And the surprise email interview is with.....Erica Stevens! Here is what she had to say!
-I wrote my first book when I was nine but I was always writing stories before then. I even wrote plays for my friends and I to act out. I loved it, they probably hated me for it, but they were good sports.
Do you feel like your personal experiences in the past (childhood and adulthood) have had an impact on your writing?
-Absolutely. I loved my childhood, you couldn't keep me inside. My friends and I were always coming up with new ways to keep ourselves entertained whether it was imaginary worlds, sports, games or building forts and exploring the woods. It gave me an opportunity to let imagination run free. I've moved around since my teens and have had some really interesting and not so common jobs. I've been fortunate enough to make some really good friends and meet some really interesting people. Some of them share traits with more than a few of my characters!
-I tried the traditional publishing route for years. I kept querying agents and getting rejected. My husband urged me to try self-publishing and one day I finally listened. I took books from three series I had been working on and put them on Amazon before I could chicken out. Looking back, I wish I hadn't done all three at once, but I was just hoping someone would read it and like something. I didn't have an editor at the time, but thankfully Leslie has found me since! She's edited everything new I've released and is working on editing the stories I had first put out. I'm hoping to have them all edited and re-released eventually.
Do you feel like you have achieved your childhood dream of being a writer?
-Yes. Writing was the only thing I ever I wanted to do. It's a part of me and I love it so much. I bounced through college majors because everything interested me, but I always knew I just wanted to find something that would give me the opportunity to write.
-That is a good question. For writers it would have to be Dean Koontz, J.K. Rowling, James Rollins and Stephen King. I love the way they can keep me on the edge of my seat throughout most of the story. In my life, it would have to be my parents. They're both unbelievably strong people and have worked incredibly hard their entire lives. They never let anyone, or anything, hold them back.
The books that I have read so far (the captive series and the ravening series) both have a continuing theme in them that two people/beings who should hate each other end up falling in love. Is there a particular message that you are trying to relay to your readers?
-I really just like to put people into already difficult situations and then give them something even moredifficult to have to deal with. However, I do believe that love isn't a choice and that it is worth fighting for.
-I work on a different book. If I get stuck somewhere I don't stress about it, I start a new book or go to a different book I was already having trouble with. I find it gives me a new perspective and I'm able to figure out what was bothering me. It also helps to keep me from getting frustrated, and gives me an opportunity to start one of the many stories I have running through my head or written in my notebook. I also allow my husband to drag me away once in awhile, though sometimes I'm still clutching my laptop!
What advice would you give to aspiring authors out there?
-Don't ever give up and don't be afraid to try something new even if it might scare you.
Don't forget to check out Erica's blog: