1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
I discovered writing was my calling in 2007 after I won a short story contest which led to a multi-book deal. What I love most about writing is I can minister to broken people who may never enter a church and give them hope. What frustrates me most about writing is the voices in my head never turn off.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
I write Christian/Inspirational fiction with a heavy dose of romance. I love crafting stories about imperfect people who do not always make the best decisions but rely on their faith to see them through. I use relationships to demonstrate God’s unconditional love for us. I tackle taboo subjects such as pornography, fornication, homosexuality, and emotional pain. I do not sensationalize the behavior, instead, I demonstrate God’s restoration and love.
3) Where do you draw your inspiration from for the stories that you manage to weave together and the characters that you create?
Most of my inspiration comes from my life experiences, but I get inspiration from everywhere. Once, while on the treadmill in the gym, I spotted a couple working out together. He was confined to a wheelchair, and their chemistry was so strong, they were the inspiration behind my novel, Silver Lining. I also love listening to couples tell their stories of how they met.
4) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel? What projects are you currently working on?
When the characters start talking, I start writing. I mentally outline every novel, but nothing formal. I recently started working on my memoir; however, the characters in my head are starting a conversation.
5) What’s the first book you ever read that really moved you emotionally? Who is your favorite author to read? What book are you currently reading?
I don’t remember the first book that moved me emotionally, but I do have a list of my all-time favorites which include: Tryin to Sleep in the Bed You Made, anything by Gwynne Forster, Kendra Norman Holmes, Pat Simmons, LaCricia Angelle, Pat G’Orge-Walker, Jacquelin Thomas just to name a few.
6) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
I consider my most significant achievement as a writer. is hearing from readers how my novels have encouraged and motivated them.
7) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career? What is your advice for other writers to better be able to cope or navigate their way through the publishing process, be it traditional or self-publishing?
Over the years, I have developed tough skin for the minimal rejection I have received. I understand everyone will not like my work, but I have confidence that my writing is a ministry orchestrated from above. The best advice I can give inspiring writers is to learn as much as possible about the business.
8) Do you find it hard to juggle the creative side of being a writer against the business side of being a writer, in terms of marketing and promotion and things of that nature? How hard has it been (or easy) for you to build up your author platform?
Working full-time and attending school makes it challenging to handle all of the demands of marketing and promoting that are needed to build a successful platform. I lean a lot on social media to make connections and to advertise. I also created a Facebook group for readers.
9) What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
What I consider a unique quality about me is that I don’t pretend to be perfect and do not create characters that are. I write about people I can relate to in a way that gives them hope and healing.
10) How can readers find you and your books?