What inspires you to write?
I’d say a lot of things. Everything I see, read, and experience in my daily life, the music I listen to influences me in one way or the other. The world and the people in it are my muse. Some incidents are heartwarming and some are infuriating. All this inspires a story in one way or the other.
Writing is an outlet for me. Most of my writing stems out from the emotions I want to release. Things I’m not comfortable expressing otherwise or things I cannot say it out loud. Sometimes I want to write something raw and emotional, sometimes I want to write something out of the world and not real. I take inspiration from anything and everything.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I wrote my first story when I was thirteen. My dad is the only person who read my draft. He was very proud of me but I had to give up on writing because of studies and other things that had become priority then. It took a while to get my life back on track. The need to create something was always inside me, but I wasn’t confident enough to go for it. Finally, I started writing again in 2016 and it’s the best decision I ever made.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
I like to quote Toni Morrison, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
I write to escape reality. When I write, I forget things. Even as a child, I was always engrossed with the concept of magic and supernatural characters. So when I started writing, I wanted to create something new. Like I wanted to write the sort of stories, I want to read but isn’t already there.
I do write Contemporary when I feel like I need a break from paranormal genre. And I’m always experimenting with my writing style and the way I express myself through my stories. I’m learning and I like exploring things I haven’t tried yet. But Paranormal Romance is like coming home and I’m more comfortable with this genre than any other genre.
I feel restricted when I write contemporary. Like I can’t do things in a certain way and I have to make sure I don’t stray far from reality. However, the thing with Paranormal Romance is that the possibilities are endless and it feeds my creativity. I feel liberated. So, paranormal genre is my poison.
Are you a full-time or part-time writer and how does that affect your writing?
When I began writing, I was a full-time writer. I had lot of time in my hand to do the things I liked. I could write whenever I wanted to. There was no sense of time to what I did. When the inspiration strikes, I follow through. But that changed when I began working full-time. It affected the hours I spend on writing and I had to make a lot of adjustments in my daily life so writing isn’t going as planned.
It’s hard to have a writing schedule and stick to it because every day it’s different. What works one day doesn’t work the next.
For example, weekends are the only time I get to fully focus on writing. However, weekends are also the time I get to do other things like shopping, cleaning, visiting family members and such. When an unexpected appointment comes up, it totally messes with what I have planned. So, it has taken a great toll in my writing process.
Now as a part-time writer, I try my best to write at least an hour a day no matter how tired I am. It’s slow but it’s better than doing nothing. I have my highs and lows. Some days are really good, some days are bad. But that’s how life is. I try to work around this as best as I can.
Do you have a special time to write, or how is your day structured to accommodate your writing?
I write better at late nights or early morning. That’s when my creativity is at its peak. I do write in day time but it isn’t as productive as nights. If I can about 1000 words in about an hour at night, the same takes twice or thrice the time during the day.
What have you written so far?
I have written 15 books so far. 4 of them (Randolph Duology & Moving on Duology) are published. I recently wrote a short story for a Halloween Anthology called Beyond the Hallow Grave by Editingle Indie House.
I’m slowly working to publish the other stories.
Do you work to an outline or plot sketch, or do you prefer to let a general idea guide your writing?
I do both. It mostly starts with the general idea. It all depends on how I get the spark of inspiration. Sometimes it’s a particular scene that comes to the mind first or it’s just a one-liner that forms the core of the plot. I start from the point where the inspiration strikes and then build the rest of the story around it.
When I come up with an idea, I let it brew in my mind for a while, playing around with all the possibilities and such. I brainstorm a lot before getting to work.
I do work on outline or plot sketch. When I say plot sketch, it’s the general plot outline like the beginning, middle and the ending. I then go with the flow of the story and make the changes as I see fit.
There’s a lot of research involved when I’m writing paranormal romance and more time goes into creating the characters, their background and the setting. I always include a fictitious town or setting so a lot of work goes into that.
How do you feel about indie/alternative vs. traditional publishing?
As a hybrid author, I have done both indie and traditional publishing. While going indie gives you a lot of freedom, it also comes with a lot of responsibilities. Publishing isn’t easy. There is a lot of aspects to it—editing, cover design, formatting, marketing & promotional strategy to name a few. When you self-publish you’re in charge of everything.
However, working with a publisher is hassle-free. Your only part is editing and they do they rest for you. It’s true that you have to work hand in hand with your publisher with promotions and such, but you have guidance regarding every other aspect.
The second thing I’d like to point out is the timeline. When you’re working with a publisher, you are on a schedule that you’ll have to follow. With Indie you’re answerable to yourself and no other people are involved. If you’re not a person who is used to have a strict schedule then you may end up procrastinating. I delayed/postponed my indie publishing schedule due to a lot of reasons. This is not the case when a publisher is involved.
Another thing about going Indie is the creative control you have over your manuscript. I worked with three different publishers and I’m blessed to say I had full liberty over my manuscript. The editors I worked with were really great and we were able to bring great results. But that may not be the case with the others. Both has its pros and cons. It’s all about what you’re comfortable with.