I’m 45 years old.
Where are you from?
I was born in Peoria, Illinois. My parents moved to the small town of Pahrump, Nevada where I went to high school. I’ve lived in Las Vegas for the past 30 years.
A little about yourself `ie your education Family life ect.
For the past twenty-one years, I’ve been a Domestic Engineer, a.k.a. stay at home mom, raising four children. During those years, I worked beside my husband, the love of my life, designing and building custom homes. I’m addicted to Golden Oreo’s and my spin bike.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Fiona, you are my latest news! This is my first interview and I’d like to thank you for having me. I published my debut novel in January and in May I decided to join KDP Select in hopes of gaining exposure. It’s been a wonderfully crazy summer with almost 30,000 downloads of No More Wasted Time.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Up until a few years ago I was probably more comfortable reading a set of blue prints than a romance novel. I started writing three years ago after having a horrible nightmare that my husband died and I was on a boat in Bora Bora spreading his ashes in the lagoon. I panicked for weeks thinking my hubby was going to fall off the roof he was working on. After weeks of worrying, I realized he wasn’t going anywhere. I started writing and didn’t stop for three years.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I will never forget the exact moment. My husband and I were at a Christmas party and woman we were chatting with asked, “What do you do for a living?” Typically, I would’ve chuckled and told her that I was a Domestic Engineer, but my husband blurted out, “My wife’s a writer.” It took me another year to publish, but his proud introduction lit a fire in me.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I couldn’t let my nightmare go. It morphed into this story in my head that I couldn’t get rid of. I was seriously losing sleep over it. I went in to my daughter’s room one night, telling her the whole story and that I was contemplating writing a book. She said, “Momma! You should do it!” So I did. Since then, I find inspiration in music and a good sunrise.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
For the most part I write in my own voice and define my style as descriptive. I love to focus on bringing places and characters to life with casual flow and wordage. I want the reader to become emotionally attached to my characters and feel as if they’re sitting right there in the sand. Let’s not forget the heat factor. I give it a nice spicy R rating.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I’m pretty sure I scribbled No More Wasted Time on a notecard in the middle of the night. Apparently, 2:00 AM seems to be my creative alarm clock. There’s a scene, which I wrote later, where the actual words are spoken in the story line.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Life isn’t about tomorrow ~ Life is about today and Everything happens for a reason. I think occasionally we get lucky in life and find the person who is just right for us. True love! I also want my writing to spark a sense of empowerment and sexiness in the reader.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Take out fame, fortune and Hollywood, and it’s as real as life gets. People suffer from loss, have family drama, question themselves, and travel to exotic destinations. I hope people share a similar intimate connection portrayed in the book.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I live in Las Vegas which is where the opening scene takes place and I was lucky enough to travel to Bora Bora a few years ago. I carry a bit of that tiny island in the South Pacific in my soul and that reflects in my writing. The characters are a collaboration of family, friends and people I know.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
I took general English in high school and I didn’t go to college, so I didn’t read any of the classics. I remember reading Montana Sky by Nora Roberts thinking I have to read that again!
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Paul Rega is the author of How to Find a Job When There Are No Jobs. He’s an indie-author who shares his personal journey and career planning strategy. Though he writes in a completely different genre and I’m not out of work, I’ve learned a tremendous amount about marketing and promoting. I consider Paul a mentor and a friend.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m just starting Badass by Sable Hunter.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’ve met so many wonderful authors the last year! My to-be-read list is long and I’m hoping to squeeze some more reading time when summer is over.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
No More Wasted Time is my debut novel and the first book in a stand-alone series of four. Book number four in the series is two chapters away from completion and I have plots for two and three. Yes, I unintentionally wrote them out of sync. Book two will publish in January 2013 and all four novels will be published by the end of 2013.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I have found a writing community through social media. The people I’ve met have been wonderful, not to mention inspirational, insightful and encouraging.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. I’m a member of several writers’ groups and attend meetings regularly to improve my writing. As an indie–author, I’m also learning how to publish and promote.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No I would not. I will admit my novel colors outside the lines a bit of the stereotypical romance novel. My characters are in their forties and have a passionate relationship throughout the entire book, but I pride myself on following my own path. My reviews are very positive.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My interest in writing started the day I sat down at my laptop. I became obsessed. I slept about four hours a night for the first year and I might’ve growled at my kids and husband on more than one occasion if they asked me about laundry or dinner.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Excerpt from No More Wasted Time
“Tess,” he said in a voice so delicious, the mere sound made her go weak at the knees.
