(1) Why did you become an author?
Since the age of nine, I’ve never seen myself doing anything else as a career. Stories often played out in my head and it was rather natural to write them all down. Every character calls to me, and I do my best to honor their tales, the vision unfolding on the page. I’ve never cared about being famous or anything, but I’ve always wanted to see one of my books in a bookstore. I think there’s a part of me that comes out in every story (the people closest to me say they can see me in my books), but I’m also driven to keep writing because the characters are speaking through me. With 119 works in progress and 22 published books, I don’t imagine that will change anytime soon.
(2) Any tips for people who want to become an author?
Patience and perseverance. Every writer’s publishing journey takes time and each path is different in some ways, so never feel you’re supposed to go at the same pace as someone else. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Be kind and cradle your muse. It has its own ideas about where you’re going and how long that will take. At the same time, don’t be afraid to try new things, to step outside your comfort zone to accomplish the goals you’ve set. Ignore the naysayers. This is your journey, not theirs. And some of those people are simply jealous because you had the guts to follow your passion, to preserve your dream, and they didn’t.
Additionally, I’d suggest that you launch your website or blog fairly early in the game. Building a following takes time, and if you write on something you’re passionate about, that will show through your work.