Welcome Willow to Paranormal Addicts, can you tell us a little about yourself how long you've been writing?
I’ve been writing poetry and very short stories on and off my entire life. In 2008 I finally decided to take on writing a novel just to see if I could.
If you didn’t write, what other profession would you have selected?
Well, I wouldn’t mind being a rock star, but I’m getting a little long in the tooth for that particular career. ;)
What profession do you think you would hate?
I’ve had many professions in my lifetime, most of which seemed suited to me. I suppose my least favorite was retail sales. Retail at Christmas can completely kill the ‘Christmas Spirit.’ I’m sure those of you who’ve participated in that will know exactly what I’m talking about! LOL
How do you balance between your personal life and your writing?
I’ll have to get back with you on that. I’m not entirely certain I’ve managed to balance anything at this point. ;)
Who is your favorite author?
I can’t name just one. It’s just not possible! JR Tolkien, Robert Heinlien, Ann McCaffrey, Madeline L’Engle, Dean Koontz, John Saul, Terry Brooks, Mercedes Lackey, Christine Feehan.....the list is a mile long.
Other than writing, what are some of your passions in life?
Music! I love music. Making it, listening to it, anything involving it.
What is your favorite genre to read?
Paranormals, Fantasy, and Sci-fi. If it has a ghost, alien, or supernatural creature...I’m all over it!!
What books are currently on your nightstand?
I Pay Thee Not In Gold- Mercedes Lackey
Envision trading places with one of your characters in your books, who would it be and why?
Liz Markum (Birthright), Remy Martin (Oceans of Red), or Sophie (A Higher Calling). All of these woman are powerful, survivors, and act with extreme prejudice. I strive to be more like them when I grow up. ;)
Can you share anything your readers would be surprised to know about you?
I’m a bit of a hermit. I tend to spend the majority of my time at home. I HATE shopping! Seriously. LOL
Okay, you have just finished your book or it has just been released. Is there something special you do to celebrate?
Generally the first thing I do is cry. The second is call my best friend and cry with her again. LOL Then later that evening, I crack open a bottle of Malibu and the celebrating commences. :)
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I’ve always used writing as a way to let out my feelings. It’s always seemed to help.
If you could collaborate with one author who would it be and why?
JR. Tolkien! (Because omg!!!! Who wouldn’t want to be involved with the mast of Epic Fantasy???)
What influenced you to get published?
Friends and family, along with insistent need to see my books on a bookshelf.
How long did it take for your first book to get published?
Three and a half years from the time it was finished.
What surprised you the most about the writing/publishing process?
I was extremely shocked at how difficult it would be to go the traditional publishing route.
Where does your inspiration for a new book come from?
Most of them have come from either dreams or just a random thought that worked its way into a story idea.
Do you have a favorite book that you have written?
I love each of them for completely different reasons. I suppose my ‘favorite’ is always the one I’m working on. LOL
Do you have a book that was easiest to write or one that was the hardest?
Birthright and Inheritance have been the easiest to write. Back then I didn’t have the time issues that I have now. There wasn’t any marketing or promoting, just time on my hands and writing to do. ;)
How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
They generally develop on their own. I have very little to do with the people they come.
What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
Three dimensional, believable characters. A well rounded plot woven with surprising twists and turns. And one of my all-time favorites: visualization. I want to experience a story. If I can visualize surroundings, hear, smell, and feel what they are feeling---that is one awesome story!
How long does it usually take for you to write a book?
For the shorts, a month or so. The full length novels take substantially longer. I’ve been working on Legacy (3rd in The Dark Gifts series) off and on for 7 months and I still have quite a way to go.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do to get out of it?
Yes! Generally I play a piece of music that pertains to the scene I’m stuck in. I close my eyes and visualize what just happened and try to see where it is going. More times than not, it works. However, there are times that absolutely nothing works and I just have to wait to get out of my funk.
We would like to hear about your process of writing, ideation, and average time to actually write. Also your typical day hours devoted to writing vs everything else.