Even though playfulness lingered in his tone, she glanced into his dark brown eyes and realized Tom had something on his mind.
“Do you need to go home in three days or can you stay on vacation with me longer? I’ll understand if you need to get back, but I’m not ready to let go of you yet.” His brows creased slightly, revealing the indication of seriousness to his offer, as if it were uncharted territory for him.
Her mind raced. She didn’t really need to go home yet, but the idea of Tom wanting her to stay longer filled her full of happiness. If I stay, what will that mean to him? What does it mean to me? Nothing? Something? Everything? Are we dating now? Am I simply going to be able to just walk away from this amazing man when the vacation is over?
She wanted answers to all of her questions, but one thing she knew for certain, if she pushed Tom, even the smallest amount, he’d be gone.
Lowering her gaze to the table, she drug her hands through her hair and chewed nervously on her lip. “You really want me to stay longer? I thought-”
“I don’t have any commitments for a few weeks.” His lips caressed her neck. “I’m enjoying my time with you and I’m under the impression you’re enjoying yourself, too.”
Acting on a whim was completely out of character for her. This trip was the most unpredictable thing she’d ever done in her life.
“Come with me, Tess. I’ll show you a great time. What else do you have to do right now back at home that can’t wait for a while?” After every sentence he paused, waiting patiently for her response.
She lifted her eyes, searching for reassurance that she wouldn’t regret her decision. He gave her a sexy imploring smile.
“Why, Mr. Clemmins, are you trying to seduce me into staying here with you?” She teased with a quiet chuckle.
“Is it working?” he whispered in her ear.
“Yes, I believe it is. I can stay.” She imitated his slow sexy tone, “I’m not through with you yet, Tom Clemmins.”
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Balance! I’m just beginning to find the balance between writing, promoting and family. Oh, and spinning. Riding my spin bike keeps me sane.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
That’s a hard question for me. I love any author that can suck me in as if it could be reality and keep me up all night. Add some smokin’ hot sensuality to and I’ll love it. Lisa Kleypas’ Blue-Eyed Devil is one of my favorites. Hardy Cates! What else can I say?
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I don’t have to travel, but places inspire me and my writing a great deal! I read travel magazines, and Greece and Italy are on my bucket list.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I love my cover! I purchased the photo online and my oldest daughter and I mocked it up before giving it to Yevinn Graphics.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The writing just came, but the writing process from start to finish is what I find challenging. English isn’t my strong point, so learning correct grammar and punctuation were toughies. Point of view has been the most enlightening tidbit of information I’ve learned. Cutting scenes is also still hard for me. I get attached to my scenes, so cutting them is like removing a finger.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Beyond everything else I’ve learned a lot about myself. It might be a combination of age, children leaving the nest and starting a new career, but I’ve gained a sense of empowerment and who I am as a woman through writing.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Be a sponge! I’m more than willing to absorb any advice from other writers and then I apply it to my own work. Some suggestions may or may not work for you, but you can still learn from that. Be flexible. Trust your gut and don’t be afraid to be different!
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you! Receiving comments or reviews from readers makes my day! I get goose bumps every time someone else gets excited about my book. I might even shed a happy tear or celebrate with a cocktail. Readers rock!
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I designed and help build five houses with my husband. I loved every minute of it and I would do it again!
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?