Today is a pretty special day. Not only do I have a bestselling author for March’s Author Alert, but I have one of the kindest, most supportive people I’ve met in the industry yet. Tiffany King is a one-of-a-kind type of person. She’s a great writer and is entirely supportive of all the authors around her. It isn’t a competition; she truly wants to see everyone succeed. In an industry that sometimes seems far more competitive than it really is, Tiffany is a diamond in the rough.
Tiffany was one of the first people I met when I joined Twitter, and she immediately became my friend. She was fun, open, caring, and supportive with me right from the get-go, and she is one of the most active authors I know with her fans. She reaches out to any who might contact her, she does some fun random giveaways through social media, and since 2011 she’s been making a kick-ass name for herself. Today I shall subject Mrs. King to my 11 Questions of DOOM, and show you just how great she is.
1. You’ve been in the self-publishing game for two years now and surely you’ve been through a rollercoaster of experiences. With everything you’ve learned so far, what are three pieces of advice you would give to any writers out there considering getting into the industry? Anything specifically you wish someone had been able to tell you?
The first piece of advice I would give is to create a brand for yourself and stand by it. Secondly, write what you know, and let your passion for that subject shine through. Finally, no matter what, never give up. You will have your highs and lows. Some will love your writing, and others will hate it. People can be cruel, but you have to believe in yourself. Overall, the ride will be the most exciting one of your life. I was extremely lucky. I met some wonderful people at the beginning who were always willing to help when I needed it, and I always try to carry that forward to anyone that asks me for help and advice. I do wish someone would have shown me the perks of Facebook way sooner though. LOL.
2. Although all your books have some level of romance, you started out writing books with more of a Fantasy edge to them, later transitioning into more coming-of-age style novels with a similar romantic flare. With your most recent release, Jordyn (A Daemon Hunter Novel Book One) you’ve come back to Fantasy. Do you have a genre preference, or does it really vary per project and what mood you’re in?
I enjoy both. Paranormal is tough because while you are writing about a made-up world, the story still has to have a continuity and believability to it. My husband and I often bounce ideas off each other to come up with something original. Contemporary, on the other hand, is compromised of real life experiences, which in itself can be challenging because you need characters your readers can relate to. I think in contemporary, I find the words flow more smoothly for me as I immerse myself in the story.
3. To date, you’ve been published in two anthologies and have published eight novels. From all the books you’ve released unto the world, do you have a favorite? What is it about that novel that makes it so?
Miss Me Not is my favorite. The subject matter is delicate, but I wanted to challenge myself and show that even though life can present tough challenges, nothing is ever hopeless. In the story, I was able to highlight real life people that have helped me throughout my life who showed me that caring people do exist. I am extremely proud that the book has been my best reviewed book thus far. The readers have really seemed to connect with it.
4. Hypothetical #1: You’re in a small, empty office with only the glow of your computer monitor staring back at you. It’s quiet…too quiet. The eerie silence is wrapping around you like a barbed-wire blanket when a loud crash shatters through the room. Broken glass rains down over the floor and you notice a small, purple creature on the ground. His feather-like hair looks soft, but as he unfurls, you see he’s actually a Furby-gone-wild, infected like a zombie. Sharp claws hang from his miniature arms, fangs drip from his fluffy jaws, and his eyes are lit-up with madness. One bite from him and you’ll be gnawing the flesh off your neighbor. The door to the office is locked from the outside and jagged pieces of broken glass are stuck in the window frame. This little guy is fast, difficult to catch, and hard to see in the shadows. Worst of all, the sensor on his forehead helps him learn, and each moment he watches you, the more information he gets to take you out. In one paragraph or less, tell us how you keep yourself zombie virus free and rid yourself of the mini-monster.
Luckily for me, the little fluffy zombie crashed in while I was eating lunch. He sizes me up, eagerly anticipating the taste of my sweet human flesh, when he catches a whiff of my Philly cheesesteak. The scent of greasy steak with grilled onions and peppers, topped with gooey provolone cheese was more than his overly sensitive zombified senses could handle. “You want that, don’t you, you little mutant hamster,” I said as he looked back and forth between me and the tantalizing treat. He leaped forward on the sandwich, giving me a small window of opportunity. I reached into my purse for my over-sized can of “Ultra-Hold” hairspray. I soaked the little rodent as he continued to devour my sandwich. The quick drying hairspray instantly hardened his fluffy fir as he struggled to move. I grabbed the Louisville Slugger from underneath my desk and took a wide stance. “Good night,” I said before splattering the unwelcome fluff ball across the wall.
5. You’re a wife and mother, an author who publishes several books each year, attends multiple book events both locally and non, you have a wonderfully active online presence and you’re an avid reader. That is enough to fill the most organized person’s schedule. When you do get a chance to slow down, what do you like to do for fun that doesn’t involve any of the above?
