How do you come up with this stuff? The most popular question – hands down – I get asked. For me, ideas come from all over the place but all of them, no matter where they come from, have to be in my head in “development” for a while before I can start shaping on the page.
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Sometimes, it’s about re-writing a story, like Overprotected. I’d written it first as a women’s romance ( because I also wrote women’s romance ) But I loved the story and didn’t want it to sit there unread. So I started over. Same characters, same basic plot: powerful father obsesses over his only daughter’s safety to the point of over the top. He hires her childhood enemy to protect her, knowing she won’t be attracted to him and never fall in love and leave him. In the end, both stories were very different.
After I write a book, I let it sit a while so I can re-read it with fresh eyes. Then I edit and let it sit some more. I repeat this process 4-6 times, then ship the manuscript off to my editor. After she’s done, I make changes and have a creative editor look at it. Once she’s done and I’ve incorporated her suggestions, the manuscript is off to my book designer. I tell her about the story, what I envision for the interior and she does her thing. All in all, it takes us going back and forth about 6 times for me to catch errors or whatnot until the manuscript is ready for print.
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My covers are designed by different artists after I give them my concepts. Most of the time, I create the concept ( as with Overprotected – the girl standing behind the bodyguard ) and send the image to the graphic artist for them to finalize for print.
With Overprotected, the first cover was too faded. ( it’s around online, you can tell it’s softer in color, not as bold ) I had to have another artist make the colors pop and tweak it a bit. I liked the second one better, it printed better.
As an indie author, I love being involved in the whole process from inception to hardcover. There’s nothing like taking your vision—something that’s existed and grown inside of you—and seeing it come to life and then getting to share that with others.
I consider myself blessed to be able to write what I love and share it with my reader friends.