- How long have you been writing?
I have been writing ever since I was a wee one. I can actually recall the first book I made with two pieces of card board, contact paper, glue, paper and thread. I used to entertain family and friends with stories inspired by the mythology books I would devour in the library. From grade school on up, I continued to write. And then in college, I discovered the wonders of fan fiction! One day, at a slash convention, I met someone who encouraged me to resume my path of original fiction. I was first published in 2007 and have been at it ever since.
- Who are your influences?
There are some authors that I wish that I could write like and then there are some authors that I seem to think like. I love the language, metaphor and construction of authors like James Joyce, Jean Genet, E.M. Forester and Milton. I practically swoon over any and everything that Neal Asher writes but to be honest, I am more influenced by visceral, thriller contemporaries such as Michael Crichton, Clive Barker, Edward Lee and Matthew Reilly. I love their use of fear, action and abstract-thought sometimes disguised for gut entertainment.
- Do you work from an outline or are you a pantser?
I wish that I could spend two weeks working on an outline, detailing every chapter and scene. I aspire to. I have even written outlines but my muse absolutely despises them and goes off onto tangents that usually have me casting out any sort of game plan that I may have created before setting about to write. Honestly it slows me down considerably. A novel which could have taken 5 months to write, ends up taking a year as I contemplate and the contemplate more about the direction and motivations of a story. But I still try my hand at outlines and hopefully one day I will be able to use one efficiently. So yeah I am a panster or a cook of three day chili, constantly tossing extra bits and tangents inside.
- Why do you write MM?
A lot of my stories involve two males honestly because I can write fantasies about men all day long, the more gleaming, broad burly chests, bull thighs or swimmers builds I can write about the better. Honestly, sometimes I don't want to write about women and when I do, my female characters do tend to have mannish qualities. Now I'm not saying that a certain level of drama can't exist between two men, but as a female (ok, moody feminist) my mood swings won't allow me to be responsible for representing the sisterhood in any context other than dominant. Oh yeah, let me look upon the males without putting my Amazonian views in it. I can so easily step outside of my gender and politics and enjoy the sexy, without measuring myself against my sisters, with jealousy or contempt. Yeah, my psychiatrist has a field day. My MM novels are not meant to be GLBT, but Amazon porn. Hey if guys can dig two chicks, tell me that I can't enjoy a multitude of men... Not! Hell, I can even include an underlying theme or two in such a tale.
- What are your goals as a writer? Where do you attend to go with your work in the next five years?
If I set aside goals of reaching Rowling, Grisham or King-like success, and am honest with myself, I would really like to build my brand (heheh, I'm obsessed with the term) as an Erotic Monster Writer. Seriously, I would love to have a movie made or an anime of one of my tales, maybe even a few sculptured action figures. I would love to be at Monster Mania or Comic Con pushing my naughty fiends in all sorts of media. The good and bad part of my dream is that I could really do my own comics, sculpt figurines and certainly design tie-in items for my books, but alas there are only a certain amount of hours in a day.
- What genres would you like to write in?
I dream of the science fiction tale that I could write one day in epic fashion. A rolling sci-fi opera that be on par with one of my favorite world builder, George Lucas, who even outside of movies, some good and bad, managed to create a juggernaut of characters and worlds for books, film, games and other multimedia. I stab at the concept in paranormal fiction but to go so grandiose with a universe is a sandbox that I haven’t made my way around to.
- If you could have any of your titles made into a film which one would it be?
At the moment, I would love to have "A Guardian's Desire," made into a film. I even know who I would want to play the lead character even though she's not an actress. Serena Williams is definitely who I think of when I think of the look of Freya. But then, I would love to see the set for the Sohon ball and the action sequence inside of Freya's apartment would be cool to me as well, not to mention the sex scenes between Freya, Fenris and Rayne.
- So when is Freya getting another book?
Freya actually has several books. I've written quite a few pages actually, one during Freya's pregnancy and another after. She still kicks ass but truthfully honing the sequels when initially "Guardian's Desire" wasn't properly set up to be a series. I hope to have the 2nd book out for Freya in 2014, dealing with her adventures and her passions, while pregnant...
- Do you listen to music when you write?
I do. I am a music hound, but not in the obsessive collector way. My collection is established based on what emotion or headspace I need to be in to complete a scene and most of work has been written to some epic soundtracks like the soundtracks of Gladiator, Braveheart, Lord of the Rings, The Piano and The Fifth Element. My latest work in progress owes much credit to albums by the ever epic "Two Steps from Hell," who pretty much do symphonic orchestral music worthy of the battlefield. It gets my adrenaline up and keeps me focused.
- Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
I sure do. The one thing that I tell anyone and everyone who asks me how to become I writer, is "Finish it." I always hear how someone has a few chapters here or there, but the commitment it takes to complete a piece is a huge feat within itself. You have to finish it, and get over it. You can't covet a piece of work for months and years. If you consider it to be your baby, then remember as soon as a baby bird can fly it gets booted out of the nest. Sure I say that folk have to have a thick skin and all that but to me it seems that the biggest hurdle that most aspiring writers encounter is finishing their projects.
- What is the hardest part of being a writer?
The hardest part of being a writer for me is not getting words on a page, because if you a writer you're going to write regardless. It's the yearning for feedback. I always think that my perfect mate would be an editor. How many countless minutes and hours of my day would be calm if I only had someone to review and critique my work and take me seriously? The need for feedback is tied closely in with the ability and sometimes the desire to socialize at all. I neglect parties, chores and activities for my writing and strangely enough the idea of setting time aside for writing is so abhorrent to me, but just because most of my friends have no interest in reading my work more or less critiquing, I still have to force myself to be social. At least until I meet my Prince Charming who would have to be an expert in grammar and have a library worthy of a Professor of Literature.
- Who is Shallow?
Shallow is the name I sign to all of my artwork, paintings and CGI work. As I take on a different personality and mindset when I paint, I didn't feel comfortable using the name for my writing, possibly because of guilt. I went to a talented and gifted school for art and it has always been in my life. I do believe my ability to be a gift, but a horribly unnurtured one. Writing is a craft I study and will always study, but art, I treat as a holiday or a mild distraction and in my heart, I feel like I don't give enough thanks to the Gods for giving me the ability to paint. So yeah, my art is the simple, shallow part of me, the peace that I ignore for the chaos of words.
- Will you be making any appearances or how can a reader contact you?
I'm not shy in as much as a bull is calm. I do make appearances at conventions but mostly as an attendant. I know I need to work on the whole promotions thing, but really I'm approachable. Right now I have nothing scheduled but I intend to do my fangrrl thang for Clive Barker, John Scalzi and George R.R. Martin, pretty soon. So if you attend Sci-Fi or horror conventions in the DC Metropolitan Area or New Jersey, you might see me lurking. Readers can either contact me on Facebook (my second home) or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.