Name Charlotte Byrd
Where are you from I’m originally from Pennsylvania. But I moved to Los Angeles to attend University of Southern California and have been here ever since. I lived in LA for close to 12 years, and I now live in a small desert town near Joshua Tree National Park. My husband and I came to visit the area and fell in love with the beautiful star-studded night sky and the gorgeous nature. We especially love sitting on our porch at sunset and listening to the howling of coyotes.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I met my husband, Kevin, at University of Southern California and we have been together for 11 years. We also have a crazy and rumbustious dog, Charlie.
I have way too many graduate degrees: MA equivalency in Applied Math, MA in English and Writing and a PhD in Education. But writing fiction has always been my passion and I am thankful that I can now do it full-time.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
The first book in my 3-book new adult, contemporary romance series just came out August 31. It’s called Desire: Big Bear Outlaw MC Romance Book 1. Crave (Book 2) and Lust (Book 3) are coming out over the next two weeks. They are all short reads (less than an hour).
Here’s the blurb.
He shouldn’t have been an outlaw, I shouldn’t have fallen for him…
Jack Hart was all wrong for me. He was in the Big Bear Outlaw Motorcycle Club. I was studying pre-med. He was a criminal, and I’ve never even jaywalked.
After my mom had left, the last thing I wanted was a relationship.But then I started falling for Jack. Why did he have to have a girlfriend? Why did I have to go out with his brother?
My family ran the MC, but there was so much more to me than the MC. I was a writer and I didn’t belong. The only person who saw this was Emma.
Why did I have to have a girlfriend? Why did she have to go out with my brother?
Heat Level: Sensual and Hot!
Desire, Crave and Lust are three installments of the Big Bear Outlaw MC Romance series. They are all short reads (under an hour). All three installments will come out a week apart. You won’t have to wait long to read the rest of the story!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I have been writing since I was little, and I have known that I wanted to be a writer since I was in high school. But I was always afraid that I would not be able to make a living as a writer. So in college I got sidetracked and decided to major in Mathematics. I then got my Master’s degree in Math and taught in a community college. Throughout that process and throughout my PhD, I continued to write fiction. Many short stories, essays and poetry. I’ve had some success with publication. But then I started to focus on writing romance and things have really taken off. I found an audience and an excited fan base and I couldn’t be happier.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
A few years ago when I finally got the courage to start referring to myself as a writer. Now, all I do is write.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I was inspired to write the first book in this series by the show Sons of Anarchy. I binge-watched the show on Netflix and I started the story as a fan-fiction. It quickly evolved into an original series.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I love writing in first-person and I love to write in a stream of consciousness style. I make some notes and an overall outline, but then I let the words just flow. I used to obsess about each individual sentence and paragraph, but I find this way to be much more organic.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I wanted to include MC Romance in the title to demarcate the story as such. I named the motorcycle club Big Bear because it’s set in Southern California and Big Bear is a popular resort area around here.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
It’s a fun romance read with a lot sensuality and a Happily Ever After ending. The characters in the story, especially Jack, feels boxed in by his MC family and is struggling to follow his dream of getting out of the lifestyle. The message that I want the readers to grasp is that it’s important to follow your dreams.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
The book is fiction. All the characters are invented, but their problems and struggles are realistic in that many people around the world are going through similar issues. They are trying to find love, and trying to live out their dreams.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No, not at all. It’s all fiction.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
This past summer, I attended the Writers’ League of Texas conference in Austin where I had the privilege of attending Deanna Roy’s workshops. She is a USA Times bestselling author and she’s an indie author. She was the one who has really introduced me to the world of indie romance and has been a huge inspiration.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am focusing on writing romance and my reading list is basically made up of romance books right now. I’m currently reading all the books by my mentor and inspiration, Deanna Roy including her Forever Loved series and her Annie Winters and J.J. Knight books. I’m also reading the The Hotel series by Lola Darling and the Forever Black series by Sandi Lynn.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Deanna Roy, Whitney Garcia, Lola Darling and Sandi Lynn
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I am currently working on a my next series called Wild World: Rise of the Billionaire. The first book, Wild World Book 1, will be released as part of a multi-author box set called What to Read after Fifty Shades of Grey: Brazen Billionaires. It will be released October 13.
Here’s the blurb:
A love story between an Alpha CEO, soon-to-be billionaire, and a good girl.
Sex, Power, Money, and Yosemite.
Just when Annabelle thinks things can’t get any worse, they do. When her mother dies and she can’t find a job, she goes on a week-long camping trip to Yosemite to escape her crappy life. Deep in the woods, she meets a hot stranger and has a one-night stand.
Back at home, Annabelle’s life is filled with sending out resumes and waiting for a response. Her bills are piling up. It’s only a matter of months until her roommate gets sick of her not pulling her weight and kicks her out on the street.
Then one day, she gets a call from Wild International asking her to come in for an interview. Annabelle didn’t apply there, but is desperate for a job and can’t afford to pass up the opportunity.
