Why are you holding the AMB Ovation Awards? Don’t we have enough literary awards already?
Yes, there are many literary awards for romance writers but my staff was thinking about the different contests and wanted to turn the whole process inside out. The selection process is completely reader-based and free to enter. And the money normally spent for a big ceremony will go into custom awards, so we’ll have our Angies created by the same company that created awards for the Screen Actors Guild, Nike, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Elle Magazine, and others.
My staff is adamant about having the award ceremony broadcasted via youTube. They hate the idea of a finalist paying for airfare, hotel accommodations, and sitting through a ceremony and NOT winning. So the group consensus is that all finalists can be at their own party with their family and friends when they learn if they won or not. They can cheer or cry surrounded by the people that adore them and understand it’s a wonderful feat just to be nominated by their readers.
We’re working hard to make a big splash on the literary award landscape while having a lot of fun.
When will the third novel in the Sheridan series, Wild West be available to readers?
I’m actively working on it now but I’m sorry to say I hit a point where some research was required so my writing hit a slow spot. But don’t worry, Latrell’s story will be finished before the end of the summer. Then I’ll happily present it to the world.
How do you pick the topics you blog about each workday?
Life dictates the topics; it can be breaking news, a discussion with friends, my writing, or something I’m experiencing in my normal life. Blogging is such a huge thing now in our generation, in just a few clicks anyone can create a blog. To me, blogging is therapeutic; it’s where I am able to write about my feelings, write about issues, introducing others, promoting someone or something.
I enjoy the process of researching and sharing information with others through my blog. I’ve also always been fascinated by people and full of curiosity. I don’t blog on the weekends unless something noteworthy has happened. I also take vacations from blogging whenever I need to regroup.
What your best advice for someone that wants to become a writer?
Write, write, write and learn more about the craft and business of writing. It’s a business, not a hobby to be a novelist. Take the time to network with other authors and be humble enough to know you don’t know everything. Embrace the fact that you don’t know everything there is to know about being a successful novelist but you’ll learn as you go and get better with each passing year.
And remember a lot of hard work takes place in the unpublished years when you’re struggling toward a dream on faith, learning the craft, and all the time scared half to death that you’re never going to make it. Hold on to your dream and surround yourself with people that believe in your dream as much as you do. Even if they are only a keystroke away.