What’s your favorite thing to do to relax?
I typically just sit around with my laptop, watching Netflix or Hulu. I also like going to the movies with my two oldest nieces or running around like a crazy person with my three-year-old niece. Oh, and there’s floral arranging, baking, reading…
If you could go back in time to when you were seven years old, what wisdom or advice would you pass on to yourself?
When you get to high school, get off the couch. You’re gonna get fat!
For what are you grateful?
My nieces. I have three, and they give me focus when life gets crazy. It’s also awesome to get a random video chat request from the three-year-old and hear her sing the Gummy Bear song when I should be doing something productive <3
At what age were you the happiest? What triggered such joy?
Just a couple of years ago, actually. At that point, I already had all of my nieces, and Mom was still here. I’d go back to that in a heartbeat!
What is the number one lie you tell yourself? How is that working out?
You’re going to take better care of yourself. You’ll eat better. You’ll exercise. *stuffs chips in mouth*
Now about you as an author…Did anyone in your life influence you or encouraged you to be a writer?
My mom, first and foremost. Writing books was the one natural thing I can remember her saying she didn’t want me to give up on. Since she’s gone, I feel like it’s a way to honor her and keep her close. As far as writing style, I credit a lot of it to my sophomore high school English teacher, Mrs. Ball. She was thorough, but her teaching and guidance made me be a better writer.
What is your favorite aspect or writing? Your least favorite?
Favorite: Brainstorming and cover design. Least favorite: Editing.
What aspect of writing would you most like to improve on?
I used to write two or more books a year, but life has gotten more hectic. Overall, though, I’d like to improve my scheduling so that I manage at least a book every year or two!
Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?
I have to have something to drink – preferably coffee or fruit punch (or as the three-year-old calls it, “juuuuice”)
Do you have a common theme or item that appears in each of your books?
I started as a lyricist before trying to write books, and verse does pop up quite a bit in my books. I don’t go that route for every book, but it’s common enough to mention! I also prefer writing fantasy, but there are exceptions.
What have you learned the most from being in the writing business?
I guess that I can accomplish something amazing. Writing a whole book – let alone a whole series – can feel like a far reach before you start. To know that I made it happen gives me confidence and inspires me to make other things happen. It’s also taught me that you can’t put all of your eggs in one basket since I can’t quit my day job just yet! It’s hard breaking through!
Tell us about your latest release:
It’s the final book of the Division trilogy where regular humans have esssences of mythological creatures brought to life within them. The reason dates back to a long-ago war between angels and those creatures against demons. The battle led to the demons being banished, but tearing a rift between realms while they were exiled. They’re invading again, and it’s up to these teenagers to save the world. The official blurb for book three (Beyond the Hope) looks like this:
“In the aftermath of the latest battle, the stakes are higher than ever before. Time’s hardly an ally to Nicholai’s army of paranormal soldiers. The Tomes remain hidden, and the clock is ticking for the Essenced poisoned with the demon’s incurable toxin.
Beyond those worries, magic might be vanishing—a twist that could insurmountably cripple the army’s capabilities prior to the war’s conclusion.
Never has the conflict felt so desperate, with danger escalating and hope disappearing with the slow drain of the hourglass.
Will the answers surface in time, or will the band of warriors fail to prevent the ruin of the world?”
How did you decide on your story plot?
This is the final book in my very first written/completed series, originally published as The Division Chronicles. Inkspell picked the trilogy up, thus the name change! This story honestly started with mental Fanfiction for a TV series I was watching. I have a habit of adding a character into a TV show, movie, or book and altering things in my head, and AJ (the MC) came to be through that means. She sort of punched her way out of it, though, and this plot that I’m crazy-proud to have thought up developed around her.
How did you choose your characters names and location for your story?
For the Division story, location mattered greatly a number of times throughout the series. I needed a secluded area for the main setting. I needed a deep cave at one point. If I needed these things, I researched to find the right option. Other times, I’ve chosen locations just because they fit and they’re intriguing! For names, a number of things are considered. For instance, the Division trilogy has modern-day teenagers with fairly normal names, but I couldn’t name the angels in the same manner. I had to think a little more fancy for those! It comes down to what names I like or what fits each situation. For my main WIP, though, my two main characters have undergone name changes to reflect my parents: Grace and Levi (since Dad’s name was Leon).
Do you have a favorite scene? Why?
I felt like I did really well on the battle scenes for the Division story. I tried to make them thorough and specific so that readers could actually see what was unfolding, and I also tried to add in some emotional depth to the experiences. I think if any of the scenes stick out as the best, to me, they’d have to be the battle scenes. Hopefully, they feel as intense, desperate, and raw as the storyline calls for!
Do you have a character that you identify with? Who and why?
There is a Fairy-Essenced alpha who likes sparkly stuff. I relate! As a person, though, I probably relate more to McKenna, the Wood Nymph-Essenced alpha. She’s almost a wall-flower at times because she’s so down-to-basics, but there’s a lot of depth happening for those who notice. There’s probably a bit of me in a number of characters, to be honest!