Q. How do story ideas come to you?
A. The characters come to me first. I get an idea for a character, see them in my mind’s eye, know what they’re about, understand their motivations and write a character sketch. Once I have the two main characters clear in my mind, the story clicks into place naturally.
Q. Do you outline the plot?
A. No, I simply begin writing and allow the story to unfold. Sometimes that strategy takes me on twists and turns I don’t anticipate, but that’s part of the fun of being an author. Revisions are key for me as far as making sure the plot’s pacing is well-done and that all story lines are wrapped up.
Q. What inspires you as an author?
A. People inspire me. I am a perpetual student of humanity. I enjoy meeting new people, listening to their stories, watching social interactions and being open to new points of view.
Q. What’s your typical writing day like?
A. The only thing disciplined about my day is that I write a minimum of six hours every day—even on vacation. Whether I’m splitting that up between 10AM to 2PM and then going back to it from 10PM to 1AM or working straight from 9AM to 3PM depends on what my day looks like. As a widowed mom of two active teens, freedom to be fluid around my life is the biggest advantage of being a writer.
Q. Outside of writing, what do you do for fun?
A. I like just about anything that gets me out of the house, whether it’s going to the movies, socializing with friends, heading out to a rock concert, watching my kids play sports, attending a play or cheering at a hockey game. I’m also passionate about traveling, with and without the kids.
Q. Who were the biggest influences on you as a writer?
A. I had great teachers growing up who recognized my natural passion and pushed me to challenge myself. From my high school teachers to my college professors, I consistently learned to go outside my comfort zone and never settle for mediocre. I’ll forever be grateful to them. I hope I’m passing on those lessons to my own children.
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