What genre/s do you write in?
I write children’s fiction and poetry. I have recently started writing my first romance self-help book for adults.
How long have you been writing?
I started writing poetry as a child and wrote my first children’s book 10 years ago by using a character in one of my poems to build a story around.
Do you have any published books or articles? Tell me a bit about these and what publishing route you took.
I have six children’s books and one eBook that is a collection of my poetry. Initially, I paid a vanity publisher that published the first version of my Jellibean Adventures book, but the state department shut them down and they went to prison. Since then, I was discovered by a traditional publisher and invited to submit stories to them. I have since signed nine books with them.
Did you use an editor? If so who?
I am a copyeditor, but my publisher also has an editor. To me, it is a wonderful thing to have it looked over by several editors! We even had a brainstorming session to edit my book together to ensure it was told coherently and concisely.
Did you use a book formatter and cover designer?
My publisher takes care of that.
Did you self-publish or get traditionally published? How did this go for you?
I am traditionally published with a micro-publisher. It has been a wonderful experience! They are a great group of people located across the globe. They have made my dreams come true!
How do you market your work and promote your brand?(Include links)
I work very hard to market my books. I create images to post on every social media platform, have a website, and pay for Facebook ads. I also have handmade necklaces, backpack charms, and hair clips that feature my characters or themes of the stories. My website is writecute.com and all the items I create are in my store there.
What social media and writing platforms would you recommend?
I try to have a presence on all major forms of social media. I am most active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I have created videos about my books on Tik Tok and images on Snapchat. I also feature my books in posts on LinkedIn. We are fortunate to live in a time where we have free websites where we can promote our work. I do all my writing in Microsoft Word. I use ProWritingAid as my editing tool alongside the editor in Word.
Do you use an agent? No
Do you use paid advertising? If so what?
So far, I have just advertised through Facebook. This year, I intend on learning about Amazon advertising.
Do you have a blog or website?
What inspires you most to write?
I write stories that have meaningful messages woven within fun stories. I call my style of writing WriteCute, since I write fun stories with cute, big-hearted characters. Connecting with my readers online at signing events and during school visits inspires my writing. When I started writing to children, I was timid and second-guessed my talent. Getting feedback and hearing how a story amused or touched the heart of my reader has helped build my confidence and motivates me to continue.
What do you do to help with writer's block?
I take it as a sign that I need to step away for a break. I read writing by fellow authors and take advantage of every available opportunity to learn. Writer’s block is temporary, so I seek inspiration until it passes.
How do you plan your writing and start?
I create a loose outline of a story and then heavily research the topic. Even though I write fiction, it is important to me to write authentically on any given topic.
Is writing your full-time job? If not what else do you do?
No, I hope that writing will become my full-time job after I retire. Meanwhile, I work as a business analyst at a large insurance company.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am editing my next story, researching to add additional interactions for my character.
What is your target audience?
My target audience is anyone! While my stories target ages 1-12, many adults enjoy my stories as well.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It can vary wildly. The quickest I ever wrote a book was within 24 hours. I did that as a challenge to myself after hearing about another author that does so regularly. The longest would be two years. That happened when I listened to someone tell me the story had no merit. I took it to heart and set it aside until this year when I shared it with my publisher. Her feedback enabled me to edit and finish writing, bringing the story to a fun conclusion.
When did you first discover you enjoyed writing?
I discovered the joy of writing at 10 years old. They selected one of my poems to be included in an anthology when I was 12 years old.
What is your writing schedule look like?
I don’t currently have a schedule, but certainly aspire to do so.
What does your family think about you writing?
My family has always been incredibly supportive of my writing. My husband has encouraged my dream of becoming a published author from the first moment he heard about it.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I spend time with my husband and rescue dog, watching movies, creating bad art, and finding fun events in our community.
Where do you get information and ideas for your writing?
I take part each year in a free blog month-long program called Storystorm. They hold it each January and help you learn to train your brain to find inspiration all around you. One of my stories is about a clown with an elephant best friend. I am a former professional clown. I loved listening to the stories of a senior clown at a convention each year. It was his stories about an elephant he befriended in the circus that inspired a fictional story about the two of them called Bunky & Lulu: Find Their Place.
What do you think makes a good story?
A good story keeps the reader engaged. It is full of heart and may evoke emotion as a storytelling tool, such as joy, sadness, fear, or humor. It has a definitive beginning, middle, and an end, as well as relatable characters with a purpose.