1. How did you become interested in Mayan history?
I was a Humanities and Social Science major in college. I had to take all those courses that end in OLOGY. My favorite was archeology. It was also one of the hardest classes. My professor spent a lot of time on the Pre-Columbian cultures, Maya, Aztec, Toltec and Olmec. I tucked all that information away for a few decades (ahem). When an End of Days story popped into my head, I dusted off all that old information. I still had to do a lot of new research. My memory is not that good. ;)
2. Share a little bit of your perspective regarding the Mayan End of Days:
I know it would probably sell more books if I was a believer. It would be good publicity to say that on December 21, 2012 the Earth will lose polarity and we’ll all go flying off into space. However, all the research I’ve done has taught me that the Maya, still living in Mexico, refute any claims to the predictions of the end of the world. They say that it is purely a Western fabrication. A calendar is ending, but many Mayan calendars have ended in the past and they have more for the future. I remain neutral and patiently await the dawn of December 22, 2012. :-)
3. If you weren't a writer, what other career would you have chosen?
Being a writer is my dream job. For a while I wanted to be a Broadway actress, but it was impractical at the time. I wanted to eat. :-) I have been a Customer Service Representative and then the manager. I have also been a Logistics Expert and the Director of Supply Chain. Before being lucky enough to be able to write full time, I worked in NYC as an IT Specialist for a fashion company.
I really can’t think of anything better than being an author.
4. What was one of the most interesting jobs you had?
In 2003 I was offered an opportunity to work overseas. I jumped at the chance. I moved to the Netherlands and lived there for seven months. What a fantastic experience! I worked in IT but the interesting part was being able to hop on a train and spend the weekend in Paris or Belgium. I often took the short flight over to London. It was a great way to see Europe. I had a blast and made a lot of very precious friends.
5. What inspired you to write paranormal romance?
I am an avid reader like most writers. I love a good romance novel. I like all the speculation around paranormal. So many people, myself included, believe in the possibility of something more.
The idea for my first book, Mayan Afterglow, came from a call for entries that I saw online. I had just had a dream about a thief in a castle. I put the two together and wrote Mayan Afterglow. A book which has nothing to do with castles, but I was so happy to have a place to put that dream, I made some adjustments to the time period and circumstances. I hope that answers the question. :-)
6. Tell the readers about your writing journey. When did you start writing and what were some lessons you learned on your path to publication?
I have told this story before, so forgive me if you’ve already heard it.
I’ve been telling stories since I was a little girl but I never wrote a single story down until I was a freshman in college. I had an English professor who made us write a short story. That was the first time it occurred to me that the people living in my head, might want to come out and play. Once the door was open, there was no stopping the regular flow of characters that tumble in and out of my head.
Writing is easy, getting published was almost impossible! I had a full time job and little time for promoting myself or editing. There always seems time to write, but the really hard part, is the editing. At least for me, some writers love it. With the help of some wonderful writing organizations, I learned that I needed critique partners. Basically, I had to become a better writer and very few people can do that on their own. We all need brutally honest friends to tell us what works and what doesn’t.
After finishing Mayan Afterglow, I submitted the story and it was rejected. I thought this was my own personal End-of Days. I was ready to give up submitting, not writing, mind you. I could never give up writing, but the idea of more rejection was debilitating. I have a very good friend, Shelley Freydont, who is a wonderful multi-published author. When I told her I’d had enough, she pulled a face and told me not to be silly (she may have used a stronger word) :-) and just submit the story somewhere else. I took her advice and a month later I got “THE CALL!” Ellora’s Cave was interested in publishing my book! I danced the