Zaidi Features: Interview With "Mystical Magical Love" Author C. A. Tibbitts

1.    When did you know you wanted to be a writer? What were some of your first steps toward making your dream a reality? How would you say most of your stories are conceived? Dreams? Research? Experience?

I have always had an interest in writing, and I'm an avid reader as well! I would say I got more into it when I created a fan fic group for the original version of La Femme Nikita (Peta Wilson in lead role).  Then when I quit my paralegal job last year, I decided that giving writing a try for a living would not hurt anything.  I honestly suspected I would be the only one to read it, so I was ecstatic when others did and enjoyed it!
Stories conceived: I'm a visual person. So I find my best inspiration in choosing an actor/sports person/whatever to base my characters looks from, then go from there. I find my best inspiration hits when I wait for sleep to take me at night (I'm an insomniac).

2.    What 3 things would you like readers to know about you?

1. I try my best to make an interesting story.
2. I LOVE hearing from my readers about any story (good or bad).  Interaction is so much fun, and I have several friends that were readers first. :)
3. I know that without readers, I could not live my dream of writing. I appreciate you all so much!

3.    What role does your family play in your writing, if any? Any pets? If so, how many and what kind?

One of my husband's dreams inspired a fun addition to my alien story (Prince of Vezul: Tallen).  When he pulls off his belt and flips a button to make it morph into a motorcycle - credit to my husband!
Pets: One little spunky parakeet named Sunny.  He's my baby, and while he does not 'talk', he definitely gets his opinion across!  I frequently go over plot points out loud, and I find he makes the best comments! lol

4.    What are you doing when you’re not writing? Day job? Health concerns or caring for family?

Something to do with my books. Editing, teasers, covers, hosting Facebook parties, etc.  There is always something to do!
When I am not in front of the computer, during the summer, I swim in my pool.  Then do the usual 'wife' things: cook, clean, laundry, etc.
I lead a glamorous life. ;)

5.    Tell us about your books. Genre, titles, any favorite characters? What can we look forward to from you in the near future? WIP’s, upcoming releases?

I think my most exciting news is that my series Pepper Valley Shifters has been picked up by Booktrope!  It will be in the specialty division called "Entice" for romance and erotic works!  All books will be republished by them beginning this year!

I currently have two series:
Pepper Valley Shifters & Royalty Of Vezul
Pepper Valley Shifters is a paranormal romance and revolves around a clan of shifters in Pepper Valley, Colorado.  All with their own unique animals (aka: not all wolf shifters).
Stories include:
A Shifter Christmas
Shifted For Love
Healing A Shifter
Twice Fated Shifter
Shifter In Arms (previously Shifter Under Cover - but now also contains a prequel called Shifter in Training)
Star Crossed Shifters
Some Enchanted Shifter - is coming soon!

Royalty of Vezul is a sci-fi romantic comedy series centered on the Da'Flu family from the planet Vezul.  In book 1, Tallen visits earth in order to secure a mate.
Books include:
Prince Of Vezul: Tallen
King Of Vezul: Jaffil  - coming in December in Santa's Naughty List anthology
Prince Of Vezul: Brayden - coming sometime in 2016

I also have several short stories that were published in anthologies and are slowly being published as standalones.
Stories include:
Christmas In D.C.
Ghost Of A Chance (contained within Wickedly Exotic Spring Erotic Wonderland Box Set)
SEALed By Fate (contained within Mystical Hot Military Box Set)
Silent Melody (contained within Mystical Magical Love Box Set)

6.    Is there a common thread in your books?

For the most part, my female characters tend to be feisty, and the males alpha.  I just can't write a 'shrinking violet' who does everything their mate says!  It will never happen.  #sorrynotsorry

7.    What do you look for in a good book? In what ways would you say your books exhibit these qualities?

I want a story that is unique.  The genre can be the usual, but the story needs to be different.  Also, if it is a series, I do not want the same type of character/words/etc. from different "named" characters that are actually no different from the previous characters besides a name change. This annoys me!
Though my females are feisty, and males tend to be alphas, it is not the same story told over and over with a few varying details (names, jobs, etc.). The characters are unique, and the situations are vastly different. I want to keep the reader surprised.  I also don't believe in a ton of flowery words and useless mundane actions told out just to lengthen a story.  This is why my stories tend to be novella length, and I'm fine with that!

8.    What are some of the best social media, marketing, and publicity tips you’ve come across?

I think it's the best to try to get involved in as many different things as possible to get your name out there. Parties, blog hops, blog takeovers.  I have to be wise with money, so I limit advertising to what I think works best given the value of the ad.  Typically, Facebook ads get seen, but I do know that they greatly exaggerate how many people have seen and clicked on the links.  A great tool to get things out there also are Thunderclaps, or friends/readers sharing a teaser along with the buy links.  Don't be afraid to think outside the box! 

9.    Advice for other writers? What are some things you know now about writing and being an author that you wish someone had told you at the very beginning?

Write something YOU want to read! 
The thing I wish I had known before:  you actually have very little time devoted to writing (though you have to push it to get it done).  Marketing and other pitfalls take up a majority of your time, unless you have someone to help with these things.

10.Along that same line, what are some of your favorite resources?
Getting a PA was the best thing I've done.  Poor thing works for books, but she is passionate and a treasure, and I'd pay her a million dollars if I could!

11.What lifts your spirits when you’re discouraged?

The absolute best times are when I get a random PM from a reader about a story.  The thought that someone took their time to read anything of mine is amazing and humbling! 

12.Not limited to writing, what do you believe are some of your greatest accomplishments so far?

If I don't count writing, I think going to college in my 30s!  Graduating with a paralegal degree is something I never suspected would happen. 

13.What are your favorite foods? favorite places to go?

Favorite foods:  ANYTHING Mexican (tacos, nachos, burritos, etc.), pasta, pizza.  Let's face it - I like almost everything! ;)
Favorite places to go:  Alaska is usually my spring vacation destination (on a cruise).  I LOVE the cold, and it's so beautiful.

About C.A. Tibbitts  

C.A. Tibbitts lives in Oklahoma, USA, with her husband of 18 years and a bossy parakeet. She has a degree as a paralegal and has worked for the District Attorney's office. Before that, she worked as a travel agent.

Though she has written for years as a hobby, her first published book was in August of 2014. Best known for her Pepper Valley Shifters series, she also has had several short stories published with the Mystical Box Set Babes and in the Wickedly Exotic seasons series.

She loves to hear from her readers, and deeply appreciates honest reviews.

Thank you for joining us here today, C.A.! My favorite "La Femme Nikita" is the Peta Wilson one too :-) For more about C.A.'s Pepper Valley Shifters series, click here.