What inspired you to write the Razia series?
In 2001, I saw the Tomb Raider movie with Angelina Jolie. At the time I'd been writing for a few years, and I thought, "Hey, she's pretty badass. I want to write a character that badass." Razia started out as very sure of herself, very calm, cool, and collected. As I grew up and experienced the world and a career where I seemed to get a lot of "You're too young, there's no way you know what you're talking about" and I wrote that frustration into the book.
What I didn't anticipate was finding huge pieces of my own journey of self-discovery in the book. While the books are science fiction, they really have a lovely message about self-worth and self-discovery.
Aside from the MC, who is your favorite character and why?
I really love the non-MCs in all of the books - Sage, Vel, Harms, and now Lizbeth, but I worry that because Lyssa is so short-sighted, we don't get to know the full scope of their character. That's why I wrote the Sage Teon short stories, and why I'm writing short stories between each novel. Between Alliances and Conviction (Book 3), I'm hoping to write two about Lizbeth's exploits external to Lyssa.
If I had to pick one, it's definitely Sage. He's such a deep and layered character and we haven't even scratched the surface of what drives him. Books 3 and 4 of the series definitely fill in more blanks in that area.
What's your favorite thing about writing?
I love daydreaming, actually. When I have a moment where I'm just off in my own world and playing with these friends that I've known forever. There's something also pretty magical about seeing my words in print.
What's your least favorite thing about writing?
I hate the last quality assurance edit of the process. I put so much pressure on myself to make it perfect, and I've read the book so many times that it's just gotten old at that point.
What projects do you have in the works?
Besides Book 3 of the series, and my forthcoming fantasy novel Empath, I'm working on this romance (I think). Basically Romeo, a prince-turned-military-pilot, and Juliet, a orphan pilot loyal to her country, crash on a deserted island. It's so much fun because it's a multi-POV (him and her) and you have two very different voices telling two very different stories about this war. I'm hoping to get the first book out in January or February of 2016 (trying to squeeze it between Razia books).
What would you say to aspiring authors who are unsure of what route (traditional, small press, indie) to take?
Start with understanding what your intention is. At the end of the day, are you trying to make enough money to quit your job? Are you trying to see your name added to the authors' list on one of the Big 5? Are you hoping to have someone else handle major decisions about your book - cover, plot, etc. - or do you want to have complete control?
Once you know your intention, you can make decisions toward achieving it.
What are the differences between releasing your first book and releasing a later part in the series?
I know so much more this go-round. I have so many more contacts and have built so many more relationships. When I released Double Life, I had less than 100 followers on Twitter and just about 100 likes on Facebook. Now, I'm pushing 1k and 600 respectively. I was able to schedule content for nine weeks (which I now think was a little long), so the actual release was a little bit of a let-down. I went to work and was like, "Oh....yeah... I published a book today..."
How did you celebrate the release?
I had a really big release at a convention in my home town 10 days before the book actually came out. It was pretty fun, but totally busy and so it wasn't so much a celebration. I'm planning on throwing a huge party in June 12, 2016, when Book 5 comes out (and my 30th birthday). Big band, catered, all that fun stuff.