Tell us a little about your story. It's not exactly your
everyday vampire tale.
Fire and Ice The Secret Vampire Society_ vol. 1, and _Vampire Slayers_ vol. 2, are PG-13, fast-paced
suspense thrillers with an equal mixture of romance and horror. Carmen is a successful business woman who meets Adrian
Tallinn while she's painting a mural for him in the foyer of his building. She falls in love with Adrian, not knowing
his dark secret, he is second in command of the powerful vampire society.
Carmen is what I consider a realistic portrayal of the way someone would act who is thrown into this supernatural
world. The only reason she's there is because of her love for Adrian. She's intimidated by vampires, but eventually
rises up and recognizes her potential and abilities. And continues to evolve and grow and become stronger throughout the story,
and is even surer of herself and her place in the society in volume 2, Vampire Slayers.
Adrian is gorgeous and wealthy and is intrigued by Carmen, who's different from any woman that
he has ever known. Adrian's character is complex. He has his warm, more human side that loves Carmen and would do anything
for her, versus his cold vampire side that can be frightening. Hence, fire and ice. I compare him loosely to someone who would
be in charge of any underground or organized secret society. He isn't supposed to be the nice guy, but can be.
Volume 2, Vampire Slayers continues their adventures. On a trip to England,
Carmen learns that not all vampires have embraced a more modern way of fitting in with humanity. The vampires there still
adhere to the old traditions, where most of the legends originated. Her frightening encounters with one vampire in particular,
show Carmen that not all vampires are interested in embracing the help of slayers and consider them abominations that should
Why this choice of genre?
wanted to write and what I wanted to write about was vampires. It is my passion, in fact I have written about vampires for
as long as I can remember, I just recently felt the timing was right in my own life to pursue my writing career. I love the
intrigue, and allure of vampires. They are timeless and people enjoy reading books and watching movies about them. They are
very popular now, but I can't remember any time that vampires haven't always had a large following of fans.
Were you apprehensive about changing some of
the traditional views society holds about vampires?
Not really. There are so many different stories about vampires and their abilities out now.
A lot of the modern vampires fit into society easier and can even go out in the daylight. For me, it added more to the story
to be able to have them interact with humans during the day. I feel like I brought back some of the traditional aspects
of vampires that a few writers were getting too far away from, (along with some new twists of my own). I have wolves,
dungeons, castles and even coffins in my stories. (some of these are in the next book in the series.) I wanted my characters
to be believable as people in our modern times that could fit into society without others knowing that they are vampires.
Do you find it
difficult to write romantic scenes? How do you keep them from sounding cliché?
I tried to keep my romance scenes so that
a wider audience could read my books. I do have a teenage daughter and wanted her to be able to enjoy my stories, which she
and her friends do. I also have a lot of friends in my age group and older that appreciate the fact that I never get too intimate
in the romance scenes, but still keep it passionate and steamy.
When did you discover
your love and talent for writing? Were you encouraged at an early age to pursue writing?
I've always written.
When I was in school I wrote short stories, and even enjoyed essays. I had some really good encouraging
teachers, and my parents always supported me in my art and writing. I went to college on an art scholarship and majored in
art and literature. I have also won awards over the years. I never thought about doing anything else for a living except art
Do you make
your living as a writer, or do you have another job?
Right now I make my living as an artist. I just published my first book,
Fire and Ice The Secret Vampire Society, vol. 1, this summer. It is steadily increasing in sales and I already have devoted
fans that are excited to get more in the series about my characters. The second one will be out in a couple of weeks. I would
say that my books are starting to pay for themselves. That doesn't include my time for marketing, promoting and writing,
but for me, I have a hard time thinking of it as work anyway. I am thrilled that there are people out there that love my books,
and my characters and can't wait to read what is going to happen next.
How do you make time to write?
moment I get is spent writing, ask my family. It is definitely a balancing act between family, work and writing. I make my
own hours with my artwork. Since I am self employed it allows me to decide what jobs I want to do and for the most part when
I want to do them. I'm lucky that it gives me plenty of free time to pursue my passion of writing.
much time do you spend editing your stories?
