Here it is, fairly short and sweet.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I realized I wanted to be a writer when I was eight years old. But life kept me away and college and expectations meant I went into a career that drained me of all creative drive. About eight years ago I started doing Nanowrimo and it has steadily grown in my mind for the last few years until I couldn’t avoid it anymore. So here I am!
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have a few. One is that without really meaning to, I tend to address mental health in my writing. PTSD, anxiety disorders, depression…all because I myself struggle with these things as well as I have a degree in Psychology. I have some not so interesting quirks when it comes to writing like using the phrase “and with that…” I am constantly removing them from my writing because for some reason I over use it!
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
My first fully formed book in my head was when I was twelve. My first fully written book was when I was about twenty-seven years old. I have written four full books and many short stories or partially written books.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
When I am not writing I am reading, sleeping, binge watching TV/movies, spending time with my husband, our dogs or our cats. In the summer you can usually find me swimming in lakes and rivers, camping, or out in the backyard with the dogs.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
The most surprising thing, besides realizing I write about mental health, is when the plot takes a turn you don’t expect or your characters decide to do something you didn’t know about. It sounds crazy but sometimes when I’m on a roll writing, things just happen without planning or realizing it and all of a sudden there’s a scene I never expected!
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
The one I will be publishing later this year (Valdir Chronicles) is my favorite so far because it has dragons and the main character shares an anxiety disorder with me. I have written four books to date, one I may never publish (my first book) because it’s so bad but the rest I do enjoy.
Do you have any suggestions to help others become better writers?
WRITE. Every damn day. Even if it’s just a sentence. Even if it’s just a letter or an email. I can’t tell you how horrible my first book is compared to my more recent ones. Practice makes perfect so to speak, or it at least makes you better.
What do you think makes a good story?
Character development, chemistry, and plot. Those three things can save a lot. Plot can save some duller characters, and characters can sometimes save a slower plot. But if you have great world building or something and boring characters and plot, you’ll lose your reader. I have no idea if my own writing meets these qualifications, because often I am too close to the story and have trouble seeing the whole story so to speak. I just hope I can at the least entertain, and at the best, change lives.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a veterinarian or a writer as a child or make wine. I was an odd child. Then once I was in college I decided to work with people and it burned me out. So here I am, writing.
How did you come up with the idea for (title)?
So my upcoming debut release Secrets & Swords was a journey. Originally the name was Redeeming Blade but it elicited too much religious connotations with the word redeeming. So instead, I looked at popular fantasy and noticed the trend of simple title that captured the essence of the story. My book is full of lies and deception, betrayal and sword fights, murder and redemption. So my best friend and map maker came up with Secrets & Swords after I suggested Blades and Deceit. We both liked the alliteration of the two s’s. And it stuck!