On to the interview!
When I was a little kid, I wrote short stories and bad jokes. In high school I felt like writing was the only thing I did well. After college, my first job was as a writer for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. I wrote stories about the performers and animals and even though they weren't my personal stories I loved writing them! As soon as I had the nerve, I quit my day job writing and began to write freelance. I never looked back and ultimately my career evolved into writing what I loved instead of writing just for the pay check.
Pandora's Key is quite a bit different from the other books you have written. What inspired you to stray from the Junior Jedi Knight books?
As a writer it takes awhile to get established enough that you have the freedom to write what you love. I always loved mythology, fantasy, science fiction and horror. Once I had the opportunity to write what I wanted, I just let my imagination wander and it led me to a story that was a combination of mythology and urban fantasy.
What has your experience with self-publishing been like? Do you have any advice for anyone considering self-publishing?
Pandora's Key is my first experience with self-pub and it has been really challenging. The positive aspects include a total control over my story, the ability to release it whenever I choose, and a direct connection to my reader (which has been incredible). The negatives include the fact that there's no marketing team, your book isn't carried in a mainstream bookstores, and you are totally responsible for your book's success or failure.
As for advice... if you believe in your story and want to get it to readers, and you feel like traditional publishing is in flux and that you can do a better job for yourself, then self-publishing allows you to do that. However, the process is like slowly building a snowball. And you just have to hope that it gets big enough to roll on its own!
You've listed authors such as Stephen King, Suzanne Collins, and George R.R. Martin as influences. Is there anything about Pandora's Key, or anything else you've written, that was inspired by any of their works?
I am incredibly inspired by those authors. They are insanely creative, prolific, and unbelievably talented in the realm of world-building. While not specifically inspired to create Pandora's Key from those authors' books, I am inspired to be as great a writer as I can be because of their example.
Book 2 of the Key Trilogy, Key to Tartarus, takes Evangeline down to the Underworld. Is it safe to assume that Key to Tartarus is going to be a bit darker than Pandora's Key?
YES! In Book One Evangeline learned who she was and had a taste of her supernatural powers. In Book Two her journey is not only dark because of where to travels (the Underworld) and who she meets along the way, but because she now has to figure out how to live with her new identity. [Cut for spoilers. :)]
Is there anything else you can share about the second book in the Key Trilogy, Key to Tartarus? ;)
Sure:-) I'll say that The Key to Tartarus is definitely a much scarier ride. If you like a twisted plot with plenty of surprises this book is perfect for you. And if you're hoping for Evangeline and Raphe to take their relationship to a more romantic level... well, I'll try not to disappoint;-)!
Thanks again Nancy!
I cannot say this enough: if you haven't read Pandora's Key, do it! Its available on every ebook platform via smashwords and can also be found on Barnesandnoble.com and Amazon! Plus the ebook version is only 99 cents. That is a dollar for an amazing book, people, and more than worth every cent.