I’m originally from Southern California, but I love living in the Pacific Northwest. The cool weather suits me and I love the sound of rain while I’m writing. As a disabled person, it can be difficult to keep the brain active and creative, I turned to digital art and writing to keep myself sharp. Thanks to the internet, I gained a fairly large following for my work and sharing my creative efforts gives me so much satisfaction in life.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
This all started with a role-playing game. My character was Claire, the heroine of my novel. I began with the basic premise of the game, Claire has to get married to keep her home and her best friend owns a brothel with an impoverished baron, but the story changed a great deal in transition to a novel. In its second incarnation, I wrote out the story as a fan fiction, changing the characters to fit. Isadora was originally two separate characters, and Lord Oakdown was the main antagonist for the third act. This changed to make the finale more personal and simplify the cast of characters. The novel you see still has the best parts of the initial work, but Crimson’s editors really helped me to hone it into something more mature.
How do you create your characters?
My characters typically spring from a basic idea or a person I admire and they evolve from there as I write. It’s no secret among my readers that I love to pull inspiration from celebrities I crush on. There is no age limit on celebrity crushes! If you find yourself thinking “hey, that sounds like so-and-so” while reading my books, it’s probably because that’s who I was picturing when I wrote it!
What inspires and what got you started in writing?
I look to inspiration from the shows and movies I watch, as well as the stories I read. I take traits and quirks from various characters and real-life people and shape them into something new. The more good stories I read, the more I get inspired to write my own work. I also draw from personal experience, which is why my characters are often slightly damaged or dealing with depression. I like to show them in recovery, to perhaps give hope to others who are suffering.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
I have a little TV tray upon which I set my laptop and I lay in bed against a pile of pillows. Again, this is due to my disability, it’s too hard on my body to sit at a desk, but I handle it as best I can.
How do you get your ideas for writing?
There are lots of prompts floating around the internet that provide great inspiration. I’m also a big fairy tale nerd and some stories just beg to be re-imagined into a fresh romance. I really want to eventually write a story based on the classic Korean folktale of Princess Pyeonggang. When I get to the point where whole scenes are being written in my head, I know I’ve GOT to write it.
What do you like to read?
I have a whole stack of books in my “to-be-read” pile because I’ve been reading exclusively fan fiction for months. There’s just so much good stuff out there on the internet! And I have lots of friends who write it, so I have to read it!
What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
I would like to say to everyone out there writing fan fiction and thinking about turning their stories into an original work for publishing… I had a LOT of rejections. Then Crimson Romance said yes and told me I had raw talent in spades and that’s why they were taking a chance on me. And I believe that extends to all fanfic writers. Keep writing fics. Write every day. Because your work is good. I know it’s sometimes hard to believe, but every fic you write is honing that raw talent you have. Every story you write makes you better. Every revision makes the story better. Every writer gets blocked. Every writer has difficulties. It’s just part of the journey. Ride it out and keep going, because I love all of you and I know you can do it.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I’m so excited to be a published author. I hope I do well so that I can take care of my mother. Get ready for more books from me in the future!
The music stopped abruptly as he looked up, then out the window, his eyebrows lifting in surprise. A little half-smile quirked the corner of his mouth as he lifted a hand to wave at her, a slight wiggling of his fingers. She smiled back and returned the gesture.
He rose from the instrument and she saw then that he, too, was in a dressing gown, though his was plain and dark blue. Rather than go around to his back door to reach the garden, he merely opened the sitting room’s window and climbed out.
He stopped at the balustrade. “Good evening, Lady Has— Claire,” he corrected himself. “Though at this point, I suppose I should say ‘good morning.’ I’m sorry if I disturbed you.”
“With the way you play, it could not possibly be termed a disturbance,” she said, a little shyly. “Can you not sleep? If you’ve not had a proper night’s rest, then the day’s events can be quite tiresome and we are going to be so busy—”
“You need not trouble yourself over me, my dear,” he interrupted, smiling again. He appeared pleased for her worry. “I’ve never needed that much sleep. I’m fine.”
Set off-balance by his use of an endearment, even one so common, she backpedaled. “I’m sorry,” she said. “That was a silly thing to have interrupted you for. I shouldn’t have—”
When she would have turned to leave, he reached out, impulsively taking her hand. Prickling sensation curled up her arm as her nerve endings came alive.
“Please, Claire,” he said. “Don’t apologize. I find your concern very… sweet.”
He glanced down as a blush rose in his cheeks, seemingly more embarrassed than she was. Bending slightly, he picked a small white flower from a potted bush nearby and placed it behind her ear.
She couldn’t help but smile as her own face warmed in a flush. “Thank you for the roses, by the way,” she said, reminded of his gift. “They’re beautiful, though unnecessary.”
He opened his mouth, but seemed to change his mind at the last moment. Instead, he looked down at her lavender dressing down, the blush on his face lingering. “You’re welcome,” he said at last, the hand not holding hers coming up to ruffle his hair. A little hesitantly, he reached out and fingered the lace-trimmed collar of her robe. “This color… It suits you.”
She looked down at herself, despite knowing what she looked like. “You think so?”
He nodded. “Perhaps it’s the darkness, but… it deepens the color of your eyes. Not so blue, but more purple. Like pansies.”
His fingers trailed upward, tracing the curve of her cheek. Her lips parted on a silent intake of breath and his gaze was drawn to them. She watched his Adam’s apple bob as he swallowed.
“I like… pansies,” she said, unable to think of anything more intelligent to say.
“So do I,” he said, apparently not any better off. He stared for a moment longer, then pulled his hand back from her face, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. “I’ve decided to ignore what you said about courting you being unnecessary and do it in any case. I find it necessary.” He paused before adding, somewhat reluctantly, “As does Lady Isadora.”
She huffed a light sigh. “Well, if you insist, I will not protest. Though I feel I must warn you, I may not be accepting of advances at first.”
She gaped at him and he cringed.
“That was rude, wasn’t it?” he asked.
“Perhaps I am just startled that you pointed out my failing,” she said, attempting to be generous.
He shook his head. “No, it was rude and I apologize. I am still learning the finer points of what is and isn’t said. It just didn’t occur to me that I shouldn’t mention your penchant for deflecting compliments.”
“Do I really do that so often?”
“Nearly every time,” he said with a nod.
“I suppose we are both learning, then.”
He lifted his chin. “Not to worry, I am persistent.” He smiled at her little giggle. “Now, I may be able to get by on a small amount of sleep, but I think perhaps you should go back to bed.”
“Yes. Thank you.”
He offered a shallow bow. “Good night, Claire.”
Realizing they were still holding hands, she squeezed his on impulse before letting go. “Good night, Will.”