What inspires you to write?
Reading a really good book, hearing something funny my husband says, waking up from a great dream. I like being outside, and a lot of times when I’m walking, I get my ideas.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m a mixed bag of outlining and going wherever the characters take me. I typically do character sketches for everyone so that I know the character and her mind really well. The story, however, is a different, well, story. I let that go wherever it wants. Stories have taken turns that never entered my mind until I was writing it down. Stories have ended very differently than the rough plan I had in mind. I guess I write the same way most people live life. You can know yourself and your character really well, and you can have a vague idea of where your story will take you, but you never really know what will change along the way.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t really talk to them, but I guess you could say I listen to them. I dream about them. I do what they want. I have an idea of what they want, but sometimes they tell me differently. I don’t always think their ideas are the best plans, and sometimes I feel like I know better than them, but it’s what they want. So I listen to them and give them what they want, whatever the consequence may be. I had a very different ending in mind for my current book, Summer Unbroken. But it wasn’t what she needed. She needed a different ending. So I gave it to her. And I completely understand how crazy this sounds.
What advice would you give other writers?
I had trouble calling myself a writer. I never felt like one. Especially because I’m self-published, and there is still occasionally a weird stigma attached to self-publishing. So when someone asks what you do for a living, call yourself a writer. Even if you don’t feel like you are one (and even if you also have two other jobs). You are a writer. Own it just as much as you would any career. Because owning it will make writing so much easier.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I wanted the fairy tale ending of traditional publishing. I didn’t get it. Rejection. Over and over. Life happened. I needed to make a change. I tried self-publishing. It worked for me. It is crazy hard work, but I’m happy. I would advise new authors to explore every avenue of publishing. Life is way more fun when we are exploring and not stuck in some idea what “the right way” really is.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I love the future of book publishing. I love how inclusive publishing is now. I have discovered so many amazing self-published books. I’m really optimistic about the changes in publishing and the avenues available to new authors.
What genres do you write?: I write both adult and young adult fiction. Coming-of-age is my jam.
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
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