1) When did you first discover you have a passion for writing? What was your first writing adventure?
I was pretty young when I discovered my love for writing. I wrote a lot of silly stories and bad poetry. When I was twelve or thirteen, we had to write a “book” that would be bound and placed in a makeshift library for our classmates to read. I attempted to write a fantasy. It didn’t go well, but it was the first real story I ever wrote.
2) What inspires you to write? Do you have any techniques, rituals, or anything that helps you get going again when you’re stuck?
Reading good books, listening to music, and looking at pretty pictures all inspire me to write. Doing these things can usually help me get unstuck, too.
3) What advice would you give to writers who are new to the craft? And if you could get a message to your younger writing self, what would you say?
Be patient and understand that good writing takes time. You can’t expect your first draft to be an award-winning bestseller. It just doesn’t work that way for most people. If I could get a message to my younger writing self it would be to read more. A lot more!
4) You have a gift for world-building…what does your method look like for creating such distinct and fascinating worlds, generally speaking?
Thanks! I usually start by sketching out some rough ideas, then I do some research to fine tune them. After that, I let the ideas take shape and evolve naturally as I write the story. Sometimes I have to stop and flesh things out a bit more to get everything right.
5) Tell me the best thing about being a writer…and the worst.
The best thing for me is when someone enjoys my story. The worst thing is when I realize something has to happen in my story that I don’t want to happen.
6) How do you come up with character names? Random choice…or do they have deep meaning?
Sometimes they just come to me. Other times I’ll search through lists on baby name and surname web sites until something jumps out at me. I’ll usually make a list of contenders and narrow down from there. I don’t usually choose names that have meaning unless the story calls for it.
7) What are your most difficult scenes to write?
Sad scenes are hard for me. My protagonists are my literary daughters, so my heart breaks for them when they’re in pain, especially when they lose someone or have to part ways with someone they love.
8) If you had to choose a dream career other than writing, what would it be?
I studied geology for a while in college, so I think I’d probably do that or maybe be an archaeologist.
9) What does success as a writer look like to you?
I’m not interested in numbers, fame, fortune, popularity, etc. Just being able to get a story out of my head and share it with others is success enough for me.
10) How do you take your coffee? 😊☕
Two packets of stevia and a couple tablespoons of half and half. And, for a treat, a shot of Bailey’s or Kahlua and some Reddi-wip. Yum!