Why Radio Interviews Are Fun

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            There’s something about radio interviews. I think it has to do with the lack of a camera. It makes you less conscious.
When I found out I would be doing a couple of radio interviews for Til Death courtesy of National Bookstore, I was beyond thrilled. As much as I can, I like getting the word out there. How can people buy your book if they don’t know it exists, right?
Where does my confidence come from? I believe three years of teaching really helped. Sure, I feel nervous right before, but the second the interview starts, it’s like this switch is flipped and I’m a whole different person. Maybe is a split personality thing. I have a side that’s hermetic, which allows me to sit down in my room hours on end writing. Then there’s the side that comes out during interviews and events which helps me spread the word about what I’ve worked countless hours on.
Radio is so much fun because of the DJs. They can be hilarious. Plus, you spend your time listening to them, then there comes a day when they’re the ones interviewing you. How surreal is that?
I keep telling those who would listen that gone are the days of the reclusive writer. Sure we have our moments of pulling away from society. Times when we need to be antisocial to feed our muse. But now, more than ever, social media has brought all of us together. People you haven’t seen in years are easily tracked down via Facebook. Google has become our friend.
For writers, interviews are essential. They allow us to communicate with our readers, albeit indirectly. The reason why I didn’t think of writing as a viable career in high school was because I never thought of the books I read as having actual people behind them. That writers wrote them, I should say. Weird, right?
Today, I can communicate with my readers all day if I wanted. They know where to find me. They know I’d answer their questions as best I can. And one of the reasons why they know I exist is because of promotional avenues like radio.
Okay, how the hell did a post that was supposed to chronicle my experience participating in radio interviews morph into a teaching tool? Oi! This whole taking a break from writing is killing me. I really need to start my rewrite. Just one more day. I can hang in there! Although, if I didn’t force myself to take a break, I would have broken down too. So, forgive my jumbled thoughts. The point is, being interviewed on the radio is hella fun! So watch the freaky skeleton:

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How I Became a Writer

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In high school, I never really thought of myself as a writer even if this was where my writing career essentially began. Being a late bloomer, I began devouring books when I was a freshman. Then, when I entered my sophomore year, my English teacher gave us a writing assignment. She asked us to write a short story. So I did. Not even thinking of it as something hard to do. I guess you can say I fell into the rhythm of writing. Then when she complimented me on my story, I caught the bug.

My classmates reinforced my love for writing when they began reading my poorly written, horribly-formatted, bad-grammar-infested stories. The feeling of watching someone read my work was addictive. Pretty soon I began writing more and more, but always about love. I’m a sucker for romance, even then. I also had sick and twisted stories, but they still had a love story woven in.

I entered medical school in college. Hey, everyone needs a career right? I never thought of writing as a career. I was way too na├»ve. But when I realized I wasn’t cracked up to be a doctor, I studied Literature. I figured I liked to read, so it seemed like a natural fit. I actually did pretty well for myself. Grades were good. Worked hard. Participated in class. Most of the writing I did at the time was academic.

After I graduated, I became an English teacher. I loved seeing my students' faces when they got what I was trying to teach them. But like with medicine, I slowly realized teaching wasn’t for me. Not a hundred percent anyway. So I went back to my writing, the only thing in my life I truly enjoyed.

The moment I saw writing as a career was when I woke up one day asking myself if the work I was doing at the time was what I saw myself doing ten years down the road. The answer was a terrifying NO. So, I quit my job (scariest thing I’ve ever done) and pursued the path to becoming a writer.

Actually, it’s only now with the release of my sixth book that it has truly sunk in. I’m a writer. I write stories for a living. And readers email, tweet, and send me messages on Facebook about the stories I’ve written. They tell me what they enjoyed and what they didn’t and I love every moment of it. If I realized this sooner, maybe in high school, my life might have been totally different. But, as they say, things happen for a reason, and I believe I had to go through all of that to find my way back home.


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Flying high!

What a beautiful group to be a part of. I'm feeling all kinds of blessed! Thank you, thank you, thank you!



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Thank you!

My deepest gratitude for everyone who helped make this dream possible. I am deeply humbled by your support! Check out #10.



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Transitioning from YA to NA

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When I first started writing Taste, Young Adult fiction was all the rage. Harry Potter had taken over the world. Twilight was a phenomenon. The Hunger Games was just making its mark. Everything seemed to point to YA.

Today’s young adult fiction is so very different from the YA I read growing up. It’s not formulaic anymore. The characters deal with so many different issues. Rules are broken. Teens aren’t the only ones reading YA fiction. In fact, I get the feeling that most of the readers of YA aren’t teens anymore.

I write YA because I love the teenage years. There are so many firsts. Many feelings to be explored. Add a little magic or the paranormal to that and you have yourself the beginnings of an exciting story.

