When did you start writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. As a young kid, I wrote rhyming verse in homemade cards. Then, I graduated to making homemade magazines and short stories. In high school, I wrote poetry, short stories, and even tried my hand at a screen play (it was truly awful!)
I left creative writing behind in college and went on to professional writing. I’ve been a copywriter, proofreader, marketing manager, and, most recently, e-learning instructional designer. About five years ago, the creative writing bug bit me again. I started writing Never Forgotten, and I’m now working on the third book in the series.
Are you a pantser or a planner?
I can’t plan. Even if I try to, my characters have other ideas. Between draft one and two of Never Forgotten, I added two characters. One who became a major character, and another who has a significant presence in book two. I occasionally draft an outline with the understanding that it’s loose and will probably change.
Can you give us an idea of your writing process?
I write when inspiration strikes. This is a bit inconvenient when it’s eleven o’clock at night, and I need to wake up at 5:30am. It also happens often when I’m driving in my car, so I repeat the thought in my mind until I’m somewhere safe where I can write it down. I think my muse has a wicked sense of humor.
Which authors have influenced your work?
My work has been influenced by my fellow writers in my writing workshop. The freedom to discuss ideas and hear their feedback while I’m drafting is invaluable. That said, character building is so important to me. When I read, I really like to know the characters. My favorite books are the ones where I cry and cheer right along with them. By the end of the story, I know them like a friend. I try to write my characters that way, too. Authors who I admire their ability to build realistic characters that you love, or love to hate, include Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Veronica Rossi, Lynn Kurland, Meg Cabot, and Sarah Dessen.
What are you plans/future projects/new releases that we should be aware of?
Never Forgotten will be released on July 1st, which also happens to be my birthday. It’s my debut novel, but the sequel, Current Impressions, should be out by the end of summer. I’m working on the third book now, so I don’t have a release date for that one yet.
Any tips for new writers?
Keep writing and keep reading! The more you do it, the better you get. I also find it helpful to seek out other writers or a writing class or workshop. You can learn from each other, and you’ll get invaluable feedback.
Any tips for old writers?
Don’t get too big for your fans or make promises you can’t keep. I’ve written to a few established authors who claim they always respond to fans – only to never hear from them. Nothing is more disappointing to a fan. Either do as you say, or change your message.
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