Her job is simple: she’s a personal assistant for the CEO. But then Annabelle discovers the true identity of her new boss. He’s Gatsby Wild, a sexy, arrogant soon-to-be billionaire who has way many secrets. And he’s also her one and only one-night stand.
Genre: New Adult Romance
Heat Rating: Hot and Sensual!
This story unfolds over multiple volumes of about 125 pages each.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I found a lot of support on the Writer’s Cafe of kboards.com and, of course, on facebook. Romance authors are very supportive!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, now that I’m focusing on romance, I definitely see writing as a career. I am no longer working as an academic editor and am focusing on this full-time.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Yes, I actually just changed the cover image again. This is my first book and I’m still learning about the various approaches to promotion. I changed the cover image multiple times, adding things like quotes from reviews and proper formatting and sizing.
This first series is not particularly long mainly because it’s my tester series. I wanted to use it as a trainee book on which to test all of my promotions. If it receives a good reception, then I’m definitely open to writing additional books about Emma and Jack’s relationship.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I’ve always been interested in telling stories. I loved reading as kid and read all kinds of books. I always made up alternative endings and often continued the stories long after they ended. I think all of that are indications that I have been a writer for a long time, even before I started to actually call myself a writer.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I often find it challenging to think of twists and turns. Plot is quite difficult for me. I almost want to stay in each scene forever and describe every detail. But I am slowly learning to develop plot points and ways to keep the story moving further.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No, but I love to travel!! I will take any opportunity to go visit a new city and I’m planning on attending many more conferences in the near future. One that I have lined up already is Hot Mojave Nights in Las Vegas in the beginning of Oct (2015).
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I design my own covers. I was planning on hiring a designer, but I wasn’t sure what I really wanted so I decided to just play around with the software myself. I learned a bit of Photoshop and I’m getting a bit better. I do, however, use Fiverr to turn my covers in 3D images.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part would have to be the plot. I come up with initial conflict quite easily, but then I have a hard time developing all the intricacies of the secrets and lies that the characters keep from one another. Luckily, my husband and Facebook friends help with that!
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned a lot. Mainly, I learned (and am still learning) how to write fast. Speed is very important to a successful romance writing career and I’m still learning. Rachel Aaron describes a lot of useful techniques in her book, 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better and Writing More of What You Love. She lays out exactly how to plot your book and use a timer to write in small increments. I follow her method religiously. I know what time of day I’m most efficient (afternoons) and I keep track of how many words by timing myself (usually, I write in 20 or 30 minute increments). I also make notes before each writing session so that I know what I want to cover during that session.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
My advice is to really lay out your goals and work in that direction. Also, attend conferences. I did not read much Romance until earlier this summer and after I attended that conference in Texas, my eyes were really opened to this whole other world in which writers actually had fans and actually made money off writing fiction. I found that really inspiring and after reading a lot of indie romance, I discovered that the writing is actually very good and professional.
My advice would be to really attend conferences and connect with people in the real-world, not just in the online world. I’ve read about self-publishing success stories before I went to the conference, but frankly I didn’t think it actually applied to me until I met all of these writers in real life. Plus, conferences are very educational and inspirational. They are definitely worth the money.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Please contact me. I love hearing from my readers. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads or just write me direct: email@example.com.
I love connecting with readers and I want to hear what you think. If you like a particular series, please let me know and I will most likely continue writing it!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first book I remember enjoying is The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I loved his personality and I loved his relationship with Becky Thatcher. It was such a fun and exciting book. I remember it blew me away when I first read it when I was about 5 or 6 years old.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Any videos or pictures about animals. The funny ones make me laugh and the sad ones make me cry. I’m a huge animal lover and a vegetarian and my love for animals creeps into my writing. (For all of his faults, Gatsby Wild from the Wild World series is a vegetarian and an animal lover, as well). I love sharing funny videos of cats and other animals doing crazy things on Facebook!
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
It would have to be Mark Twain. He has been such an inspiration. I’ve loved his work since I was a kid.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I love camping and spending time in nature. I also love adrenaline sports like sky diving, white water rafting, and zip lining. I love visiting National Parks and traveling. Last summer, I spent 2 months living in Belize – one of the best experiences of my life.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love a lot of romantic films like The Notebook as well as Quentin Tarantino films. Some of my favorite TV shows right now are The Mindy Project and Empire. True Blood is another favorite.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I love sushi and all types of Asian food especially Thai and Indian. I love colors purple and yellow (even though, I’m not much of a Lakers fan, to the dismay of my husband).
I like all types of music, but I especially like folk music and Southern Gothic. I love the Southern Gothic and Essential Folk playlists on Spotify. I also a big fan of Taylor Swift, Milky Chance, and Meghan Trainor.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would probably still be an academic editor. This was what I did before I started writing romance. If I couldn’t do that then I would be an English instructor/ professor. I just have to be around fiction and novels.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My website is www.charlottebyrdauthor.net
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Amazon Authord page http://www.amazon.com/Charlotte-Byrd/e/B013MN45Q6/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Link to the book: http://amzn.to/1N5GUmw