I actually started writing after having my little girl, Evie, December of 2015. All during my pregnancy with her I read. I only wanted to read smut and I read EVERYTHING. I would read a book a day — sometimes two. In January I was staying up late with her and just thinking of all these stories. They came to me constantly. And I finally sat down and just started writing. I always wanted to do it so I figured, why not?
I never thought I would reach this point of success to be honest. It’s insane to me that I have so many fans. And I love each and every one of them for all of their support. I’ll be honest, some days are HARD. I have my two littles (Jax who’s two and a half and Evie who just turned one!) during the day and I write at night. Some days are just simply exhausting and then I hear from a fan and it makes me want to push through and keep writing. And I do. I promise I won’t stop!
If you enjoy sexy as f*ck and dangerous men getting into trouble for the women they fall for, then you’ll love my books. I like my action hot and my bad boys hotter. And I don’t hold back on either one in my writing.
Now, on with the interview…
ME: What is your favorite childhood book?
WILLOW: Ooh! I loved Winnie the Pooh growing up, but as a mother I love Love You Forever. I can’t read it without crying!
ME: What is the first book that made you cry?
WILLOW: Ummmm potentially Just Listen by Sarah Dessen. I definitely cried, just not sure if she was the first to do it!
ME: Is writing your primary 'job' or do you have another source of income?
WILLOW: Yes! Writing is my life and livelihood.
ME: Do people around you know you write romance/erotica and what do they think about it?
WILLOW: Yes they do! I am so open about it. Everyone’s really happy for me although my mom doesn’t tell people exactly what I write. She mistakenly shared an excerpt from my author page once that was rather steamy (and seriously explicit) and we all had a pretty good time with that. My cousin read it out loud at my housewarming. Good times.
ME: LOL. Do you believe in writer’s block? If not why not? And if so what suggestions do you have to start the juices flowing again.
WILLOW: I believe in burn out. That’s definitely a thing with physical and debilitating symptoms. For writer’s block, I’ve never had it and I would like to think it doesn’t exist but it may be an early symptom of burn out. If I’m ever stuck, I start from the back of the chapter or move to a different scene. I know that’s a little weird and not all authors like to do that, but it really works for me.
ME: Burn out, that's a good way to put it. Let's talk about your process for a bit. Are you a plotter or fly by the seat of your pants kind of writer?
WILLOW: Either or! I started as a pantser, but when I cowrote that wasn’t an option. Now I dabble in both!
ME: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
WILLOW: I don’t do much research at all. I don’t like to feel held back by details either so if I come to a spot that needs research, I just put up parenthesis and keep the story flowing. Research can be added in the read through and editing, but the story needs to flow as it’s being realized imo.
ME: Would you rather write standalones, standalones with connections to your other works, or multi book series with no true conclusion until the very end?
WILLOW: Hmmmmmmmmm, I’m going to pick option number 2. I do love world building! Number 3 would keep me up at night in the worst way!
ME: Where do your story ideas come from?
WILLOW: I just try to sleep and BOOM something keeps me from it. It’s a blessing now that I have the ability to write, it was a curse before. I had severe insomnia before I started writing. Maybe my brain knew I was meant to be an author.
ME: Writing: a great outlet and cure for insomnia. :) Do you ever base your characters, events or locations on real people, events or places?
WILLOW: Oh yeah, I take from the real world all the time. The other day I was heading to the bar with my friends and Natalie, a friend of mine for almost ten years and the one who gave me FSoG to read for the first time, said, “It turned winter overnight.” I got a little pep in my step and told her, “I’m putting that in my book!” Check out chapter 8 of Scarred – first sentence! She said she wants royalities! lol
ME: Is there a character in one of your books loosely based off yourself?
WILLOW: All of my heroines are a bit. And when reviewers write that they cry too much, I just nod my head. LOL
ME: What process do you use for selecting the names of your characters?
WILLOW: I go for sexy for the men and relatable for the women. Easy peasy.
ME: Who has been your most difficult character to write so far?
WILLOW: Jay from Forget Me Not. I can’t tell you why though, it would give something away that’s far too big of a spoiler. Sorry!
ME: Have you ever killed off someone who pissed you off in one of your books?
WILLOW: LOL yes! I shot him in the throat and then the head. It was great.
ME: Hmm, remind me not to piss you off... What was your hardest scene to write?
WILLOW: Break up scenes destroy me. Knowing two people love each other but can’t be together is an awful feeling for someone who believes love perseveres. I cried my way through Damaged because of that.
ME: Does writing energize or exhaust you, and why?
WILLOW: It depends on the scenes. Sad scenes always exhaust me, but if I’m nearing the end of the book, it’s almost like a sprint or like falling down a black hole. All the energy hits me then.
ME: As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal, and why?
WILLOW: An owl! 'Cause I write so late at night and 'cause I flove them!
ME: Owls are pretty cool. time for some advice to the budding writers out there. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
WILLOW: Don’t stop writing. You’re worth it.
ME: What are common traps for aspiring writers?
WILLOW: Insecurities and suffering from imposter syndrome. There’s nothing wrong with feeling like you’re not good enough – it’s common – there’s everything wrong with letting that stop you.
ME: What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
WILLOW: Well my lap top died almost a year ago – just totally died on me. So I have to say the new laptop! Technically I didn’t spend that money, hubby did as an early Christmas present.
ME: Yes, I'd agree a laptop is a great investment. Thank you so much for your time, Willow, and I can't wait to meet you at RTC2018!