But then, at the back of my mind, I always felt like what I was writing wasn’t really YA. My characters may be in their teens, but they find themselves in more adult situations. I think what I was really writing was New Adult fiction. A lot of my newer stuff fit into this category actually. The companions to Taste, Savor and Fervor, are New Adult books instead of YA.

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I find that sometimes YA constrict the stories of my characters—what really happened as opposed to the PG version. At least with New Adult, I could really explore what my characters went through. Just because the character is a teen doesn’t mean he or she hasn’t gone through certain life experiences most adult haven’t even experienced. Sometimes the life of a teen can be harder than that of an adult. There are many YA novels that explore grittier storylines. Somehow I believe these novels lean more into the NA spectrum, but since there was no such thing as NA until now, they were relegated into the YA category because the characters are teens.

I think Taste would have been a New Adult novel if I were writing it now instead of then. The world of YA ten years ago changed because of Harry Potter and Twilight and (insert your favourite best seller here). Today the world of YA is beginning to evolve into NA.


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DDYA Teaser Tuesday

Hello, DDYA readers! I'm up for Teaser Tuesday and I thought why not give everyone a taste of my latest release, TIL DEATH. It's out now wherever books are sold, so make sure to grab your copy. The narrative is in two POVs. My teaser for all of you is in Dillan's POV. He uses third person. Check it out. Happy reading!

~*~

Not five minutes after closing his eyes, something straddled Dillan’s waist. His hands grabbed soft skin, forcing him to open his eyes. Wavy hair rained down around his head as a pale face hovered above him. He stared into her sightless eyes. She frowned. He breathed in the cinnamon scent of her.
            “You failed me,” she whispered.
            She was right. He said her name in response. He ran his hands down her arms and closed them around her tiny wrists. Without asking for permission, he lifted her limp hands to his neck.
            “Go on.” He swallowed, sliding his hands to her waist. “Do it.”
            Understanding softened her expression. She nodded before her cold fingers circled his neck. She didn’t need any encouragement from him. The pressure pinched his throat closed. She squeezed harder. His lungs burned, struggling for air. His heart hammered inside his chest as he grew lightheaded. Soon his survival instincts kicked in, but he fought against throwing her off the bed.
            When his eyes rolled back into his head, he gasped awake and sat up. He let his sight adjust before he scanned the room they’d given him at Valley View. Nothing. He reached for the bedside lamp. Yellow light pushed away the dark. Still nothing. He fought against breathing too hard too fast. His throat hurt when he swallowed.
            Adrenaline-laced blood pushed him off the bed. He dropped to the floor and counted out fifty push-ups. Then he jumped to his feet and manifested his weapon. He lunged and slashed at the air, repeating several other maneuvers against invisible targets. He needed to anchor himself to the present. Shit. That dream was too real. He pulled out of a lunge and stood straight. Sweat rolled down his back by the time he returned the sword to its alternate form. Reaching behind him, he pulled off his shirt and tossed it aside.
            The invisible tugging forced him out of his room without a second thought. He roamed the halls of Valley View, not really sure where he was going. His legs led him somewhere, and like at the forest, he let them take him where they will. He shoved fingers through his sweat damp hair. When he finally realized where he’d stopped, he thumped his forehead against the wall. A sad laugh escaped his throat. An hour of roaming and where’d he end up? At her damn door. How’d he even know where she slept?
The tugging continued. He pushed off the wall and opened her door. The last person that left her didn’t think to lock it. What kind of a household did Kyle run? They were sloppy.
Disappointed at the crappy security, he poked his head in and his eyes focused on the sleeping mound at the center of the bed. In seconds he was closing the door behind him.
The floor creaked when he took a step forward. Dammit! He froze, holding his breath when Selena murmured. She shifted. He swallowed his heart back down and waited until her breathing turned rhythmic before daring to move again.
            He picked his way to her bedside, avoiding any more creaking floorboards. Maybe the lack of air to his head after his near strangling dulled his common sense. Shit. He slowly realized when it came to this copper-curled girl, he had no common sense. He should have been in bed. But no. Instead he found himself standing like an idiot beside her bed. Shirtless.
            Dillan never thought of himself as a creeper until this moment. And yet, he couldn’t help himself. His gaze traveled to her leg. It was the only part besides her head not covered by the comforter. Someone had pushed up the pant leg of her pajama bottoms. Her white skin stood out in the darkness. His tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth. The icepack had fallen off her knee, exposing the beginnings of an ugly bruise.
            The invisible force spurred him onward, rubbing the charm on his wrist. The blue sparks of his sword lit up the room. Small flames of his energy danced on top of Selena’s comforter without burning the fabric. Mesmerized by her sleeping face, he closed both hands around the hilt and positioned the tip of the blade over her body.


~*~

Grab your copy today!



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