Westmore: The Aftermath
November 6, 2011
What made you decide to write this book?
A love of soap operas made me write the Westmore series, that’s where I get most of the inspiration for writing my books. The series revolves around three families; The Greens, The Braxtons, and The Reynolds. One thing I love about the Westmore series is the diverse characters, each with their own storyline, something for the readers to enjoy. The first volume was mainly an introductory, readers got a glimpse of the characters’ personalities and how they’re connected to each other. In the sequel, a car accident occurs which affects all the families and causes relationships to be tested.
What is the genre?
I’d list it in the romance/chick lit category.
How did you start your career?
Growing up, I wasn’t that much of a fan of writing, especially research papers and essays. However during my final years of high school, I became interested in the subject when I took creative writing courses. I loved it so much that I decided it’s something I wanted to do for a living. At first, I wanted to be a journalist and write for the newspaper, so I attended college and earned a degree in Professional Writing. Then after graduation I had a change of heart and choose to write books instead, that’s when I began my first book Going Home Again. Then about a year later it got accepted by Romance Divine, and jumpstarted my career.
Who/what inspired you?
My family inspires most of the characters in my books. Nancy Mitchell and Charlotte Green, the mothers from Going Home Again and Westmore were modeled after my mom. They still worry about their kids even though they’re grown. They also encourage their children to follow their dreams and only want them to be happy. This is just like my mom’s characteristics.
I have two brothers; I get teased a lot, just like Alicia Green with her three brothers. However, like her I know they’ll protect me and always have my back. Whenever I have a problem they’ll be there for me.
Even though my family’s close, we’ve had our dysfunctional moments, much like The Braxtons, although I think we have them beat in the drama department.
Do you have any future projects planned?
I’ve got the Westmore series planned out for ten volumes, although that is subject to change. I’m hoping to release volume 3 and possibly volume 4 sometime later this year. Aside from Westmore, I have ideas for different book genres that I’d like to explore.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing professionally for about three years. I began writing my first book Going Home Again around late 2008.
Did it start as a hobby or a passion – planned or unplanned?
It started as a hobby, then turned into a passion. Growing up I didn’t have my mind set on a specific career, every couple months I’d change my mind, I’d go from wanting to be a hairdresser to wanting to be a nurse. But once I got into writing, I enjoyed it so much that I realized it’s what I want to do for the rest of my life.
Would you have changed anything about your story?
Based on some reviews, critics say my books tend to move too fast, so I’m trying to learn to slow it down a bit.
What have you learned in the process?
I was a bit naïve when I first got published. I figured, the book would be released, the publisher would handle the promotion, and that’d be it. Boy was I wrong. I didn’t realize the writer had to do so much work, aside from writing and editing, there’s also the promotion.
I admit it’s tough at times, but that’s one of the aspects of the industry you have to deal with.
What do you consider your writing style to be?
I’m the type of person who goes with the flow, I just think of the ideas, then type them out. Although sometimes I think it’d be best if I plan the outline of the book ahead of time.
Did you have any support during the process or no support?
My mom’s been a great support, when I kept getting rejected and felt like giving up, she told me not to. Whenever I need advice about my writing, I turn to her; in fact she was the one who encouraged me to go into self-publishing. I don’t know what I’d do without her help.
Who would you consider to be your hero?
Again I’m going with my mom.
What would you tell other aspiring authors?
I’d tell them the writing/publishing industry is tough, it’s not a bed of roses, and they’re going to have to do a lot of work. But I’d remind them that if they’re passionate about writing, then they need to continue on with their journey, because in the end their hard work will pay off.
Did you find the journey to be a difficult one?
Definitely, it was tough getting Going Home Again published. I sent out numerous queries and was turned down many times. I felt like giving up, and that my book would never be published, until it was finally accepted by Romance Divine.
Then when it came time for Westmore, it was the same routine all over again. At that point I started looking into self-publishing. I admit I didn’t think it’d suit me, yet as I continued with my research, I decided this would be better for me and after much consideration I signed with Createspace. Now that my books are published I’m happy and continuing on with my career.
What was the happiest point; when the manuscript was completed or when the book was put in print?
I’d have to say seeing the book in print. After months of writing and editing, just to see the finished product in your hands is an unbelievable feeling.
What are your plans for the future of your writing career?
I admit the sales haven’t been great, but I’m continuing with my writing career, no matter what. Even if it’s just as a hobby, I’m still going to write.
Looking back, would you have changed anything?
There are times when I wished I would’ve known about self-publishing earlier, that way I didn’t have to face rejection from traditional publishers. But in the end I think it was best I had a traditional publisher for my first book, because it taught me about the industry and prepared me for the road ahead.
Do you feel that the story took on a life of it's own, or did it go just as you planned?
Although I’ve got an outline of the ideas for each volume planned out, as I began writing the story, it takes on a life of it’s own. I found that plots I originally had in mind for volume three wouldn’t work, so I either ended up scraping them or switching them to a later volume.
What is your favorite saying or quote; and why?
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams—Eleanor Roosevelt.
Tell us something, that most people don't know about you.
Well, I’m a huge Nascar and WWE fan, I tend to talk about that on twitter a lot, so I apologize to my followers for rambling about that.
Still trembling with shock, Wayne stumbled into the den, poured a glass of vodka, and downed the drink. He closed his eyes, but the images of the wrecked car flashed through his head. The thought of what happened to the passengers weighed heavily on his conscience, I should've helped them, but I didn't. How could I leave them?
"Wayne is that you?" Elizabeth called down.
"Go back to bed mom," he didn't want her to see him like this, but the sound of her slippers hitting the marble floor indicated she disobeyed his request.
"I was worried about you," upon entering the room she noticed Wayne soaking wet and trembling.”What's wrong?"
"Nothing," he shrugged off her concern.
"Don't lie to me, you're shaking, now tell me what's wrong."
He took a deep breath and wiped his face, "There was an accident."
"Are you hurt?" she searched his face for any sign of injury.
"I'm fine," he poured another round of vodka. "It's the others," he set the bottle down. "The other driver crashed into a tree."
"Were they hurt?"
"I don't know,” he raised his voice. “I fled the scene."
"Why?" lightning flashed across the sky and a clap of thunder followed, startling her.
"I caused the accident," he took a sip of vodka and collapsed in a chair. "I was angry about my fight with dad and I got too distracted. The next thing I remember I was in the other lane, on a head-on collision with the other driver." He clasped his hands together, "the car was a mess. I wanted to help, but I panicked and left. I don't even know if they're okay." With his sleeve he rubbed his forehead, "Mom, I don't know what to do. If the police ever find out..."
"What do you mean?"
Elizabeth couldn't bear the thought of seeing her son go to jail. "For the time being we're going to keep this quiet."
"What about the other driver?"
She knelt beside her son. "Until we know further details, I think it's best to keep this between us," she wrapped her hands around his.
"No, buts, now go upstairs, dry off, and get some sleep."
Although he disagreed with her decision, he reluctantly obeyed his mother's wishes.
Elizabeth twiddled her silver locket, she was willing to do anything to protect her son, even if it meant breaking the law, she wasn't going to lose him, not now, not ever.