Q: What are you working on next?
A: I’ve started a new fiction series—a retelling of Sleeping Beauty—the first book tentatively titled The Awakening of Beauty. (I realize a lot of Sleeping Beauty retellings are romantic/erotic in nature; this is most definitely NOT. It will continue the psychological thriller/mystery themes of my other books.)
In fact, the premise is:
What if Sleeping Beauty wakes up … and is a killer?
The second book and third book are tentatively titled The Vanishing of Beauty and The Madness of Beauty.
(Are you intrigued yet?)
My goal is to launch this new series in 2020.
Q: Are there any more books planned for the Secrets of Redemption Series?
A: Yes. Right now I feel like I have two more Secrets of Redemption books in me.
One is a prologue of sorts. It’s about Aunt Charlie when she first moves to Redemption and what happened then. I had always wanted to tell Charlie’s story; I feel she needs to be center stage since her choices impacted Becca’s journey so much.
The second is tentatively titled The Room at the Top of the Stairs. This one came to me as I writing The Evil That Was Done, because I kept wondering why so many things kept happening in that specific room. I finally realized there was a story to be told there.
In addition, there are still a few things about Becca’s family that really ought to be revealed (whether or not I reveal them in that book or in another book remains to be seen).
I’m planning to return to Redemption once I complete the first three books in the Sleeping Beauty Mysteries.
Q: Do you have to read the Secrets of Redemption Series in order?
A: I would highly recommend it. The order is:
Q: What award did the Secrets of Redemption Series win?
BUT these books are NOT paranormal romances. PRG reviews books in all sorts of genres. My books are a mix of psychological thriller, mystery, supernatural, and romance.
In addition, this series was also featured in USA Today’s book blog.
The first fiction award I ever won was a National Scholastic Award in high school for humor.
Q: Do you have book club discussion questions for your books?
A: I do. Here’s the link to a blog post with the questions, and here’s a link to an easy, printable sheet you can download and print to take with you to meetings. (I also made the questions good for any psychological thriller, mystery, or supernatural book, so you can use them for more than just my book.)
Q: How are you able to find the time to do all the writing you do?
A: The short answer is I don’t have kids (which helps).
The long answer is that this is who I am. I’m a writer. I taught myself to read when I was three years old because I wanted to write stories so badly.
Now, that doesn’t mean the writing journey has always been easy for me (in fact, I struggled with my fiction side for years—you can read more about that here). And I did have to learn how to balance all the different types of writing that I am called in my soul to do.
What helped me a ton is adopting the 15-minute rule, which is something my friend Samantha Bennett writes about in her “Get It Done: From Procrastination to Creative Genius in 15 Minutes a Day” book. When I decided to recommit myself to writing books, I committed to working on my book for at least 15 minutes every day.
I know that doesn’t seem like a lot—or like you could EVER finish a book dedicating only 15 minutes a day to it.
But, it’s remarkable how much you ARE able to accomplish.
Even if you’re skeptical, I’d invite you to give it a try. (What’s the worst that could happen? You don’t get as much done as you’d like? Well, how much are you getting done now?)
Q: How are you able to switch between writing fiction, nonfiction, copywriting, etc.?
A: I like to think of it as a dance. Some days, writing fiction is the priority. Other days, I have to get a blog post done or a copy project completed.
I let the projects dictate how I plan my days with a couple of exceptions. (One of those exceptions is I must spend at least 15 minutes on my current fiction project. This is non-negotiable.)
Rather than focusing on how much I get done in a day, I try and look at my week. If I’m more or less on track over a week, I’m good. (I’ll never be completely caught up as there will ALWAYS be something else to write, which is also why I try to use the weekly “Am I on track?” self-check-in method for staying on top of things.)
Q: How do you come up with your fiction ideas?
A: I read a lot. And I read a lot of books that are outside of my preferred genre of writing. I also like combining different ideas that, on the surface, don’t seem to go together to see if I can turn them into a coherent story.
(But, quite honestly, that’s likely just my ego intervening, as if I have a say in coming up with ideas. I suspect a closer truth is that the “muse fairy” periodically visits me, and for that I’m very grateful.)
Q: How can you be taken seriously as a fiction author?
A: This exact question actually kept me from pursuing my fiction goals for years—this fear that, if I was open about writing fiction, it would somehow hurt my chances of being a successful copywriter, blogger, and nonfiction author.
Honestly, I haven’t found that to be the case. Most people are quite intrigued by the fact I write fiction.
Probably my biggest challenge is balancing all my brands and keeping everything clear in the marketplace, but this is an inherent challenge for anyone who is trying to grow more than one business or brand.
Q: How do you become a successful author in different genres?
A: First, you have to be able to write in different genres successfully. I would highly encourage you to work on mastering your craft, so you can create a high-quality product.
Second, you have to commit to marketing yourself. And, if you write in different genres, you have to commit to marketing those different genres.
In my case, I run two blogs: a fiction blog and a copywriting/business/success blog. I keep them separate so I can promote both genres. I also have two subscriber lists: one for fiction and one for business, and I keep them separate, too. (The marketing piece is part of the reason it is so challenging.)
On the other hand, it makes you more stable as an author. If you have multiple businesses and multiple genres, you have multiple ways of making money. So, if one genre tanks for whatever reason, you can rely on other genres to keep money flowing in the door.
Q: What are some ways you can market yourself as an author?
A: Blogs are an excellent way of marketing yourself as a writer. I would also recommend building an email list of readers as well as setting up a budget to regularly advertise your books in places like Amazon and Facebook.
Q: Where can I find more information about your nonfiction books?