I hail from the Hoosier state and have spent most of my life in the same city I was born. I come from place where James Dean, Jim Davis, and a few others have been known to roam. I have always had a great love affair for books and for telling stories as well as getting into plenty of mischief. I am a lover of art and anime. I have two children who sometimes make me wonder if I should invest in a strait jacket and a padded cell. I married my high school sweetheart and we just celebrated 19 years together. I love to write about all things that go “bump” in the night and putting my own spin on the creature feature. I can cite as my creative influences everyone from classical literature to authors like Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lynsay Sands, Karen Marie Moning, and Denyse Bridger.
The time I devote to writing varies. I have 2 kids and sometimes balancing everything is next to impossible but I find I write my best at night when everyone is asleep but if I am really absorbed into a story, I write amongst the chaos. Some writers have to have a room filled with books and things that inspire them and some keep a strict schedule and I need neither. I do however require music. Music has always been a huge part of my life and it’s a huge part of my writing. I listen to everything from the classics to experimental. I am partial; I have to admit, to rock. I love hard rock music whether its classic rock or current. I grew up in the 80s and early 90s, so you can imagine what I listen to. I can start with Chopin and switch to Twisted Sister and round it all out with some Avenged Sevenfold in a New York minute. Writing before involved hours of long hand and a composition notebook. In 2010, I got my lap top and I wonder how I ever wrote anything before. This is coming from a person who got really horrid grades in typing class.
Nyx Wahpeton is the main character and my hero in Cursed Awakening. I had been playing with the idea of a shifter story and it was all a hundred different ideas but nothing solid. Then I watched The Oprah Winfrey Show, where she was spotlighting the plight of our Native American Reservations and Nyx was born. Wahpeton is an actual Lakota Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. Nyx was just a name I found I liked. It has Egyptian roots, but I thought it sounded unique enough it fit my wolf boy. Nyx is one of several siblings but unlike them, he’s more of a still waters runs deep kind of guy until he meets Ivy. Nyx’s family are guardians for the local Res outside of the town where the story takes place and when he’s not doing that, he’s helping his grandfather or drawing. That is until an ancient foe threatens the safety of everyone and he comes across the one woman who is his mate. He’s brave but not reckless and aside from his heart, he gives Ivy the one thing she’s done without; a sense of family.
I write because it’s in me to do it. My writing is as much a part of me as breathing is. For many years, I was very private about my stories, only letting a few into my world. It’s all I have ever really wanted to do is write and be successful. When I had my first novel published in 2009, I made the mistake of publishing with a scam press. I was totally green and didn’t have a clue at how to send a proper query letter or who to send them to. It’s been a struggle but I’m learning every day. It was through Canada’s award-winning author, Denyse Bridger that helped me find a reputable publisher with XoXo Publishing. When XoXo changed hands and evolved into Evolutionary Press they took on Cursed Awakening as part of their catalog. I couldn’t be more thrilled. I hope to one day break into the big time but I believe that Evolutionary is the guide to get me there. I encourage all authors or those seeking to submit their stories to really really really read the fine print before they sign anything, ask questions, and do your homework when it comes to a publisher because once a contract is signed, it is really really hard to get your rights back if it turns out to be a scam publisher and there are hundreds out there. Also, follow submission guidelines to the letter. Don’t short cut on what they ask for and don’t give any more than they want.
I have been blessed with the folks at Evolutionary Publishing for helping me to really hone my craft. The satisfaction is not just in book sales, but getting to know and network with other authors and writers as well as meet and talk to people who have bought my book and loved it. It’s great to have a mentor like Denyse Bridger, who has several great published titles and has had the experience to work with publishers like Solstice, Ellora’s Cave, and many others. She’s been such a great resource as well as my publisher, Penny Adams. Being an “indie” author is some hard work. It’s not easy but once you see your book come together, it’s a sense of real accomplishment. Don’t get me wrong, getting paid is a great feeling too, but the people I’ve met and had the pleasure of working with has been life changing and encourages me to keep doing what I’m doing and do it better. I still think back to that string bean kid with freckles and strawberry blonde hair who believed there were mermaids living in the pond outside of her house, making stories would one day have a published book that people have enjoyed reading and can’t wait for more.