The editing takes a lot more time than the actual writing. I can write
three to five thousand word a day when I am on a roll. I wrote the entire first book, 120,000 words in a month, but then going
back and doing all the editing took at least two to three times longer. I found someone who does the proof reading part of
my books. She works for a couple different publishers, so I was lucky to just happen to know her. She proofed the first two
books and will probably do the rest since she is knowledgeable about my characters. It's great when someone can read your
writing and say, Adrian wouldn't talk like that, or Carmen should do this because they have become intimate with the characters
and their behavior.
Do you do your own marketing? How much time do you dedicate to it?
Again, I would say every free moment I get is
spent either writing, editing, or marketing my books. I spend a few hours a day on the internet through various social networks
putting things out about my books. I also have a college student that advertises for me in free online magazines, newspapers
and ads. And, I just started a blog so I'm trying to incorporate that into my routine now too. I'm always looking
for new and different avenues to market my books.
How has your experience
been in self publishing?
Like anything, you have high expectations of what can happen and then the actuality of it brings
you back down to reality. For the most part I'm thrilled to be doing what I enjoy more than anything else. I realize that
I'm lucky to be able do what I love so much. I'm new to self publishing and there's a learning process and a learning
curve, but I've been self employed most of my adult life and I have no problem being motivated. Art is not an easy thing
to make a living at either, and I do, so writing is just another step for me.
Who are the authors that inspire you?
Who do you like to read?
I read a wide variety. I would have to say that my favorite all time authors are, Stephen King, he
is definitely the "King" of horror. Michael Crichton, because his stories are always so believable and usually based
upon some real life facts. He is also very technically oriented in his writing style. James Patterson because he has a good
imagination and knows how to tell a story. Then I have always enjoyed a good love story, like Nora Roberts.
One of my all time favorite authors also was Joseph Lippincott. Most of his books have become rare collectibles these days.
He wrote the books I read as a young adult about wolves and other wildlife.
are also an artist. Your artwork is beautiful. How has expressing yourself as an artist helped your writing?
art to a whole new level beyond painting. As an artist I will get the general idea for a mural or piece and lay out the idea,
but as I start to paint, that is when it all flows together. As I paint a layer, the new idea for the next layer develops
in my mind. Writing is much the same. As I write and build my characters personalities, and the plots and storylines the next
idea develops. It's a building process, the same as painting.
One of your main characters is an artist, is she a little part of
you... or maybe a lot?
I get that question a lot. The reason I made Carmen an artist is because making a living as an artist
is more interesting for most people to read about than working in another profession. People are always intrigued with the
idea that I make my living as an artist. I feel it just adds more fun to the storyline, and since I know art and have done
it for years it was an easier, more believable thing to add to my character. There is a little of Carmen in me, but there
is also a little of Adrian too, or any of my other
characters in my books. I think that helps you write about a more credible character if you can put yourself in their place.
for you? What projects are you working on?
Well, my characters, Adrian and Carmen are not done telling their
story yet. I have rough drafts for at least two more in the series, so all of the fans of my Fire and Ice series will be happy
to hear that. And I have started a young adult novel also. It is based on a flash forward with the teens of the characters
in these books, but will stand by itself as a storyline. I have more ideas right now than I have time to put down. I'm
definitely in a groove and am not suffering from any kind of writers block at the moment. When I'm writing I can easily
write three to five thousand words a day. Then of course comes all the editing, proofing, and marketing.
And finally, what advice would you give
to aspiring writers?
If you are passionate about it, and can't imagine not writing, go for it. It's an adventure
that I wouldn't trade for anything. I can't remember ever having as much fun as I have now that I'm writing. It's
hard work to get your name and books out there into the public and is incredibly time consuming, but in my opinion has been
worth the efforts so far. It helps to have support from others in your field, even if it's just to bounce ideas and marketing
strategies off of. Try to keep your expectations realistic, which is difficult. (Being writers we already have wild imaginations).
Don't expect your first book to take off and make you a million and then if it does, you're exceeding what you thought
would happen. It never occurs to me to not do what I want to do with my life, it's my life to live and I have to keep
moving forward with what I want to do. Standing still is never an option.