Recently I had a chat with a fellow author and I decided to play a game of 20 questions. I know I haven’t played this game since I was little. Oh, wait. I play it every day in preschool. Well, no matter. This will be the Indie Author version!
Are you ready? Let’s Play!
I’m the mother of four, two daughters and two sons. And I am a grandmother. I play the piano. Had fifteen years of lessons, beginning with my grandmother, who was a piano teacher. I, too, taught piano for a number of years. I love the outdoors. Jeans, T-shirts and sweatshirts are my favorite attire. I’ve never been comfortable in a dress. I would love to live in a log cabin on Mouth Rainer, as I am a nature lover. I am also an artist. But writing is my passion.
2.) How long have you been writing?
I quit writing for fourteen years when my husband passed away. Counting my time as a newspaper journalist, as well, about fifteen years.
3.) Do you have a preferred genre that you read? Is it the same as what you write?
Science fiction –true science fiction — is my favorite genre. Always has been. Avid fan of “Star Trek”. However, I love a good paranormal romance. Love the “Twilight” series and “The Vampire Diaries”. And I wrote four books in my own vampire series – beginning with “Powers” – since “The Vampire Diaries” season finale last year and this year. Just polishing up the fourth book.
4.) What is the title of your book and where can it be found?
“Powers” is the first book in the series. And it can be found, along with the others, on Amazon in paperback and Kindle,on Barns & Noble’s Nook, and Sony, Apple and Smashwords
5.) Describe your novel in 15 words or less.
It is a vampire/paranormal romance.
6.) Where did the inspiration for your story come from?
As I said, I love “The Vampire Diaries” and “Twilight”…But I mostly wrote it for my granddaughter, who got me interested in the vampire romance novels.
7.) How long did it take you to complete this novel from concept to published?
I wrote the first one in three weeks. And it took me about two months to get it to the publisher.
8.) When you sit down to write, how does that process go? Do you outline or just let it evolve?
My characters write their own stories. I never know what is going to happen when I sit down. One reason I love writing so much. For me, it is an adventure.
9.) Are there any aspects of writing you struggle with?
There used to be. Not so much anymore.
10.) Are there any aspects that you simply glide through?
Writing the first draft.
11.) What sets your book apart from others in the same genre?
They are my characters. Not someone else’s. And my vampires have a lot more trouble in going through their transitioning.
12.) What is the location of your story setting and why did you choose that place/time?
I chose the Pacific Northwest because it is where I reside. And it is a perfect setting. As you know, already used in the “Twilight” series. But I actually live here.
13.) Your main characters, tell me about them. What is their back story? How did they find themselves where they are now?
Amber lost her husband and is looking for escape. Paul is lonely and wants a girlfriend. Dorian pretty much minds his own business until Amber moves to the community.
14.) I’d like to know more about your book. Tell me all about it.
To tell you much more would give the story away. It is a romance, but has a lot of action.
15.) What do you want readers to take from your writings?
Hope they enjoy the read. That they can lose themselves in the stories.
16.) Are more books to follow or is this a stand alone?
As I said before, “Powers”is the first book in a series of four, so far. Not sure if it is the last one. May be. And it may not be. Depends on the characters.
17.) Where can readers find you?
18.) What are 3 random things about yourself that readers might like to know.
I believe in God. And I believe in family. Love animals.
19.) What do you do in your down time? For fun.
Work on my website, when I’m not watching grandchildren or writing.
20.) How about letting me have a sneak peak at chapter one?
Dying was not how the camping couple from Ohio expected to end their vacation. The day was full of sunshine, chirping birds and pine-scented breezes as they pitched their tent in Mount Rainier Park.
By noon, the tent was secured and they were famished. Donnie quickly made a fire of kindling and small pieces of wood he’d brought along, afraid the wood in the forest might be too damp. And Melanie roasted their hotdogs over the open fire and they stuffed themselves to the max, washing it down with a couple of canned sodas.
They put out their fire and cleaned up their cooking utensils and decided to take their long-anticipated hike. It was the first time either of them had taken a hike on a mountain, and though they both considered themselves in good physical shape, by six they realized they were actually exhausted. Melanie was the first to admit it. Donnie was ahead of her by a few feet and he glanced back to see how she was doing.
