1. Tell us about your latest book.
I have three books out that pretty much came out at the same time, Echoes and Illusions, Dark Pleasures and Strange Desires. Each of these are anthologies, whereas the latter books hold 1 of my paranormal stories, Echoes and Illusions have 4 of my paranormal stories. Each story within the book deals with various elements of paranormal, and depending on the story, some science fiction elements. For instance Reel to Real deals with otherworldly beings and in particular one being who is half human. In The Watchers, we are dealing with angels and once again one of the angels is half human. In The Seventh Legend, I took a different spin and took a whole blood line and made it supernatural. In the final story Smoke & Mirrors, I used time travel as the paranormal element to be the construct of the story.
I used to always say I wrote because I had nothing better to do, but to tell you the truth I write because I never could understand how one could NOT want to write if they have such great stories in mind. Not only that but I find that when writing down all the ideas for the paranormal and science fiction I tend to wonder why couldn’t these worlds, people, elements in the story actually exist. I guess there is a part of me that really think, what if instead of writing a story, I’m actually writing something that may be true other there somewhere. I know a little deep and off center but I’ve always wonder it when writing.
3. How long does it take for you to finish a first draft?
Normally if school isn’t interrupting me, about a month. If school is interrupting, it takes a bit longer. I think the shortest story I wrote was my Torrid Teasers 44 stories. They are contemporary and deal with the issue of relationships. I literally wrote those two stories in a weekend. I was completely amazed how fast I wrote it, but also how fast it flowed out of me. Hasn’t happened again since them but I eagerly await when it does.
4. What is you strong point in writing?
It took me a while to realize my strong point in writing actually. I used to write erotic poetry, but even through poetry I was told one of my strong point was the emotional depth I gave the characters. I can get into their heads and make you feel exactly what they are feeling; the despair, pain, happiness, sarcasm. I don’t question how I do it, but I do want to always refine that ability. Intrigue is another strong point I have in my arsenal. I can make anything a mystery, but I think that tends to come from my tendency to tell stories to my family and keep them in suspense.
5. Tell us about your writing space.
I share an office with my husband and normally we have different schedules. He uses the space in the morning and I use the space at night. Now when I can ACTUALLY sit at my desk I have to ask His Royal Highness, my cat, Newton for the permission to use my space. I have book cases on either side of my desk, so Newton tends to walk all over the place to the right spot that interrupts my work. Normally he likes to sleep on top of my chemistry books and when it suits him, he walks along the desk and likes to knock over all my pens and papers on the desk. I have the basics a computer, books (both writing and chemistry), a couple stuffed animals (so Newton is entertained), a coffee cup somewhere in there and below my desk a little bed for my other cat Ashes.
6. What attracts you to the paranormal genre?
The possibility of what-if and you-never-know. I have always thought that there could be another possible existence out there, another viewpoint that we just don’t know about…yet. There have been many times I have read books that have left me with the feeling of “that was so vivid and real”. I think that has always brought me back to the paranormal genre as much as I try to stay in other genres. That and I have realized I am a Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, and Supernatural junkie. I think with those at my fingertips how could I not love the paranormal genre.
7. Which marketing efforts have worked well for you?
I’ve noticed guest blogging has worked really well for me, Twitter, Facebook and funny enough letting someone with marketing experience take over now and again. I have noticed that when I use all of the above and even better when I specifically go out looking for someone with good marketing experience I get a great increase in traffic. It took me a while to get used to and learn the ins and outs of marketing. I’m still learning mind you but my opinion has infinitely changed with the help of some friends who have explained it to me.
