About the author
Tell us your story? What made you start writing?
I was bullied when I was a kid and it has stayed with me since those days. Even members of my family were mentally abusive, esp. my older sister and mother. By the time I was 10 years old, the pain was so much that I tried to commit suicide, which of course failed. Thank God. A year later, writing found me and I was forever changed. The abuse didn’t end, but writing gave me a way to cope and a way to escape. It didn’t lessen the pain but I discovered who I was, which completed me in ways I didn’t think was possible. When I discovered I was good at it, I read any book I could find on writing so I could improve the skill I was born with. I had a knack for telling stories and I knew it would be what I would do for the rest of my life. There were many trials but I didn’t give up. When I met my husband Jack, aka Billy, I learned that I wasn’t cursed and he supported my dream of being a published author. He pushed me to write more and dream harder. Now I have 11 books published. I even was traditionally published under my first pen name. I decided to reinvent myself and become an Indie Author where I had more control of my work. Have not regretted that decision.
What is the best gift you have been given?
I believe it is the fact that I have so much compassion for other people. I’ve been homeless before so I understand the pain and struggles of it. I’ve also seen how people can be so cruel and crude toward homeless people. I plan on writing a book about this subject later down the road. I’m not ready to write it just yet. Another gift, I feel equal to is the fact that I am a good storyteller. Telling a story on paper is a little different but I love the process of it and have grown to love it more than verbally telling stories. I can also see outside the box–I can see what could be, owe that to my imagination which also goes towards telling stories so those are combined.
If you were ruler of your own country what would be the first law you would introduce?
I thought this was an interesting question. If I were ruler, I would ban cruelty. Be nice to one another would be a golden rule. If you can’t be nice to someone, you’re in big trouble. It’s not hard, even if you don’t like them. You wouldn’t believe how far kindness can go when you truly give it a try. Since people change with money, I’d make a rule where money is of no use while in our kingdom. You want to “buy” something, you need to give it in trade. Not with belongings but with talent. If you don’t have a talent, you can work for it like cleaning or something. But talents are important so we’d have a school where a person can learn a trade or see what their talents are. That way people are helping each other and we all can grow as a community, loving each other.
If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
Mine would say, tread lightly. Been through a lot and still have major scars from it. But still trusting, loyal, and passionate. I have more compassion because of what I’ve been through. Don’t take advantage of that.
About your books
What is your latest release? Tell us a little about it and what inspired you to write it.
The latest release I had was Fairytale’s Truth, a children’s-YA Fantasy Adventure about a little girl named Maria who discovered that fairy tales were real. She accidentally broke a treaty between these creatures and humans when she made a garden gnome named Nemoy sneeze. Now they must stop a war from beginning and the only way to do that is to speak with the Elders. This is a beautiful story about friendship and having each other’s backs. It was released in Feb 2021. It was inspired by my 4-year-old granddaughter who also inspired the MC so there are quite a few cute scenes in the story. And that’s why this story is my favorite. It used to be the Peterson Estate series but not anymore lol.
My next release will be Peterson Estate 6: The Great Dark Witch. YA Fantasy Paranormal. This is a series that I began writing when I was 12 years old. The release date is scheduled for April 23 which is just around the corner.
Do any of your characters resemble anyone from real life?
Maria is as close to my granddaughter, Alivia, as I could get her. Alivia is only 4, she was 3 when I began writing Fairytale’s Truth. Maria is 10. I wrote it so it would take place in the same year when Alivia would be 10 too, with birthdays being close. The reason I wanted to do that is because Alivia was born with a bad heart and came close to dying during birth. She had a rocky start and she has a pacemaker, which she is totally proud of lol. She shows her battery to almost anyone lol. Since she had such a bad start, I wanted to give her something good in her life. When she’s able to read (she says she can read now just so she can have her copy of the book lol), she’ll be able to read it and see how she was at this age. It’s a way to make her live forever. Her brother, sister, and parents are in the story too, but I changed them.
Are any of the characters a bit like you?
When I wrote Peterson Estate, I was the person behind the character because that was how I wrote at age 12. But I made Emily Peterson everything I wanted to be — strong, respected, loved, trusting but not taken advantage of, and beautiful because, at the time, I didn’t think I was. She had brown hair like me, silky skin like I wished I had, and she was a little taller. I hated being short. And the people around her had good relationships with her, which I always wanted. I lived my life through her so we ended up bonding over the years. Well, if she was a real person lol. I invested so much more of who I was in that story but I had no choice, I had to keep writing it. And it was for the longest time, my favorite of all my books because of that.
If you were to get a chance to meet any of your characters, who would you meet and what would you do together?
It would be Emily Peterson, for sure. She’s a witch so I would love to see her in action. I’d visit her castle because I love castles and she would explore it with me. We’d find the hidden passageways, meet the other characters, and take the adventure of a lifetime. I would have so much fun with her. Then we’d stop for a break and have some tea which is something she would do, being from England. My ancestors are from England as well, some of them anyway lol. After I was done visiting, I’d have to go visit Maria and Nemoy, just because I would have to be fair and because I love them. I’ve never seen a unicorn before so that would be pretty cool.
How did you feel when your first book was released? Is there anything particular about the journey to publishing you’d like to share?
It took me 20 years to become published but I never gave up on it. I really wanted Peterson Estate to be the first book I had published because it was the first book I ever wrote. But I read in a book on writing that the first book is never published. I wanted to laugh because I refused to agree with that. I ended up putting the story on hold and tried to publish other books. When the original Curse Blood was accepted, I started crying. My husband was happy and could not stop telling people about it. When I finally got my copy in the mail, he grabbed it and went around the neighborhood to show everyone that I was a published author. He was so proud of me. I think he was prouder than I was ecstatic. It’s hard to explain my feelings at the time. I was shocked that I actually got published, even though I felt I could do it. During the process of being published, I opted out of the editing process from my publisher because I was too anxious to get my copy. Of course, when I finally did get my copy, I began seeing all the errors in the story and regretted skipping the editing stage through them. A year later, a second book was accepted by a different publisher and I made sure it went through the editing stage. The publisher did a beautiful job on editing and of course, both designers did wonderfully. I ended up changing my pen name and rewrote both books so all of my books would be under the same pen name.
What are you currently working on?
Right now I am working on a time travel thriller called Murder Through Time. It is a complex story about a serial killer who is killing the same woman. Marcus, the detective, is the MC. He was sent back in time to detain a suspect, which he grew up and was a partner with in the bureau. Of course, Ryan said he was framed. While heading back with the suspect and the body, a time quake throws them off course and further back in time where Billie is still alive. And the killer is on the loose. Now Marcus must team up with Ryan to keep Billie safe and stop the real killer. And if they fail, they will not have a home to return to. This is why time travel shouldn’t be invented lol.
Do you have any tips to share for starting writers?
Do not give up. Keep writing. Keep reading. And while you’re writing that book, begin marketing for it. Make friends with other writers, make friends with designers and editors. Get people excited about the book you’re writing. Join social sites like Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads, BookBub, and others. Share your book on those sites and stay active on them. Write in a blog, create a website and keep those up-to-date. Success won’t happen overnight but begin building a readership now. Even have a monthly or bi-weekly newsletter. Get your name out there, get your face out there. Keep writing. Learn and grow as a writer, keep it up. You can do this. When you need a break, take a break but don’t give up.
You are lost in a foreign city. It is getting late. Your only options are to ask directions from a man hidden under a long black coat and sunglasses or a drunk woman is suggestive clothing. What do you do?
The first thing, I would do is make sure they can speak English because I don’t know enough Spanish for a conversation lol. If I have a map, all the better lol. But then again, if I had a map I wouldn’t have to ask for help. I would make sure I’m in a place that is lit up and there’s plenty of people around, just in case either person is someone “bad” lol. But I would ask for directions clearly so they know what I mean. Once I know where I’m going, I would thank them and move on making sure they aren’t following. But I am a little more trusting than a lot of people so I would be nervous, but I’d still ask. That’s just how I am.
Connect with the author