1. Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing?
Believe it or not, I hated writing growing up. I did win a few writing contests in grade school and was the only one from my grade sent to a district writing conference, but I never really enjoyed it because I felt like I was being forced to do it. It wasn’t until I started writing in a journal regularly in high school that I discovered that putting my thoughts on paper could be fun and therapeutic. But again, it took me another seven years after I graduated from college to consider writing a novel. I think it was my teen students that inspired me to write something they could one day read.
How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?
I participate in NaNoWriMo each year. It's National Novel Writing Month and you set a goal with thousands of other people to complete 50,000 words of a new novel. It’s hard to get around 1700 words a day for 30 days straight but I love how it pushes me to complete a novel.
3. How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?
I write everywhere! Some people don’t believe me when I tell them I wrote over half of my last book on my iphone. I have a blue tooth keyboard and even use the dictation software on my phone to write. I’ve found that if I use my time that could have been wasted just sitting and waiting, I get a lot done. When I’m not writing on my phone, I have a laptop that is well-loved (i.e. super old) that I use in my home office. I’ve also been known to go to the local library or coffee shop when I don’t want interruptions.
4. What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?
My favorite part of writing is living in a new world with characters I create. I love to write a new character and have them take on a life of their own. Because I’m a voracious reader too, I enjoy discussing my books with others and talking about the books like the characters are real people.
As for what I hate, I don’t like that I don’t have more time to write.
5. How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?
My first book, Remembrandt, came to be because I’ve always loved the idea of espionage. Honestly, if I would have been gifted enough with foreign languages, I would have tried to join the CIA. Instead I write about a teen spy who uses her eidetic memory to solve crimes and rescue stolen pieces of artwork.
Remembrandt took me about six months to write and then another six months to revise. It was another 18 months before I found a publisher and another six months for it to be published. I wrote it in 2012 and have since completed four other novels and am halfway through a fifth one.
6. What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?
Teaching and talking about writing is my passion. I go to schools to discuss writing and being an author. I also use social media and my website to keep people up to date on what I’m doing. I try and attend 2-3 writing conferences a year and do book signings to get the word out. I wish I had time to do more.
7. What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?
The final book in the Remembrandt series will be released November 2016 (Book 2 was entitled Van Gogh Gone). The title is Memory of Monet. It is suspenseful ending to the complicated life of teen spy, Alexandra.
8. Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.
I started an epic fantasy novel last year that I’m only about 50,000 words into and I’m absolutely in love with the story and characters. I’d love to finish it and get it into the hands of readers too.
9. What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?
Anyone can write a story and everyone has some talent that can make their writing unique. I think the best place to start is to find the story you are passionate about and get it on paper. Attend some writing conferences to better your craft and meet people that are in the same boat as you. Form a writing group to help push and support you.
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A Question for me:
What makes your book different from others I have read?
Because I have published 10, the answer would vary depending on the book. But let's take my mystery series. They are typical who-done-it, but are without the bad language and scenes you wouldn't want your son or daughter reading. The main character, Susan, is middle aged, and sort of drops into her new role as detective - so you can imagine the things that she bungles. All of my books have an egg theme, and this egg theme, relates to the book titles.