For someone who loves to write, I never really know what to say about myself. I’ve lived a fairly “normal” American life, and I’ve been writing for about as long as I can remember. I started with stories about the origins of camels’ humps and strange planets one could only travel to while riding a flying cat, and now I keep a blog of randomness and have published my first book, which though it is a fiction tale, is quite based off my own middle school experiences.
Inspired by my own ninth grade English teacher (the one who discovered that my love for writing might actually be a hidden talent), I too became a high school English teacher, a chapter in my life I very recently closed. I am blessed with an amazingly supportive husband and two beautiful and hilarious Australian shepherds. I have a love of good literature and words and a hatred of human trafficking. I hope to continue writing fun fiction, but I would also love to put my talent to use to help battle modern day slavery. Other than that, I enjoy running, or rather the benefits of running, and long walks on the beach (cliche added on purpose). Seriously, I do live in Florida, but a part of me always considers Virginia, where I spent middle school through college, as my home.
What inspires you to write?
I don’t think there is any one specific thing that inspires me to write. It’s just part of who I am. It’s how I express myself, how I create art, how I work through my feelings, and how I share myself with others. I’ve had a love of writing since I remember learning how.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m all over the place in my writing process. People who know me tend to see me as an extremely structured person, but when it comes to writing, it depends on what I’m writing. Some writing requires structure and outlining, but I don’t do that as much with my fiction because I don’t want to miss an opportunity in my plot or character development because I added or skipped a bullet point. In fact, I really do more of a brainstorm of plot and write out some loose bullet point notes to follow, knowing I will get lost and sidetracked along the way, and I welcome it. Spontaneity keeps my writing fresh and I love it when I surprise myself. That being said, I have to gauge where I am and where I am headed quite often so I don’t get completely lost.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
While I am writing, I tend to be hanging out with my dogs and my characters, so yes, I do talk to them (and my dogs). I don’t generally have a full conversation or anything but I like to speak words of encouragement to them, or tell them when they’re acting stupid (again, this is also sometimes true of my interactions with my dogs). When I’m writing, I’m in my characters’ world, so I fee it is quite appropriate to at least strike up some chit-char with them. After all, it can get rather lonely.
What advice would you give other writers?
I don’t have a long list of sage advice, just the one thing I often tell and remind myself: “You’re a writer when you write even if you’re not sure anyone is reading it, because it’s who you are.” -me
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Curiosity, impatience, and control are the reasons I decided to self-publish. It seems the publishing world is changing rapidly, and it seemed like the process to get an agent could take a few years. Then we’d still have to get the book picked up by a publishing house. Then I would have limited rights to my own creation, blah, blah, blah, so I looked into the growing world of self-publishing and ebooks. Without much of an understanding of what I was doing, I launched my book first on Kindle as an ebook. I just wanted to see what would happen, see it happen soon, and have control over my art. Technology is a marvelous thing and the popularity of ebooks is growing, but I’m also a bit old fashioned and wanted to see and smell (yes, I love the smell of a new book, and old ones for that matter) my book in print, so I also launched it as a print on demand book with Create Space, also sold through Amazon. The difficult part is learning how to self promote because it doesn’t matter how awesome your book is if nobody knows it exists. I’m just now learning about various networks for the self-published author.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It’s hard to say what the future is in book publishing because technology is constantly causing ebooks to gain a foothold, but many bibliophiles scorn this new medium, and I think some always will. However, one cannot deny that ebook sales increase each year and that this means self-publishing is also increasing because it’s often free and faster. Although I went the self-publishing route myself, I do fear this means the overall quality of books may be diminishing and while those of quality will likely still prevail over those that are not, the quantity is also increasing, and quality books may be getting lost and overlooked in a sea of mediocrity. Either way, the big publishing houses do not wield the same power anymore.
What genres do you write?
Young Adult Fiction
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print