series. If you enjoy The Walking Dead, you should try these. They’re not just zombie books. They’re character driven, well-written and I think you’ll be hard pressed to stop reading once you start.
And, Catie just recently released her debut novel, FOREVER ROAD. It’s a great paranormal read. Catie manages to catch the spirit of small town living and it’s people within the pages of this book. There’s definitely a few people in there that remind me of people I know having grown up in a small town. The heroine is someone you can relate to and want to know more about. I can’t wait for the next book in this series. If you haven’t, you should really check out Catie’s blog. It’s one of the most entertaining out there in the blogosphere – especially if you like the paranormal, the dark side of humanity and true crime. Catie also shares the spotlight with fellow writers with her Playlist series.
Last but not definitely not least, Greg Carrico’s newest release, CHILDREN OF THE PLAGUE, is an apocalyptic fantasy that will have you lost in the pages until the very end. He’s great at world building and character development. Greg has a wonderful imagination that will take you on an epic journey along with his protagonists. His blog posts are hilarious and you should really check those out. He keeps me laughing. And Greg helps out his fellow authors by showcasing them in his 30 Minute read posts. Very cool!
Okay, so if you’re still with me, here are those questions I’m supposed to answer.
What are you working on now?
I’m behind due to life issues, BUT I should have PREDATOR out soon. While it’s not the first I’ve written in my Courting Justice series with Court Investigator, Tori Matthews – it is the first I’ll be releasing. It’s novella length and I believe it’s the perfect place to start the series.
Three missing girls. A family in crisis. A predator on the hunt. Can court investigator, Tori Matthews, find out the truth before it’s too late?
I’m also working on getting THE CONSUMING formatted and it should be out soon as well as a single short story. It was included in the TALES FROM THE MIST ANTHOLOGY last year.
Serena knows her late uncle wasn’t crazy. So when she inherits his sprawling Carolina mansion and leaves the big city to restore both his home and his name, she uncovers a mystery that could cost much more than her sanity. As the house slowly reveals its dark secrets, and the extent of her peril becomes evident, she’ll settle for escaping with her life—if it isn’t already too late.
The cover was done by Jeffrey Kosh. Isn’t it spooky?
For those that sign up for my brand new newsletter, I’ll gift an e-copy of THE CONSUMING as soon as it’s available.
What experiences have influenced you?
Definitely have to say that twenty years worth of investigating child abuse/neglect and custody issues has given me some unique perspectives. I can say I’ve seen the very worst of people and the very best. From evil to near Saint-like behavior. I’ve had guns and knives pulled on me, been threatened and stalked. Been cursed at and thanked. I’ve been alone in places that even the cops don’t go alone.
Having been blessed with a great family and growing up in a small town have also had a tremendous influence on me. I think I have a lot to share.
How would you describe your writing process?
Have an idea. Start writing. When I get to the point I need to know more about a character, I figure that out – take a few notes and get back to writing. I research as I need the info. Then I rewrite. Throw a bunch out. Keep a few things in the cut folder for use later maybe. Rewrite some more. And some more. I’m without a doubt a pantser. I enjoy figuring out what’s next and am often surprised.
I usually have more ideas than I can get to at any given time, so when I do have one, I’ll write when the idea strikes until I have enough down that I can remember where I’m going with it and put it aside until I have finished whatever I’m currently working on. Then I choose from those I have pieces of to start on next.
What is the hardest part of writing?
Like Todd and Greg – finishing is the hardest part for me.
What would you like to try as a writer that you haven’t yet?
I wrote a short story for Christmas one year. I shared it recently with my critique group. They all thought it would make a wonderful Hallmark Christmas movie. So my next thing to learn is scriptwriting. I think it will be fun! Yeah, okay. It’ll probably be hard work too, but still fun!
Who are the authors you most admire?
Dean Koontz and Stephen King of course influenced the horror writer in me. I’m in awe of Nora Robert’s prolificness and her ability to keep the writing fresh.
As for indie writers, I have to say: Christine Claire McKenzie, Stacey Joy Netzel, Dale Amidei, Tamara Ward, Cate Dean, D.D. Scott, Alicia and Roy Street, PJ Sharon, Natalie Owens, and the rest of the WG2E Street Team. I must also mention Aiden James, Tiffany A. White, Sandy Rowland, Myndi Shafer, and Amber West. And of course, Todd Brown, Greg Carrico and Catie Rhodes. One thing I admire about each of these authors besides writing great books I love to read is their generous spirit. They all help other writers and find time to help in other causes as well.
What scares you?
Some days – everything. Others – not much.
I think my biggest recurring fear is that my work isn’t good enough. And that after all the classes, the learning, the writing and the rewriting, the editing and the re-editing, it won’t be enough. When I have those days, I just have to take a few moments to breathe. To remember that people like Todd Brown and others I respect have said I’m talented. And that’s usually enough to calm my fears – until the next time.
So now for the three extraordinarily talented authors that I’m tagging to participate in this meme:
I highly recommend their books and their blogs.
I’m always curious – what authors influence you? What are you afraid of?
As always, thanks for reading!