Where are you from? I was born in Montana, spent my high school years in South Carolina, and am currently living in Salt Lake City, UT.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? Hell School: Fresh Meat is my 6th book. I really can’t pick a favorite! That is like asking a mother to pick her favorite child! Lol, I have heard that it is a tough choice. I usually go with the most recent I’ve released because the newest child always gets the most attention for a little while.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I have always loved storytelling, but I knew I wanted to be a writer when my first grade teacher taught us the different parts of books by having us each publish our own book. I still have that book today. Awesome! Teachers are always great inspiration.
What are your current projects? I am working on the second book in the Hunters series which should be out in the summer, the third book in the Clear Angel Chronicles which should come out toward the end of this year, beginning of next year, and of course the second book in the Hell School series which will come out next year. Mark your calendars everyone!
What books have most influenced your life? Oh goodness, there are so many… Les Miserable was the beginning of seeing the world in shades of gray instead of black and white. Eye of the Hunter made me fall in love with Fantasy and explore new realms. Great Expectations taught me the kind of writer I didn’t want to be. Everything by Poe taught me that I have a dark heart. I could keep going. I try to learn something about myself from every book I read.
What inspired you to write your first book? Elements of a Broken Mind, the first book in the Clear Angel Chronicles was actually inspired by my mom. She was really into Ghost Whisperer and it was something we watched together. I dreamed of Clear one night after we binge watched Ghost Whisperer. Sounds mystifying!
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? The Hell School Series is a cautionary tale about stalking.
What was the hardest part of writing your book? The series is based on my experience with a stalker. It has been ten years in the making. Every time I tried to write the series in the past the trauma was still too fresh and I couldn’t handle it. Once I got to the point where I could start writing it, I struggled with balancing fact and fiction. That’s horrible that you were stalked, but I am glad you have been able to take something good from it and are able to do so now.
What book are you reading now? Realms Unreel by Audrey Auden
Do you ever experience writer’s block? Not in the traditional sense. I never have problems writing, but sometimes I have to set one project aside because another project is demanding my attention. I can be so fracking frustrating!
What is one random thing about you? I am a lexicomaniac, meaning I am obsessed with words, learning their origins, how the meanings have changed through history, and learning new words. I do a word of the day just for me. I tried to share it with my kids but they got bored. Apparently they didn’t get my Lexicomanic gene. Interesting, I have the same gene, only with names.
What is your preferred medium of writing? I love pretty much any medium from blogging to poetry and short stories, but novels hold a special place in my heart. All the months that go into world building, character development, crafting the message… It is exhilarating and to have a tangible paperback at the end gives me chills every.single.time!
What does your writing process look like? It varies from story to story, and depending on the medium. I tend to be a planner though. I always at least have a beginning, middle and end before I sit down to write anything.
Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? I plot scenes while doing other things like driving, working out, cleaning house. My family has gotten used to walking in to me talking to myself! 🙂
How important are names to you in your books? So important that I passed up a publishing contract because he wanted me to change the main characters name. Shakespeare was wrong, there is a lot in a name! Totally agree! Would Romeo and Juliet be as beloved if their names were Roger and Jan? I think not.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? I absolutely read every review and I do respond in appropriate settings (like Goodreads or on a blog post). I love reviews (good or bad) because they help me become a better writer. I thank every reviewer even if they absolutely hated the book, because it took them time to read and write a review. Fortunately, I have never received a review that was a personal attack on me. I am not sure what I would do in that situation. Probably not respond.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Balance. If I could, I would write 10 + hours a day. Often my husband has to remind me to eat or go to bed because I get so into what I am doing that I forget.
Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?
I tried PPC advertising for about six months. Don’t think I will do that again any time soon. I try to keep my books pretty low priced, so the number of sales I got didn’t cover the cost of advertising. It was very disappointing.
What is your favorite motivational phrase? Lol, I have so many! You should see my twitter feed. Um… just one…. “Think before you speak. Read before you think.” ― Fran Lebowitz. Wise words.
What is your favorite book and why? I really can’t pick just one. I keep trying, but I fail every time. I will describe my favorite types of books, though. I read across many genres, both fiction and nonfiction. I like a read that challenges me to see the world differently. A book that requires me to think beyond my own preconceived notions and that expands my views. Surprisingly, you find that more in fiction than in nonfiction.
What is your favorite quote? Oh goodness…. Again, so very many! Let’s go with “Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” —The Princess Bride
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? Cheeky answer, but the ones I write, because they are a reflection of all I have learned, of the views and perspectives and lenses other books have given me to look through. Yet they are uniquely mine and I love them!
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write from your heart. Write from your soul. Forget about “what will sell well.” The great writers didn’t become great because they wrote dime store fluff. They became great because they gave a piece of themselves to their readers.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Read… and swimming, camping, hiking, dancing, binge watching movies and tv shows with the family. But mostly, read!
How can readers discover more about you and you work? Visit my website. I have a blog, and sections for each series, I post events and if there is something you want to know, but don’t see then feel free to drop me a line. I love to hear from you!