Growing up I was one of the many kids that stood in line for Star Wars for five hours at the only theatre in Seattle playing it. I was five years old, so you can guess that I was complaining and moaning the whole time. Even when we were finally let into the theatre my family had to split up. My dad and I sat in the front row, while my sister and my mom sat in the back. But when the lights turned down and the gigantic Star Destroyer crawled across the screen, my mouth dropped, my eyes bugged out and I was officially a movie-nut for life.
Yes, that's me as a little blonde Princess Leia. I think I was her character for Halloween 5 years in a row lol!
From that moment on, all I ever talked about was when I was going to make movies myself, and of course, this spilled into the TV world as well. I was just as obsessed with Wesley Crusher as Luke Skywalker. My goals never waivered. The only other career I ever considered was writing books. For some reason my child-brain never made the connection of possibly writing for TV or the movies to combine both my dreams, it wasn’t until I was graduated from film school and in Los Angeles for the first time that my dad posed the question, “Well, why don’t you just write films? You’ve always been a writer, and you want to make films, do both!” Well, duh! Why didn’t I think of that? And that began my long and sometimes amazing/sometimes frustrating life of writing feature screenplays and TV pilots. Over the years, I won some contests, I met some amazing people, but let me tell you, trying to get a movie made or a pilot even looked at when you don’t have any money or contacts is statistically like winning the lottery.
My accolades in screenwriting contests finally helped me get a break in television, which let’s face it in the last ten years has far outshined the movie industry. I’d watch an AMC show over most current films any day! I worked on the show Ghost Whisperer as the Creator and Executive Producer’s assistant. He was amazing! He let me write the Ghost Whisperer comic books for IDW Publishing.
Then the writer’s strike happened and I was out of TV. So what to do? I was tired of writing screenplays and teleplays that would sit on my shelf. I had so many stories I wanted to tell, but only friends and family to share them with. That’s when I decided I was going to write a book. I had a pilot that I had written called Riser and I knew that I wanted to turn it into a book. I loved the world, I loved the characters, and if I couldn’t see it as a TV show then I would tell the story as a set of novels. I couldn’t believe how much I loved writing Riser. It was exhilarating and freeing! I could nestle inside the main character’s head and unlike movies and television instead of having to “show” everything, I could write what she was thinking. It was such a great experience, when I had completed the first book, I felt like I had really accomplished something fun. I just hoped people would like it as much as I liked writing it.
I spent the first year trying to get an agent and starting that uphill battle of convincing people to take a chance on me. Well, I had finally had enough. When I read about CreateSpace, I knew: I was going to self-publish. My mother-in-law and I combined our resources and started a small publishing company called Red Frog Publishing. We bought our ISBN numbers and haven’t looked back.
In this day and age, independent publishing is the future. Let the world decide what they want to read!
I had to learn the hard way of how to layout my books in InDesign. I watched a lot of tutorials and received a ton of advice from my graphic designer husband who has pretty much mastered the entire adobe suite. I am not as talented as my über brilliant hubby, but I’ve finally got to the point where I can layout my books (and many other author’s books) in a professional looking way.
But considering I only come out with books once, maybe twice a year, I found that I’d forget a step or two and have to re-learn everything just to remember how to do something simple. So, I decided to make a document with step-by-step instructions on how to layout a book from start to finish and all the little details in-between. Mainly for myself, but I realized that maybe others could benefit from it as well.
Here’s a link if you’d like to download it yourselves, hopefully it’ll help!
I'm a writer of YA fiction, fiction, comics, television and movies. I try to make all my stories full of jumbly goodness :-)