LOL, my family often teases me that my phone is never far from my hand, which is sadly the truth. When I’m taking a break though, I enjoy spending time with my family. Even though my kids are getting older (13 & 17), we still like to do everything together. It could be as simple as walking around a store, or as big as visiting a theme park. As long as we’re together I’m a happy girl.
6. Hypothetical #2 – You’ve awoken in the middle of the night to find a monster from one of your stories has come to life in your basement, however, the hero from your story remains trapped in the pages. In a paragraph or less, tell us how you defeat the beast and keep your family safe. Should you wish to upgrade to challenge mode, please include the stipulation that the only weapon you have is a frayed toothbrush and a jug of vinegar.
Wow, this is a tough question for me since I write about my biggest fear, which is demons. I will not be taking the challenge mode (since vinegar and a toothbrush won’t help), but instead, I’ll be taking the Poltergeist (they’re here) method. Yep, I would load my family up in the car and get the hell out of dodge. Is this the wimps method? Hell yeah, but if you’ve ever seen the Poltergeist movies, you know this is the only option. Unless I can find a little old ghost whisperer lady who will proclaim, “this house is clean.”
7. Was self-publishing an option you chose, or had you tried to shop any of your manuscripts to agents before deciding on that path? And as a follow-up, having done it on your own for so long, would you ever be interested in pursuing the traditional path, or perhaps doing both at the same time?
A couple years before I decided to publish Meant to Be, I made a halfhearted attempt to query a couple of agents. At the time, I was a full-time student and working full-time, so eventually, pursuing anything with the book was pushed to the back burner. It was only when I was getting ready to graduate a few years later that I decided to dust off MTB and give it a try all on my own. At the moment, I’m extremely proud of what we have been able to accomplish in self-publishing. I would consider going the ‘traditional’ route if the right deal came along, who wouldn’t? The business is changing everyday. Some of the more successful authors out there now are capitalizing on opportunities in traditional and self-publishing at the same time. You have to be willing to recognize every opportunity that becomes available to remain successful.
8. You are a massive, dare I say, obsessive, Harry Potter fan. Tell us your favorite, and most hated part of the entire series. This question is not optional.
I love, love, love how the series grows throughout the seven books. I think it’s brilliant that things that happened in the first book were pivotal in the last book. To be able to create an entire world where readers feel like they are a part of it is truly a phenomenal accomplishment. My favorite moment is in book seven when Lupin asks for the final words Dumbledore spoke to him. “Harry is the best hope we have. Trust him.” I am crying right now. If I had to pick something I hated about the story, it would be that we didn’t get enough insight into Snape’s head and the reasons why he did what he did. I would love a book based on his perspective.
9. Tell us five things that most people don’t know about you.
I have a potty mouth.
My mind regularly hangs out in the gutter.
I hate bananas.
I’m extremely shy.
I’m scared of small spaces.
10. Tell us one of the best, and one of the worst experiences you’ve had since you started out on this insane journey we call self-publishing.
Hands down, the best experience is when a reader says my books are on their favorites list. That feeling will never get old. Also, my husband always cracks up when a reader gets so excited when I respond to a tweet they sent, or a comment on my blog. He’ll say, “would they be that excited if they saw you sitting here in your pajamas?” The worst experience is when someone hates my book. I know that reading is subjective, but I can’t help feeling like I’ve let them down.
11. Your newest release, Jordyn, is the first book in a new series. Is that what you plan to work on for your next few projects, or will you be bouncing back and forth between multiple stories? If the latter, what’s on deck for your readers?
At the moment, I’m currently working on my first New Adult book (eeeeeep). It’s a new experience for me, but I’m thoroughly enjoying it. When I wrap up this story I’ll be diving back into Jordyn’s crazy life.
11.5 Bonus, Random, and Just For Fun: If you were turned into a supernatural creature of your choice, what creature would that be and why? And how would you accommodate that massive change into your life today?
LOL, a vampire, baby, but only if I’m Bella Swan because let’s face it, that chick had it all. (Edward for example). Also, if I were a Twilight vampire, I wouldn’t need sleep and could write 24/7.
What’s your preference?
Writing With or Without Music: Without. Every once in awhile I think I want music on, but have come to realize it’s more of a distraction.
Dream Vacation or Dream Car: Dream car. It lasts longer, LOL.
Cats or Dogs: CatsCatsCatsCats!!! Cats rule and dogs drool 😉 UPDATE: Tiffany did lose a few awesome points for this.
Spiders or Snakes: Snakes. Spiders are just WRONG!!!
Chocolate or Caramel: CHOCOLATE!!!!!!!!!
Cereal: Cocoa Pebbles
80’s Movie: Breakfast Club
Concert you’ve been to: Chris Daughtry!! He touched my hand squuuuueeeee!!
Smell: Apple Cinnamon or Chocolate LOL.
That was wonderful! Thank you to Tiffany King for taking the time to answer my randomness, and after that, I know you need more so here it is: