When and why did you begin writing?
Almost five years ago, unhappy and craving something different than my boring, mundane day job and not seeing myself working at my day job for another thirty plus years and being any happier, I literally screamed in my kitchen for something more. I shouted that I wanted something to fuel the passion dying inside of me from my daily routine work that paid the bills but had become so startlingly unfulfilling to me.
Shortly after this happened, I started getting ideas popping into my head at odd hours and inconvenient moments. I found myself jotting down scenes that entertained me right after my workouts, interrupting my showers to run and grab a notebook, pulling my car off to the side of the road, while roaming aisles in supermarkets, and waking up from sleeping to write something down that just came to me.
I started creating books from these visions in 2013, writing two of them and eventually publishing my first book later in 2014.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
This is a very good question and a hard one to answer. I’m actually not sure when I considered myself a writer. You see, I always felt writing was a hobby because one never really made any money doing it. So I never really thought about having a career as a writer and when it was suggested to me, I actually laughed at the idea. However, I probably considered myself a writer when I saw my first book in print. It’s really hard to deny facts when you are holding a book that you wrote purely from your own imagination in your hands. When I held Nightfall in my hands there were tears in my eyes and the widest smile of joy on my lips.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
My author bio states “I have always had an interest in the strange and unusual- things that go bump in the night have always fascinated me.”
It’s true. My childhood was filled with episodes of Twilight Zone, Amazing stories, Night gallery and treasured moments of watching Sci-fi movies with my dad. I have always been pretty open about other worlds and different beings and I have had some very interesting, unexplainable experiences that have colored my world and entertained me. I have been told, several times, that I am intuitive and I have had experiences that others have told me would scare them but, in reality, they don’t frighten me- they are just a part of what is, though unseen to our human eyes.
I believe a good author writes what they know and that’s why I chose paranormal as a subject matter. The fact that I, personally, love romantic movies and romantic comedies- the Hallmark Channel being one of my favorites- just seemed natural for me to write in the romance genre. Pairing my two loves has been the most amazing experience for me.
Are you a full-time or part-time writer and how does that affect your writing?
Unfortunately, I am only a part-time writer as my full-time day job financially supports my writing. Since I can only write part-time and, for the most part, I write novels vs. novellas, I can’t push out stories as fast as a full-time writer can. I also do my own marketing and advertisement (which takes up the small amount of writing time available to me).
I am quite busy during the day working and taking care of all the arrangements my dad needs (he resides full-time in a nursing home and currently has cancer) and at night, when I have the energy and feel up to, I will write some in between taking care of my own family including my sweet dog- a rescued American Foxhound.
What have you written so far?
I finished my first series called The Guardian League. There are five books in the Guardian League and each one features a Guardian Angel who is a voluntary member of the sub-set organization called the Guardian League.
I also have one Wolf Shifter book called Nightfall published and two anthologies written by me: Angels and Diamonds and Shifter Shorts.
My ninth book, another wolf shifter PNR, is with my publisher waiting to be reviewed and I am in between writing my tenth and eleventh book which are both Angel romances.
All of my books are standalone and can be read in any order, including the five books in the Guardian League. I did this on purpose as I wanted my readers to have a choice in which book they wanted to read, first. ** Read the one that calls out to your heart. And enjoy!**
Do you work to an outline or plot sketch, or do you prefer to let a general idea guide your writing?
I’m actually a pantser though I have used a few outlines in the past. The funny part is, I may outline a book but then forget all about the outline and “go with my gut” as to which scene goes where. I tend to write scenes and then piece them all together afterward knowing where each one is in the book and adding stuff in between so it flows well. With every book I start, I have a general idea as to the theme of the book and then I just go from there. It’s much more fun for me this way and it’s truly amazing to see the book come together as I am writing it.
How do you feel about indie/alternative vs. conventional publishing?
I think it’s great to have both options for writers so they can choose which one is best for them. I have books published in both options. As an indie writer, things can get pretty expensive so if you don’t have a lot of money, going the route of traditional publishing can be a really great choice to get your work out there without sacrificing much. Of course, if you indie publish, you control just about everything and there is a lot of freedom and flexibility with that choice.
Most traditional/conventional publishers do not like books of short stories, so my two anthologies were indie published and I’ve enjoyed the freedom of being able to dictate my own book cover, choose when I wanted to publish the book and ordering paperback copies that are much less than buying them from a conventional publisher.
Did you make any marketing mistakes that you would avoid in the future?
In my first or second year of being published, I decided to go with a book tour and paid a company that specifically did tours for paranormal books. This one touted that they worked with some very well-known authors in the field and, me, wanting to get exposure for my own work excitedly contracted with them. What a disappointment when fifty percent of their bloggers fell through with what they were supposed to do for me, yet the rate I paid was never discounted. I learned quickly not to use them ever again. Now, I try to look up reviews but mostly I will go by word of mouth from authors who are friends of mine to see who they have used and recommend.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Coming up with different types of shapeshifters. Haha. Yes, I know. That doesn’t sound like a problem. But I actually ran out of ideas for types of shifters before I finished the book.
I wanted to have unusual shapeshifters as well as some of the more traditional ones you find in paranormal books. Once I had the types of shifters in my mind for each story, then it was just a matter of coming up with a plotline and writing the story.
The shapeshifters in the book Shifter Shorts are a: cougar, gargoyle, hellhound, hybrid (two species), wolf, and a shark.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
The unique shifters and writing their stories. Two of my stories went a little dark and I actually cringed while writing several scenes in them but it was good for me to expand my writing skills and venture into other areas I don’t normally go into. Venturing into topics that can be a bit disturbing does not come easily to me but it was needed for the storyline which took a different turn than I thought it would. Most publishers want a HEA and one of my stories did not have one but the story continues with the next character and the original characters are redeemed. It was really fun doing that with this book and it was a different way of telling a story than in any of my previous books.
How can you discover more about TK Lawyer?