Q: Where are you from?
A: I live in Kentucky, along with my husband and two daughters, with wildlife as my closest neighbors. I lived in the city for eleven years, but always missed the solitude of the country. Now, I don't have to worry about seeing a single soul unless I want to. It's great. I love being around people, but I crave the tranquility of nature. I live within forty-five minutes of two major cities, so I can experience the hustle and bustle if I want to, but I am happiest with a deck, a cold drink, and acres of woods.
Q: Do you recall how you became interested in writing?
A: I don't think there was any one moment in which I suddenly decided to become a writer. I have always loved to read and developed a love of writing through my love of reading. My creative side has never been fully satisfied with reading only what others wrote, but it took a long time to overcome my own fears and self-esteem issues to dive into the writing pool.
Q: Do you see writing as a career?
A: Yes and no. I would love for writing to be my full-time career. I become so immersed in the characters and the world that I'm creating that it consumes both my waking and sleeping hours. Because I become so obsessed with a project that I'm working on to the exclusion of almost everything else, I'm not sure writing full-time would be healthy for me, but I would certainly like to try.
Q: Do you have a specific writing style?
A: No. Writing is as dynamic as the topics and characters being written about; both are ever-changing. I feel that my writing style must grow and change to accommodate the characters demanding I tell their story. People are different, characters are different, and I feel that in order to do them justice, my writing style must be different, too.
Q: What is your work schedule when writing?
A: I'm not much of a morning person, so I tend to write more in the afternoon and evening. I usually get the kids off to school, eat breakfast, have coffee, then waste some time checking on emails and Facebook. I'm also a game junkie, so playing some of the mindless games online is a great way to reset before I start writing. What I have found is that I can't force the words. They come to me in their own sweet time and trying to force them results in crap that I have to send to the trash bin. Because I am more of a night owl, sometimes I will work until ten or eleven at night, then read for a couple of hours before going to bed. I tend to work out plots and scenes in my head long before I write anything down, so when I do sit down to write I tend to become so focused that I forget to eat for hours at a time.
Q: What is the most challenging aspect of writing?
A: Finding the time to write. I have two kids that are very involved and I am on the go from 6:00 in the morning until 7:30 or 8:00 at night. Once I begin writing, I have to schedule time to write, which, depending on my muse, may not always work out. Weekends, holidays, and school breaks are the best, but my family comes first.
Q: What inspired you to write your first book?
A: I don't know if it was inspiration per se, but more of a compelling need to tell this story. I had this one scene in my head that wouldn't leave me alone until I got it on paper. Then that one scene morphed into two more scenes and then it just kind of snow-balled. By the end, I could easily write between a thousand and three thousand words in a session, sometimes more.
Q: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
A: I have learned so many surprising things, it's hard to nail down just one. I was surprised that writing was something I loved. I had forgotten that, prior to my career as a teacher, I loved to create stories. I became so immersed in teaching high school and college kids how to compose an essay using correct grammar that I forgot that educational writing wasn't something I loved. My degree is in English with an emphasis in professional and technical writing. Basically, I went to school to be an editor of books, but I felt called to share my love of reading and literature to the next generation. For thirteen years, that's exactly what I did. Then, the insanity that is the educational system outweighed my desire to pass on my knowledge.
I also discovered that I could become obsessed about the process of writing. I loved working out the kinks in my book and discussing plot points and character quirks and the list goes on. So far, the only thing I haven't been surprised by is how little time I have to spend doing it.
Q: What do you do when not writing?
A: I'm pretty sure I've answered this throughout the other questions, but basically, my time belongs mainly to my family. Both of my daughters are pretty busy, but my oldest is a singer, an academic, and an athlete. My youngest is a singer, an academic, and an athlete. Between the two of them, I am run ragged, but it is with great pride that I do whatever needs to be done for both of them. They are my most precious gift and I love them more than anything in the world, so any sacrifice I make for them is done with joy, even if I gripe about not having any time to get things done.
What time I do have (mainly in the evenings) is spent reading or occasionally watching a movie with the family. I love to sing with my girls and sometimes I dabble in painting, but if I have a weekend evening free, I love to have date night with my amazing, wonderful, understanding husband.
Q: What does your family think?
A: They are so proud. A little shocked, too. I kind of didn't tell them I was writing anything for quite some time. I was about halfway finished with the book before they even knew what was going on. My husband works with a lot of women, so he immediately told all of them and then my oldest daughter told all of her friends and then my sister found out...basically, my family can't keep a secret. I so glad I have a such a great family. They have been beyond supportive and understanding, especially when I have a deadline and can't clean the house.
Q: Who is your favorite writer and why?
A: I truly cannot pick just one. I have different favorites for different genres. I love Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I am slightly crazy about Odd Thomas. I love JR Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Kresley Cole. I am a Brotherhood, Dark Hunter, and Immortals After Dark groupie/stalker. I must have everything they write...immediately upon its release. I love Rhys Ford and Donya Lynne and and A.E. Via and SE Jakes and so many others that I can't list them all. As for why I love them, mainly, it's because they create characters that aren't perfect. I love that they are flawed. To me, those flaws make them real to me. No one comes through life with scars and those scars makes them both stronger and gives them a vulnerability that shows their humanity. It also allows us as readers to identify with them in some way. The grittiness and all-encompassing development that each of the writers adds to their stories helps create a world that we can live and breathe in, not just see.
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