Q – What was the first book you wrote? Published?
A – The first book I ever wrote was a YA paranormal called Freakshow. Let’s just say, it will NEVER see the light of day. Some day I’d love to go back and turn it into an intense adult horror, but today is not that day. My first published book was actually the third I’ve ever written. Haven was published earlier this year.
Q – Which author do you most look up to?
A – For publishing career, I’d have to say Lindsay Buroker, who’s done a kick ass job self-publishing MANY novels. For story structure/creativity/plot/etc, I love Susan Dennard, Robin LaFevers, Daniel H. Wilson, Stephen King and Kristin Cashore (and also Lindsay to be real here).
Q – What is your ultimate goal as an author?
A – Ultimately I’d love to make a living as an author, not anything crazy, just enough to support myself and my family. I also want to spread a message of female empowerment in literature, so I’d love for that to come across as well.
Q – Which of your characters do you most connect with?
A – I connect with different little bits of my character, so I don’t really identify with them all as a whole. For example, using Haven characters, I connect with Malka’s introverted nature, Blythe’s occasionally explosion temper, Lareina’s deep love for her friends, and Haven’s fierce determination.
Q – What is your favorite genre to read? Why?
A – Definitely fantasy, because fantasy can literally mean so many different things! You can read an epic fantasy, a modern one, one set in a steampunk world, etc.
Q – What is the most challenging part of your writing process?
A – Weirdly enough, writing the actual books. I overthink a lot and sometimes keep myself from just writing the dang book.
Q – What is your writing process like? Do you have a writing routine that you follow?
A – Typically I have an idea, marinate on it potentially for a year or two (or more). In that time I come up with a list of ideas, potential plot points, characters, etc. Once I have a general story in mind, I outline like a crazy person. My timelines can be anywhere from 10-20 pages, and I think my longest was over 12,000 words. Yep, I like to plan.
Once I’m happy with the timeline (which usually takes awhile), I’ll get to writing, depending if I’m working on any other projects at the time. Writing can take anywhere from 2 months to over a year. I’m starting to get much quicker though! Once all the fun writing is done, I go over the book myself for a few rounds of self-edits. Then depending on the project, I’ll send the book to my beta readers or critique partners. More rounds of edits. Time in between. More editing. Proofreading. More time. And usually more editing. There is a LOT of editing, let me tell yah.
Q – Do you have any go-to snacks while writing?
A – Not particularly, I just drink a ton of coffee.
Q – What is your all-time favorite novel to read?
A – Watership Down by Richard Adams
Q – What do you consider your greatest strength as an author?
A – My strong female characters. I never write a book without them!
Q – What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
A – Every story has been told; don’t worry if you think your plot is too close to another. Chances are it already exists.
Q – If you could have a literary tea party with five of your favorite characters and five of your favorite authors, alive or dead, who would they be?
A – Wow, you guys really like to ask the tough questions don’t you! I’d have to say, Lindsay Buroker, Stephen King, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and Kristin Cashore. Amaranthe (Emperor’s Edge), Ismae (Grave Mercy), Aragorn (LoTR), Jon Snow (GoT) and Daenerys (also GoT).
Q – What’s the best thing about being a writer?
A – Having crazy stories in your head all the time. Seriously, if you’re not a writer, you don’t know what you’re missing.
Q – If you could co-write a novel with any other author in the world, alive or dead, who would it be?
A – Another ridiculously tough question! Probably Stephen King or George R.R. Martin, though I’d be intimidated beyond belief.
Q – If you couldn’t be an author, what would be your next choice for a dream job?
A – Youtuber, gamer or professional Netflix-watcher.
Q – How long does it usually take you to write a book from plotting to publishing?
A – Since I’ve only published one book, I’d say about four years. I’m sure this will go down drastically when I have more work ready.
Q – What is the weirdest thing you had to research for one of your novels?
A – Probably cloning. I haven’t actually had to research much, strangely enough.
Q – What is your favorite place to write?
A – My desk, butt in chair. I find it hard to get any work done elsewhere.
Q – Tell us something fun about yourself, completely unrelated to writing!
A – I moved to Charlottetown, PEI for 2 years where I studied and received my diploma in Photography. I’ve also travelled to Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales and Cuba. I hope that’s interesting enough!