What brought you to writing and at what age?
I began writing in 2008. At the time, I worked full time for a national non-profit when my daughter was born. Two months after she was born, I decided to become a stay-at-home-mom. That’s the year I discovered how much I enjoyed reading. I was never a huge reader in my school years, but when I read the Twilight series, I was hooked. I wrote many novellas and short-stories, and discovered that this writing thing wasn’t easy. My stories were terrible. This led to years and years of reading, learning, and writing as much as possible. In 2013, my first dystopian novel was published. In 2017, my urban fantasy books became available: Touch of Darkness (free online) & Scythe of Darkness.
What are your favourite and least favourite things about being an author?
My most favorite thing is when a reader enjoys something that I worked incredibly hard on to get out into the world. The amount of time it takes to write, edit, publish a book creates this bubble of anticipation. I hope readers become as passionate about my characters as I am. When this happens, I’m ecstatic. I also love to attend fairs and sign books.
My least favorite thing is the first draft. I write many drafts before they ever make it to the publisher, but that first draft is painful. It’s filled with clichés and lots of exposition. But every story has to begin somewhere!
Are you a planner or a pantser? Why?
I’m both. I have to create a plot so that I have a direction of where the story is headed. But as I write, new scenes emerge, characters disappear, and the ending changes.
Biggest writer pet-peeve?
When I read a story that’s filled with one event happening after another event without a good reason, it drives me nuts. This doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. I’m also not a big fan of multiple POVs. I know that many great books are written with dual POVs, but for whatever reason, I don’t like them as much.
What bit of advice do you wish you’d been given when you were first starting out?
The best advice I’d ever received is that you can’t please everyone. Critique partners are ESSENTIAL when revising a draft, but don’t just change something in your story because of one person. The second part of that advice: know who you’re getting advice from.
Are you self-taught or have you taken any writing courses or degrees?
I’m self-taught AND I attend every webinar that I come across. The more I learn, the better writer I become.
Tell us a bit about your writing process – from planning it out to your writing routines
I begin with an idea, and then I flesh out my main character. If I know what my main character’s motivations are, I have an easier time creating the plot. Afterward, I flesh out the rest of the characters. If I know my characters well enough, scenes will unfold naturally. My goal is to always write a plot-driven AND character-driven story.
Do you like writing plot or characters better?
Hmm. I love a GOOD plot with an unexpected ending. But if the characters fall flat, then nobody will much about the plot. Both are essential!
What are your favourite and least favourite things about character creation?
I’ve noticed that my drafts sometimes encompass a main character that is a woman-hater or man-hater. I also read a lot of manuscripts where this happens. I don’t know why that is. But I have to write with this in mind. If my main character doesn’t like someone, there needs to be a legitimate reason that makes sense to the reader. And if there isn’t, I change the scene. Knowing my characters as best as I can also help me from making this mistake.
Who are your top 3 favourite authors?
Patrick Ness, Holly Black, and Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic is a great book for creatives)
Do you prefer paperback or e-books?
Where can people follow you as an author and buy your books?
My books are available at various online sites. You can download one for free by visiting my website.