What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? When you’re juggling a family and a small business (though my husband handles most of it now) it’s very difficult to make the time to write. When I wrote Redwood Violet, I squeezed time in here and there over a span of 18 months. That was far too long. I wasn’t yet disciplined enough to set aside a specific time to write. Since I’ve started work on the sequel, I’m much less involved in our business and I have more time to dedicate to writing, which I do at very specific times of day.
Have you developed a specific writing style? I’m still experimenting, to an extent. I’m starting to play with points of view a little, just to see where it gets me. But overall, I think my writing style is one that I’ve been told is easy to read, not overly cumbersome or wordy. These were things I disliked in other books I’ve read, so I knew I wanted to avoid becoming that type of writer. It just doesn’t suit me. I prefer a quick pace and I think my writing reflects that.
How did you come up with the title? Originally, I wrote the story under a different title, Shadow Man. It didn’t quite resonate with me and it wasn’t until I had nearly completed the first draft that I decided to rename it. I found that my original title didn’t reflect the struggles my main character was facing. Given the setting of the story, Redwood Violet just had more meaning for Katie, the main character. I just researched the plants and flowers in the Redwood Forest and found that the Redwood Violet conveyed strength. It could grow in adverse conditions. That appealed to me greatly.
Can you tell us about your main character? Katie Reid. She’s in her late twenties and just beginning to build her life and her career. She has a boyfriend, a good job and lives near the beach. Not a bad life at all. She’s still naïve but is learning the ways of the world. And it isn’t until she discovers a very dark secret that she begins to transform. We see Katie become desperate, hardened by the harsh realities of her past. That desperation turns to obsession until the girl she thought she was is replaced by someone neither her boyfriend nor her family recognize.
Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it? Personally, I learned a great deal about myself and my perseverance. But not only that, this book required a fair bit of research, which I must admit, I thoroughly enjoyed. A friend of mine, whose husband was a high-ranking police officer for twenty years, read the story, just to confirm that my references to police procedure were accurate, or at least, mostly accurate. I’m sure I took creative license on a few things. That part was very exciting for me.
How do you promote this book? Ahh, the million dollar question. This is something I do struggle with. It is increasingly difficult to get noticed amongst the thousands of other books available either online or in brick and mortar stores. I suppose I don’t promote the book insomuch as I try to develop relationships through social media to let people get to know who I am. If they like me, maybe they’ll read my book. I’m pretty active on Goodreads, which I truly enjoy. Of course, there’s Twitter, but I rarely promote my book there. Again, I try to put myself out there so people can get to me as an author. I suppose my next step is getting involved in blogging a little more and following some of the other bloggers out there. It’s something that’s constantly evolving and I hope to gain a better grasp of as I publish more novels.
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Genre – Mystery / Thriller / Suspense
Rating – PG
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