Today Lovely Books Shines The Author Spotlight On…
Her days are mostly spent caring for her sons, complaining about bad drivers, drinking espresso, watching her favorite TV shows on DVD, and reading up on history.
Originally a poet from childhood through her teens and 20’s, she began writing fiction in 2011. Since she has little focus, she has and will continue to produce fiction of all sorts.
How long have you been writing? When did you decide to become an author?
I’ve been writing poetry and essays for as long as I can remember. Journalism was always fun as well, but I was awful at the reporting and interviewing aspect of it because I could never be aggressive enough. Fiction was always difficult for me to finish. I started writing my debut novel, SURREAL ECSTASY, in September 2011, and it took eight months to complete. I wasn’t thinking as far ahead as publication; I just had an idea that took off almost by itself, and I followed it. I don’t know if I had one singular moment in which I decided to become an author. Upon finishing my manuscript, I submitted it to a Seattle company, and they loved it. And then I just kept on going.
How do you find inspiration?
I really don’t. Inspiration finds me, and I follow it. Of course, I need to have an emotional connection to the main character somehow, or I won’t be able to successfully write it.
How do you go about writing a book? Do you have any schedule, tricks or tips to share?
My process is a neurotic mess. I keep a word count spreadsheet of each chapter and write each scene as inspiration finds me. I don’t write in a linear sense. At different stages of the manuscript, I’ll print out everything and read it somewhat objectively. I’m so old-school that, unless I read a hard copy that I can write all over, I won’t be able to critique it. Then I leave it alone for a while and come back a week or two later and read it again. But I don’t overdo it. I think an author has to let the inspiration speak for itself.
What kind of books do you read? Who is your favorite author?
I read works by my author friends, which are all over the map genre-wise. They are very talented and I enjoy their varied voices. I also love popular YA. I’m on book 4 in the Harry Potter series, but I haven’t touched that for a while because I’m slightly obsessed with the DIVERGENT series. In addition to watching the movie at least once a week, I’ve read the trilogy and am finishing up the book FOUR, which I’m totally thrilled with. I also love historical fiction and non-fiction history books. I really admire Jo Rowling, not only for her talent and skill but in the way she handles herself and the messages she places in her work. She has a very specific idea of who her characters are and how her fantasy world works, and she fills the reader with inspiration and fulfillment.
What are you currently working on?
I’m more than halfway done on DayDreamer 2, about 16,000 words in for Surreal 3, and assorted other projects here and there. Surreal 2, named SURREAL ENEMIES: ANGEL CITY, is going to be released soon, but we don’t have a release date yet.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I’d love to have some kind of power that would restrain people and prevent them from committing domestic abuse. Imagine these people being hoisted in the air by an unseen force or something. They wouldn’t be so tough then.
Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what kind of music?
I used to listen to dance music or ballads while writing, but not anymore. I tend to tune out the world when I’m working. Otherwise, I love country music, because it fills me with happiness.
Who is your favorite villain?
In the Divergent movie, I like Eric. He would be cute if he wasn’t such a jerk.
If you had to pick between receiving a million dollars today, or $1000 a month for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
The former, due to my impatience.
If you could take anyone out for coffee, dead, alive, or fictional, who would it be?
It would have to be Jo Rowling. I would love the opportunity to absorb just a little of her perfection.