Welcome to August!
That's right, it's a brand new month, but we're still focusing on Kindle Vella, the new serialized story platform from Amazon where you can get your fiction fix one bite at a time!
Today I'm with Serena Riley. She is a multi-faceted author, with paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and now some more contemporary romances under her belt. You can find her at https://www.ubump.co/serenariley (after you read all about her!)
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I was very young! I was always a reader, and loved to tell stories. I think the moment I learned how to rearrange letters to form words, and then, turn those words into a story on the written page… I knew that was the path for me.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I usually try to write in the evenings or on weekends. Due to my day job, finding time can be tough, but I’ve also been known to type away during my lunch break!
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I’ve always written stories, but my first book happened when I was about 13. I’d written a short story for an English class, then at the urging of my classmates (as my story was already eight pages long) expanded it. It was a nice first effort. I bought a little notebook, wrote out the story and even illustrated it. Sometimes, I wonder what happened to it. It’s probably in storage somewhere!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
If I’m not at Disneyland, you can probably catch me practicing Tai Chi or reading a book. I also enjoy playing video games and have been known to create some of my characters in my little Sims neighborhood!
What does your family think of your writing?
My family is supportive of my writing! While I tend to keep my racier stuff from them, they are always eager to support me and my endeavors.
Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Keep at it! If it was easy, everyone would be an author. The most I can tell you is that if you love what you do and enjoy what you create, the rest will come with time and practice.
Do you like to create books for adults?
Yes. I do have other books for the younger crowd, but have ventured into more adult writing and find that I enjoy it very much!
What do you think makes a good story?
Good characters and lots of adventure and drama!
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? - I always wanted to write, but if I’d become an astronaut like I’d planned, my writing might be very different today!
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Distractions are my Kryptonite. I am so easily distracted that I have to really force myself to focus sometimes. I’ve found that disconnecting the Wi-Fi and making sure the television isn’t on helps. If I can hide the video game console as well, that helps!
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym? - I actually do! Thanks to my day job, I just don’t want to wind up on the bad side of a google search. People can be such prudes.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I try to find a healthy balance. If what the people want is something I enjoy writing (or even a genre/trope I’d like to try) I’ll deliver.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you building a body of work with connections between each book? - I have both collections and stand-alone stories. Connections are always fun, especially when creating a bigger world for a series. I have a few different worlds that I create in, but I’ve stayed away from connecting everything. Some worlds don’t need to cross over!
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?-
I have too many to count. Mainly though, I have two Vella stories that are in progress, and the first book in my upcoming “Champion” series is in progress. There are countless other ideas and documents that I’ve jotted things down in for future reference, though.
What do you have coming next?
Next, I have “The Fighter” in the works! It’s a bit different from my other stories, as it isn’t paranormal or historical. I’ve gone headfirst into the world of sports for the first book in my “Champion” series!
When MMA Champion Jack Lee lands the opportunity of a lifetime, he’s ecstatic. It isn’t until he finds he’ll be working with Mallory Vincent that everything crumbles. The new identity and careful facade he’d crafted were shattered in an instant. As the past comes rushing back, he realizes that earning a second chance is going to be the biggest fight of his life.
Mallory Vincent has worked hard to put the humiliation of heartbreak behind her. After high school, she threw herself into her studies and made a name for herself with NASA, leaving Jackson Chang as a distant, painful memory. Now, in a bid to stay relevant among all the new private space travel companies, the once solo agency cooks up a publicity stunt that puts Mallory face to face once again with the boy who broke her heart all those years ago.