8. What would you do differently if you began writing today?
I know one of the things that I would have changed is getting a website up and running early on. I would have researched the field a little more and have settled more onto my writing style. It has taken me a bit of time to develop that style, but I would not have changed the house I initially started with, Midnight Showcase. Though Midnight Showcase had to close, it is now Melange Books. Most of the staff has changed but I have never found a better group of people than Melange. My mentor at that house was Mae Powers and Bridghid Parkinson (she passed away two years ago). Those two ladies, helped me in ways that I think all new authors should be helped, they explained things to me, helped me understand how to view writing but most importantly how to view myself. From there I would recommend reading Morgan Hawke’s book on Erotic Publishing. Its a guide that lets you truly hone your skill by working on plots, characters and pitch. Something that I naively thought would automatically be accepted if I just wrote the story. The primary advice I would tell authors is to never give up. It does take time but if they imagine themselves being a NY Times best selling author, you have to work for that. When you work for that, you will do everything in your power to make sure you are that type of author.
9. How did you meet your husband? — we love a romance.
The love of my life. We actually met online. It was about 4 years ago when we crossed profiles (you could say) on Yahoo Personals. He was trying it out for the first time, and I was using it get used to the dating scene. His profile instantly made me laugh and I had written him just to comment on how much he made me laugh. Well it started with messages to each other, then proceeded to emails. At the time we lived about an hour and a half away from each other and went to the respective schools of those cities. I was working in the laboratory and on my master’s degree and completely swooning at this man who was making me laugh and sigh with his amazing words. When he asked me out, not only was I dumbfounded but I think he was as well!The big date comes and he comes to the door and I am standing face to face with the sexiest redheaded man I have ever come across. Not only a sexy redhead but he has these stunning blue eyes. (Don’t tell him but I think that’s one of the reasons I married him hehehe). That night we went to a comedy club and had an amazing time and I didn’t want the evening to end! Well even though the evening was going great I kept wondering throughout the whole night if he liked me as much as I liked him. He did the one thing no man has ever done, given me a toe-curling kiss that made me so breathless I could only stare up at him stunned. After that evening we enjoyed many more dates going to jazz clubs, salsa clubs, enjoying music, going to museums, and it continued this way for two years. On my birthday in 2009, it was raining outside and he had called to say that he couldn’t make it (it was during the school week), he drove all the way just to bring me flowers and celebrate my birthday with me. It was on that day that he proposed to me, with my Organic Chemistry students nearby cheering me on. His attention to detail was even evident in the ring he chose; an aquamarine ring since its my birthstone. We married in August 2010, had a great honeymoon in Washington DC where we both enjoyed our history passion to the utmost. Just this month on February 7th we celebrated being married for six months!
10. Tell us about where you live — we love to travel.
I live in the grand state of Texas (really it is huge). I’m currently in school doing my doctorate in Chemistry in Lubbock, so most of my time is spent in a laboratory. I don’t really think you want me to describe my lab but in the past years I have lived in Dallas, specifically Richardson, El Paso, and Commerce. I have grown to miss Dallas actually and I can’t wait to go back. It could have been all the rain received there that reminds me of my home island of Puerto Rico, but I do like the area.
11. What about your pets? — we love animals.
I have two adorable cats. Ashes and Newton. Ashes is 11 years old and she believes in the motto of sleeping all day long and letting me know when her delicacies are late. She is my rescue story, and I got her when she was two months old. Very much my baby, she is half Persian and half Himalayan. I lovingly call her my mound of fluff. She’s a gorgeous cat but she is my baby. My other little master of disaster is my husband’s cat named Newton. His full name is Sir Isaac Newton. He’s an all black kitty and the funniest cat I have had a pleasure of loving. Newton will talk to you, disagree with you, and play with you. Even when you don’t want to play with him. His nickname is Godzilla because we’ve noticed he has a penchant to stand on his hind legs and go after you for any reason.
12. What are you working on now?
I’m currently working the additional novel to a book called Prophecy of the Boar. Its being re-released with the new book so I have been spending some time with this novel and a few others such as Glass of Infinity, Snow Queen, Dual nature. I spend a little bit of time each day on these and 5 others that are slowly being worked on but in the meantime I do some free stories and reads that are located on my blog.