I am always thinking about my storylines. Even when I’m doing dishes the story is playing out in my head. I have a very busy home life, so I’m lucky to get in 6-10 hours a week for writing most of the time. Once in a while, I’ll get a full day with no interruptions and when that miraculous event takes place...I write until I can’t stand to look at the computer any more. I’ve spent as much as 10-14 hours writing at times, and as little as 30 minutes. (Depending on the day and how many of my family members are around.)
Who do you ask to read your work and give their opinion? From those opinions what helps you the most and how do you keep from picking it apart?
I have some good friends who are also writers that I go to. I also use beta readers. I do not keep from picking it apart. A story should be picked, torn, ripped to shreds. A good friend will tell you your story is awesome. A great friend will tell you what sucks about it. You can’t fix something if you don’t know it’s broken. ;)
We would love for you to paint a picture for us of you writing your books. Do you always write in your office? Do you ever go outside on a beautiful day and write there? Are you listening to music when you write? Drinking wine? Do you do your best work during the day? At night?
I do my best work mid-day to afternoon. I ALWAYS write in my office. For some reason, I’m one of those weirdoes who needs complete and total silence. If anything other than my fan is making noise, I get terribly distracted. And the entire house needs to be that quiet. Even the dog has been kicked out of the house on writing days for making too much noise playing with his toys. LOL
Generally I have coffee going (okay always) and I don’t tend to even eat until I’m done writing for the day. I have the attention span of a gnat. If I get sidetracked (even with food) that could be the end of my writing time. LOL
Now when I’m going back through and beefing up the book, that’s a completely different animal. During those times I’ll put on music that coincides with the scene I’m working on.
I’m currently working on Paladin (The sequel to A Higher Calling). It continues on where AHC left off taking Sophie into the realm of the Paladin with Ramiel.
In Twitter fashion use 140 characters or less, sum up Oceans of Red volume one for us.
OoR is my take on the impending 2012 prophecy. Global decimation doesn’t have to be disease and natural disasters. ;)
Will we be seeing a following book to this story?
Oceans of Red volume two is currently available and OoR 3 will be release by the fall of 2012.
How did you come up with the character Remy Martin?
I honestly don’t remember where Remy came from.
If you could pick one actor to portray Remy Martin on the big screen who would it be and why?
A younger version of Natalie Portman. Or Natalie herself.
Was there anything you find particularly challenging when writing this book?
The research. There’s loads of science and Druid myth/legend in the book. Finding out anything tangible about Druidism is extremely difficult. Even now, their secrets are closely guarded.
What were your feelings when you first saw the cover of your finished book?
Elation. The first cover was all right, but this new cover is exactly right for the story line.
Willow Cross resides in Arkansas with her husband, two children still young enough to live at home, an enormous cat named Bitsy, and a neurotic dog named Tank. Her home has been known to host the occasional ghost and several of her friends profess to be witches. Although she dearly loves Vampires and Werewolves, they are never invited for dinner.
Willow's Social Networking links:
Oceans of Red is FREE on Amazon so be sure to pick up your very own copy today!!
By 2015 the streets of Los Angeles have been transformed from a thriving metropolis to a hostile world ravaged by demons bent on assimilating the human race. Standing between this total apocalypse of humanity and their chance for survival is 19 year old Remy Martin.
A warrior in her own right, trained to think on her feet and kill if the situation requires, she is flanked by her older brother and younger sister. Together, they devise a plan to take back the streets. Against the wishes of their father, who commands the resistance forces, they venture into unknown realms of the supernatural in a race against time with the fate of the entire world in their young hands.
Join them on their mission into darkness where death lies around every corner, it is virtually impossible to distinguish your enemies from your allies, and a single mistake could result in the annihilation of everyone you’ve ever known and loved.
Remy's saga continues as she comes to terms with who she is and what she will become.
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Thank you so much Willow for joining us today.
Also thank you readers for the support you show to the authors
and our blog.
Also thank you readers for the support you show to the authors
and our blog.