Q: Along with being a writer, you work in strategic marketing and brand management — how to you juggle both?
In my experience, the key to managing two careers simultaneously comes down to two things: (1) setting clear priorities and (2) time management. At the beginning of each week I set some goals and a schedule. Nothing over the top—just a little something to keep me on task for the week. I find that by knowing up front what needs to be done and when it needs to be done by prevents me from procrastinating or getting overwhelmed.
Q: How important is branding for writers, or even small business owners? And what marketing advice do you have for them?
First, let’s take a minute to define what branding is, because it is so much more than what is on your website or business cards. From my 10+ years in marketing, I define branding as an author’s “reputation” in the marketplace. What are readers saying about you? What comes to mind when an agent or another author hears your name? All the strategies and tactics you employ in your marketing should support this idea, and the key to this is communicating clear and consistent messages through your marketing channels. If you are interested in learning more, I have written an article about branding and marketing plans for authors. You can read it here.
Q: What drew you to the write in the regency period? Do you have a favorite classic writer you look to for inspiration?
I have always been a fan of British Romantic literature. Really, I enjoy the Romantic period in general—the music, the art, etc. I have read the literature and the poetry of this era extensively, and since the Regency Period fell during this time, I would have to say those works had a profound influence on me. If I had to pick one author, however, I would have to say Charlotte Brontë, although Jane Austen is a very close second.
Q: Have you had a chance to visit England to research the setting of your books? If so, what details did you work into the story that you wouldn’t have thought to include before?
When I was in college, I went to England and Scotland for a three-week course in British literature. While there, the class visited several of the major literary attractions and studied them in-depth. Even thoughI was not writing at the time, the trip had a profound effect on me, and it was truly a life-changing event.
Q: What can we expect to see from you next?
Right now I am working on the third book in the Whispers on the Moors series, which is titled A Lady at Willowgrove Hall (October 2014). I am very excited about this book and can’t wait to share more details!