How many books have you written? Many throughout my youth just for fun, but Dust is my first published.
Which is your favorite? Definitely Dust.
The first one is always special to us.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I think it’s always been there. I can remember my parents telling me how I would write plays and stories with a vocabulary my spelling hadn’t yet caught up with.
What are your current projects? School for right now, but I have a few books on the backburner that I need to pick up. The most urgent being the follow up to Dust.
What books have most influenced your life? There haven’t been many that were earth shattering for me, but there are a few that have made me truly appreciate the craft of writing such as Rumo and His Miraculous Adventures, Jane Eyre, and anything by Zane Grey. I have learned much about my own craft as a writer from these books such as how to break the rules, building strong characters, and paying close attention to the landscape.
These sound worth a look, I can’t say that I’ve heard of them. Except Jane Eyre and Dust of course.
What inspired you to write your first book? It’s just something I’ve always done. Being published was a lifelong goal.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? There are quite a few, actually, but the most important being that we were never meant to be just one thing in our lifetime – chase dreams and explore your inner self. Go to school for the subject you’re interested in, not because it’ll make you money… with the way today’s economy is, whether you get a business or art degree you’ll still probably end up working at Starbucks. So do what you love and never waiver.
Beautiful message, one that needs to be stressed more often.
What was the hardest part of writing your book? Forgiving myself for not writing gobs of words every day. Some days only one sentence comes out and others are 5000 word days. It evens out in the end and so long as you are moving forward, you’re making progress.
What book are you reading now? I have my nose in a few books (mostly textbooks for school). When I do find leisure reading time, though, I spend it with my current fiction by Elizabeth Wein, Rose Under Fire.
Do you ever experience writer’s block? All the time and anyone who says they don’t is lying or not trying to write anything worth reading. Some days are better than others and I can usually cure it by working on a different story in a different genre with completely a different plot. While writing Dust I also wrote a story about the shipwreck of an old luxury cruise ship turned economy cruiser in the early 1920s.
Sounds interesting as well!
What is one random thing about you? I don’t have a sense of smell.
What is your preferred medium of writing? Typing because my fingers can keep up with my brain much faster than I can when I’m writing.
Cool. I have to say that you are the first author to answer this question in the manner I was looking for. 🙂
What does your writing process look like? Experience plays a huge part in my writing process. There are just some things you need to see, feel, do for yourself before you can write about them. Most recently, I went to a cattle branding on a ranch as way of research. Either during or after experiencing something I’ll write it down, take notes, jot down any inspirational quotes that come my way.
Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? Not that I’m aware of. Most of the time I have to turn off my wifi so that I don’t get distracted by the internet, but that’s about it.
How important are names to you in your books? Fairly important. I like to take at least a little time researching certain names and making sure their meaning fits the character, but I don’t hinge everything on that. There are names that just fit.
I agree, sometimes a name can mean everything and sometimes it is jut a gut feeling.
Do you read your reviews? Absolutely. I want to see what people like and didn’t like about the work and if it holds merit, do something about it in my writing.
Do you respond to them, good or bad? If I catch someone on social media or their website reviewing my work I’ll swing by and say “Thank you” no matter how flattering the review is, however, I don’t respond to Amazon reviews because it would just take too much time.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? My biggest weakness in writing is the ability to write honestly and authentically. The idea of being vulnerable on paper for others to read is terrifying, but absolutely necessary. Then, too, there are times when I worry I will sound too pretentious or too big for my britches; that people will say something like “who does she thinks she is? She isn’t Hemmingway…” It’s a big challenge, but I’m working on it. Dust has been a great exercise in writing authentically for me and I’ve grown a lot because of it.
Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? I’m still pretty early in the game so I haven’t seen the true ramifications of my marketing actions. My online release party was a hit, though, so I’m quite proud of that.
What is your favorite motivational phrase? “What if I fall? Oh but my darling, what if you fly?” – Erin Hanson
What is your favorite book and why? Hands down, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Just stunning.
What is your favorite quote? I really don’t have one. Every now and then I will come across a sentence I wish I had written, but nothing quickly comes to mind.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? Definitely Jane Eyre. I love the building of the story, the strength of Jane’s character, and trials she endures. It’s a beautiful story.
Do you have any advice for other writers? Do your thang, baby! Write honestly and authentically rather than conforming to the rules of a style, theme, or genre. Your authenticity is what will make your work stand out from others.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Read, binge watch British television shows on Netflix, travel, and go out to eat!
How can readers discover more about you and you work? I have a fairly active social media suite and I update my website daily. You can find me here:
PICK UP YOUR COPY OF DUST TODAY!