When did you start writing?
Honestly, I can’t even remember. If I had to guess, I’d say around third grade. I had a creative writing class and we had a notebook we wrote stories in, and even made illustrations. My pictures were hilarious. While I can write, I certainly can NOT draw. My husband actually says everything I draw looks like a horse! I filled the notebook with stories about witches, aliens, snowmen, and thunderstorms. In about sixth grade, I started with poetry. It’s always been a part of me, although I lost the spark for quite some time. In about 2012, it hit me again after probably a ten-year hiatus at least.
Are you a pantser or a planner?
Total pantser. My book Pieces of it All started as an erotic romance thriller. It is now a New Adult Contemporary Romance. I wrote three drafts, and of the three, two were completely different. I like to just write and see where the story and characters take me. However, for my next book, I am trying something new. I recently learned about “beats.” Basically, I am writing a few sentences about each chapter. When it comes time to sit down and write, I’ll expand on that. I’ve heard it described as “Story planning for pantsers.” An outline, without REALLY outlining.
Can you give us an idea of your writing process?
I don’t think I have an actual process. Just write. It’s that simple. I don’t set aside specific time or anything. I do, however, try to write every day. National Novel Writing Month is great for me to just get words on paper, and then I typically rewrite the draft as an entirely new book. I guess NaNoWriMo is an extended outline for me.
Which authors have influenced your work?
This is always difficult for me to answer. I think it changes. James Patterson has always been a favorite. My pacing and desire to keep chapters short comes from him, I think, along with R.L. Stine, who I read a ton of in middle school. I read from many genres, and I pick up things from each book I read, good and bad, to utilize in my own way. I learn what to do and what not to do! My favorite authors are James Patterson, Jodi Picoult, S.J. Pajonas, Gillian Flynn, and Anna Dewdney (if children’s authors count in this!). As you can see, thrillers, science-fiction, drama – I enjoy it all.
What are you plans/future projects/new releases that we should be aware of?
My book, Pieces of it All, released on May 9th, and is available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks. The paperback is available through Amazon as well. It is a New Adult Contemporary Romance about finding yourself and putting together the pieces that make you who you are.
The next project I am working on will translate into either another New Adult Contemporary Romance, or a chick lit. The voice will be defined in the second or third draft. I’ve had fun researching it, and it focuses around a hobby many people have. The project I plan on after that already has a first draft, and is a paranormal romance. I don’t have any dates to give you on these – sorry!
Any tips for new writers?
Write. Write crap. Write more crap. Vomit crap all over the page. Revision time is for grabbing that towel, scrubbing out the vomit and making it shine. I’d hate to share with you my first draft of Pieces of it All. If I hadn’t written it, though, I probably never would have gotten it where it is today. It is important to remember that the first draft is for you, and you alone. No one BUT you is reading it, so just write it, let your guard down, get it on paper.
Any tips for old writers?
Hm, that’s a toughie. Just keep writing, I guess 🙂
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