Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?
I started writing seriously last year when I left my job in advertising.
I live just outside Vail, Colorado and love to ski, meditate, visit used bookstores (probably too often) and of course write.
I had a real passion for writing in college. However, after graduation life took over and I got a job in advertising and at the time I loved it. Over the years the excitement in advertising wore off, and the passion for writing crept back in. I finally took the leap of faith last year, and left my job to write full-time.
How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or do you prefer writing freehand?
I write exclusively on my Mac Book Air, I never leave home without it. Most of my writing is done at home from my desk, which faces outside and overlooks the mountains. In my newsletter I share a photo of my exact writing spot. This photo is only available to fans who sign up for my newsletter, it’s my way of sharing a little bit of my personal life with them.
I do use a small notepad to keep track of things that pop into my head, but I don’t use it for writing just note taking.
What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?
My favorite part is the solitude. It’s so peaceful, and relaxing. When I was in advertising I was go, go, go all day, and all night. I didn't take vacations. I was in constant contact with the office via email, text, phone, and video chat. That is all a thing of the past now and I don’t regret it one bit.
My least favorite part about writing would probably have to be finishing a book. I know this sounds crazy but once I get writing I don’t want to stop, but at some point I have to. You have to end your story somehow and for me that’s a tough thing to do. I think that is why my last couple of books and the ones I’m working on now are part of a series. I get into the characters so much I just want to keep going with them.
How do you come up with your characters? Why would readers want to get to know them?
I come up with my characters in a couple of different ways. Some of them are variations of friends, family or old co-workers. Others are just random interesting people I see that stand out for some reason or another. I try to find a character or scene in my everyday world that interests me and I write it down to possibly use it later. I use a little something I see in these “real world” people in my writing and it just grows from there.
I think readers would like my characters because I try to put a lot of time and thought into creating them. My character outlines are pretty extensive and I share those with my newsletter list as well. So if you like the characters in my books you can read the actual outlines I created for them. So sign up for my newsletter…hehehe.
What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?
You know it’s funny. I have a lot of marketing experience but I don’t do much to market my books. I like to write instead of market really and let my stories do most of the marketing for me. I do submit my books to some promotional sites like Bookzio.com and Bookbub.com but other than that it’s mostly word of mouth. I try to stay active on GoodReads and answer all emails that my readers send me. I LOVE opening my inbox and seeing emails from happy readers, I encourage them to contact me.
How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?
I don’t really schedule my writing time so much. I do write at least six days a week, usually seven.
I try to get my writing out of the way in the morning. After my meditation and a cup or two of coffee. I feel the creative juices flow best at this time and my mind is running wild with new ideas and characters. Plus I’m a morning person so getting up at 4 a.m. is fairly standard for me. I usually have my writing out of the way by lunchtime and the rest of the day is mine.
What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?
I am currently working on the follow-up to my last book Midnight Sun. It will be called Devil’s Dawn and should be ready at the end of March or early April. Midnight Sun came out in late February.
The funny thing about this series is it started out as one book but towards the middle I had an inspiration. That led to the end of Midnight Sun changing and it becoming a series. Now Midnight Sun is really a prequel to the next book or two in the series. A serial killer is born and I just can’t stop writing about it.
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Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.
I've had a lot of readers contact me and ask if I could do something else with the characters from Do You Want To Play. That was my first book and I think it was only about 45k in length. However, people really want more from Tobias and Loren. So, I've been kicking around some ideas and could have them in another book late this year.
What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?
I would tell them if they have the desire to write and be published they can, and that is all the belief they need. Read and write everyday and don’t let any critic get you down. I will say though that a good editor goes a long ways as well. You don’t want to publish a book filled with grammatical errors. If you can’t afford a professional editor have a trusted friend look over your story. Sometimes just a second set of eyeballs on it can help tenfold.
Thank you, Charlotte