What inspired you to become an author?
I’m often asked this and it’s difficult to think of a thing or person that might have made this need grow inside me. I’ve always wanted to do something creative. Sing, play music, write. I’ve always needed more from life and for me, writing gives me that sense of accomplishment. I suppose this burning desire to be successful at something I love stems from growing up in a poor household, and from my father telling me that I could be anything I want to be.
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
I recently met with a 15 year old student about her work. I took her into a bookstore and showed her all the pretty books on the shelves. Then I told her that the most important part of the book is everything in between the covers. Covers can change. The content is what is the most important – so edit, edit, and edit. I do about 6-8 edits per book. Each editing round focuses on one particular area, such as dialogue, descriptions, chapter opening and endings, taboo words such as adverbs. Don’t sell your book short by skipping the editing process. It’s the difference between gathering a following and not.
What’s your writing process like? Do you make an outline or just start writing?
I always make an outline and then I start writing. I find that if I have an outline I can essentially fill in the gaps. This makes the word count grow, which is handy when I have just finished a novel and have to go from 67,000 words to zero. Sometimes I flip between chapters, like if I have an idea, I get it written down and come back to where I left off. Sometimes if I feel a certain chapter isn’t working, I move onto another.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Oh, tough question. Writers need to have a strong enough ego to weather the rejections, but we are also usually quite shy reserved about blowing our own trumpet. On the one hand I’d like it to be something witty, on the other hand something poignant. Maybe something like “Why are you reading this? I’m not dead yet.” Or “I never thought I’d write a non fiction book but here goes.” Or, “You don’t say no to a Taurean.”
What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading Amped by Daniel H Wilson. I read Robocalypse by the same author recently, and loved it. It’s one of those, you gotta read this books, so I loaned it to a girl at work. (Yes, I still have a day job though it is only part time so I get time to write.) She then bought Amped and loaned it to me. I’m intrigued about where the plot is heading. His writing is fast-paced and he dumps you right in the middle of the action.
Did you put anything about yourself into Ruby’s character?
I put quite a bit of my musical experiences into Ruby’s personality. I used to play bass guitar and sing in a band, from age 16 to 26. The rehearsal studios in Little Red Gem are based on studios I used to rehearse at. Although Ruby is an expert on piano, I am not. I play guitar better than I play piano, though I love piano more. This is where I live vicariously through my characters. Also, I did grow up in a broken home, although my father left when I was as little older than when Ruby’s dad left her. She was two and I was sixteen. Ruby is afraid to end up a single mother like her mother. When I was younger I had that same fear.
How would you describe “Little Red Gem”?
It’s essentially a story for girls about how they need to love themselves first. No matter what comes our way throughout life, women need to rely on their inner strength and their independence. This book is a gentle reminder that often women run around in circles and forget to look after their needs. I
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Do you regret giving up your music career? I suppose is one question I would like to be asked. For me, music is a huge part of my life. I loved singing and playing in a band. I still do love singing and I still write songs. If I could do anything in the world it would be to perform in front of thousands of people. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Maybe one day. Although I like to go to bed earlier these days so I would have to perform matinee sessions haha.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
My current work is a dystopian science fiction novel about how the threat of a global war comes when two brothers meet for the first time. It’s futuristic which is a first for me. It’s also aimed at adults, rather than teens this time. I’ve completed the first draft and now I’m into editing. It has lots of secret organisations and plot twists. I aim to have it finished within 6 months. Fingers crossed.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you so much for your continued support. I hope I continue to provide you with great books to reads. Stick with me and I promise to take you with me on an incredible journey.
Book Overview: Love can make you do crazy things as Ruby Parker discovers when she dies and returns from the grave to unearth how much Leo Culver loved her. With the aid of bad advice from a ghost who is trapped by a curse, a little bit of magic courtesy of her unsuspecting half-sister, and a televised music talent show coming to town to hold auditions, Ruby Parker makes more of a mess in death than she ever did in life. Can she fix everything before it’s too late? Or will she spend eternity as a ghost, haunted by the unknown depths of love? Either way, one thing Ruby learns is that while love can make you do crazy things, it can make you do amazing things too. But at what cost?
Lisa’s Review: I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review. I gave this book 4 stars.
At times this book made me irritated primarily relating to the choices Ruby was making and how she came across as pretty self centered. Then the light bulb turned on for Ruby and the transformation occurred and I was able to connect more with Ruby.
This book flowed well and kept my attention throughout the book. I loved the ending!
Here are two unique book trailers. Listen to D L Richardson as she performs two of the songs featured in the novel.
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