She shook her head. “I’m sorry, Donnie…But I just can’t go on…Gotta rest a few minutes.”
He glanced at his watch and then focused on her. “Yeah…I’ve been ready to go back for a while. But I thought you wanted to keep going.”
“You kidding me? I thought I was ready for this…working out at the gym for the past few weeks. But this! Different. We weren’t loaded down with backpacks in the gym. And we weren’t constantly ascending and descending steep trails.”
“We’ll sit for a few then.”
“Thank God!” She relived herself of her backpack and sat down on a tree stump.
He laid his backpack aside too and joined her. “I’m sorry, Melanie.”
“Oh…Don’t be, Donnie.” She gestured with her hand. “This is marvelous!” She looked upward into the high treetops. “The scenery is breathtaking! I love it. It’s just that I’m not as tough or prepared as I thought I was.”
He let out a low chuckle. “Neither am I. Blake…back at the office…Well…he tried to tell me. And stupid, stubborn me… just thought he was full of it. You know what a cocky little shrimp he is.”
“You got that right,” she agreed, still staring up. “You know…It’s getting dark quicker than I thought.”
“Clouded up. I thought it was supposed to stay clear for the next few days.”
Suddenly there was a loud squawk and a large black bird alighted on a tree branch only a few feet away.
“Is that a crow?” she questioned.
“Really big for a crow. I hear there are ravens out here.”
“His eyes are weird! Don’t they have yellow eyes?”
“Not really sure…Thought so.”
“That’s ones eyes are green!”
He squint, staring hard at the bird. “You’re absolutely right. Definitely green!”
She blew out air. “Guess I’m ready to head back now.”
“It’s down hill most of the way. Should be easier. And I want to get back before it is totally dark.”
“Me too.” He helped her with her backpack and then slipped his on. “Ready?”
She nodded that she was and they started back down the trail. They didn’t see the raven following quietly behind, hopping from branch to branch. And they were almost to camp when Melanie noticed the bird again. “Donnie?”
“What, Melanie?” he asked, looking at her over his shoulder as he trudged up a steep slope.
“That raven’s following us!”
“Looks that way,” he said. “But probably just curious.” He faced forward again and noticed something else. ‘Hey! Look at the weird fog rolling in.”
“I see it,” she said. “Good thing we’re almost there.”
“Yeah…I can barely see our tent in the clearing up ahead.”
The fog was thick by the time they reached the clearing, and she ran over to the tent and relieved herself of the backpack and tossed it aside. He did the same.
She wasn’t sure why, but she felt really uneasy. “Let’s start another fire.”
“Just what I was thinking. I can barely see your face.”
“I don’t like it, Donnie. I’m…I’m scared,” she admitted.
“Don’t be, honey. We’re just not used to this. We are so not used to this!”
“Yeah…Cleveland’s looking really good to me right now.”
He grabbed her and kissed her quickly. “Now…Gonna get that fire going.”
“I’ll grab the wood pieces you brought.” She ducked inside the tent.
“Glad I brought lighter fluid along with me. Otherwise, it would probably take me all night to get a fire started.”
“Good thing,” she agreed, back now with the wood pieces.
Soon they had another fire going and were feeling much better beside the warmth and light. They began to relax, even laughing at their obvious lack of camping experience.
“That is weird fog!” he remarked, as some rolled in around their feet.
“No more weird that that bird, Donnie!”
He glanced up just in time to see it land in front of them. It just sat there staring at them, cocking its head from one side to the other.
“That freakin’ thing is huge!” he said.
“Makes me nervous. What the heck does it want?” She kicked at it and it squawked loudly, but it only hopped a few feet away.
“Sonovabitch!” Donnie grabbed a stick and slung it at the bird. It croaked loudly and flew away.
“Whew!” Melanie breathed. “That was creepy.”
“Kind of freaked me out too. But I think he’s gone now.
“God! I hope so!”
A half an hour passed and it didn’t come back, so they went to bed in their tent and slept well.
But the raven wasn’t far away, keeping a watchful eye on their tent through the whole night.
*** *** ***
I want to thank Elaine for playing along and being a good sport! This was fun and I hope to do it again!