- How many kids do you have?
- When did you start writing?
- What was your first published book?
- Why did you end the Rose Gardner series?
- What does Skeeter/James Malcolm look like?
How many kids do you have?
Six–three biological and three adopted (from China and Vietnam).
When did you start writing?
I started writing when I was in the fourth grade, but I didn’t finish my first book until I competed in NaNoWriMo in 2009.
What was your first published book?
The first book I completed was a romantic suspense I wrote for 2009 when I participated in NaNoWriMo. After I finished the first draft, I realized it was terrible and moved on to another book titled Chosen.
My goal had been to get an agent and a publishing deal, but Chosen was paranormal and paranormal wasn’t selling, so I moved on to write a book called Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes. When I sent requests to agents, no one was interested in Twenty-Eight so I moved on to a YA sci fi/dystopian series, because that’s what agents wanted and my then thirteen year old daughter begged me to write something she could read. Agents were interested but many ultimately said they had clients with similar projects.
In the spring of 2011, I realized that self-publishing was an option. I still hoped to get an agent and a book deal, but I figured I could indie pub Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes since no one wanted that book. (I can’t stress this enough.) I released it in July 2011 and had more sales than I expected and quickly published Chosen (September 2011), Here (November 2011), and Hunted (November 2011.) By the end of 2011, I’d sold over 26,000 books and realized I could make a good living as an author.
As of September 2017, I’ve written around thirty novels, ten or so novellas, and multiple short stories. I’m a full time author and I’m considered hybrid–I publish as an indie author, with Big 5 publishers, and with two Amazon imprints, My books have been translated into six languages, and I’ve hit the New York Times multiple times. I’m represented by Eddie Schneider at JABberwocky Literary Agency.
Why did you end the Rose Gardner series?
First, Rose Gardner is alive and well and had continued with Rose Gardner Investigations, so the real question is why I changed the series name. That answer is simple–readers. I had quite a few readers who wanted an end, so I gave them one with Thirty-Six and a Half Motives, but I continued Rose’s adventures with Family Jewels.
I then added a story for Neely Kate, Rose’s best friend, and realized she had her own story to tell. So for now the two series will be companion books to one another. In High Cotton will be out in February, 2018.
What does Skeeter/James Malcolm look like?
I get this question quite a bit and, of course, the answers are in the books. 🙂
When Rose first meets Skeeter in the pool hall in Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons, Rose describes him:
The man sat in the chair across from me. He was a good-looking man with dark hair and a neatly trimmed beard, but he had an edge to him that made me uncomfortable. Muscles stretched his T-shirt, and tattoos peeked out under his sleeves.
In Thirty-Two and a Half Complications, she goes to see him at the pool hall to ask for his help.
…I saw Skeeter sitting behind a large wooden desk. He was a good-looking man with an imposing presence. Dark hair framed his face, and he’d shaved off the short beard he’d sported the last time we saw each other. He wore a long-sleeved T-shirt that clung to his muscles, and a hint of his many tattoos peeked out from under his collar. He stood when he saw me, a slow grin spreading across his face.
How old is he? In Thirty-Three and a Half Shenanigans, he tells Rose he will turn thirty-nine in January.