Can you tell us a little bit about the Task Force: Gaea series?
Eons ago, when I was a senior in high school, I wrote a short story called “The Olympus Corps.” which combined both my loves of Star Trek and Greek mythology. Outer space had its allure, and so did the monsters and gods, so I thought by combining them, I’d have something pretty special. Over the years, I moved away from that outer space setting but kept the rest, and it evolved into Task Force: Gaea—Finding Balance, the story of a group of mortals whose task it is to restore order to a chaotic world at the risk of their own existence. The sequel, Memory’s Curse, takes place immediately after the first book, exploring the dark horror of an ancient evil, The Nebulous One, who hunts the Olympeian gods. With a different history unfolding, the Task Force team needs to work with Apollo to stop the threat. The Liar’s Prophecy, book three (there will be five), takes the team on a different adventure, challenging all they've ever known to be true.
What's your background in writing?
I’ve been writing since I was a child, starting with “fanfiction” of the Smurfs with my sister. In my teenage years, I wrote myth-based stories, like the one that eventually because the seed for my novel series. I grew to love writing (and reading, of course), and became an English major, writing many short stories in college, and later, I became an English teacher. I adore poetry, and someday I hope to see my poems published, too. A few years ago, I had two short stories included in an anthology geared toward the LGBTQ audience, New Years to Christmas: 15 Queer Holiday Tales.
Who are your inspirations/influences?
My initial inspiration for writing came from reading mythology and comic books, namely Wonder Woman, a character whose origin ignited within me a never-ending fire. While I became an avid reader of fantasy stories, some of the authors whose works influenced me were J. R. R. Tolkien, Piers Anthony, Terry Goodkind, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and Neil Gaiman. I also credit author friends of mine whose will to write speaks to my heart.
What was it like working with CreateSpace?
I decided to go with CreateSpace because my first desire was to see my works in print, out in the world. I don’t have aspirations to be a “best seller” or a “renowned author.” I just want my stories out in the world. Using a printing-on-demand publisher gave me a great deal of freedom to do what I wanted when I wanted. Someday, I may pursue a publishing house, but right now, I’m content where I am.
Who was responsible for the cover/book design?
Michael Hamlett created the initial sketches and artwork for the covers. His work provided me with the first fires of inspiration for forging my work. Without his images, I don’t think I would have finished the novel. The design of the covers themselves was mine, using Michael’s art as the focus.
What are you doing in terms of marketing/publicity?
I use social media, although probably not as well as I could be. I also go to multiple sci-fi/fantasy conventions a year to sell books, do signings, sit on panels, and even facilitate writing workshops.
Do you have any stories from book signings/radio interviews/etc.?
At MegaCon last year, a 13-year-old girl bought my books on the first day of the convention. The next day, her mother came back to my table to let me know that not only was her daughter midway through the first novel, but she also loved it more than she loved Percy Jackson (we both use Greek mythology in a modern context). At Bent-Con last year, I had many people come up excited to see me because I had brought a sequel.
What is the name of your blog and what can readers expect to find there?
My author site is here and my blog is here. At my author page, I post conventions and other events, book trailers, and information about upcoming books.
What projects do you have planned for the future?
I’m so excited about finishing the third book in my series, The Liar’s Prophecy—it’s the core of the five-part epic—as well as an anthology of stories, Of Mortal Bonds, that explores what happens to the gods in Memory’s Curse. I also have an LGBT novel planned that uses the main characters from the two short stories published in that holiday anthology.
Is there anything else about you we should know?
My writing isn’t to make money or give me any length of fame. It’s to get my stories out there. I’m simply a storyteller who has a penchant for the ancient world of the gods.