1. How do you come up with the ideas for your books?
Honestly, it varies. Sometimes I come up with the plot first; sometimes it’s a character speaking to me, and sometimes it’s a scene. REAPER was a what if question: What if Miss Popular suddenly learned she would become a grim reaper? For “The 13th Month”, I was given the theme of ONE MORE DAY. The story really developed out of the character and his reaction to the theme. PIXELATED starts with a scene from my own experience in high school.
2. What is one of the best pieces of advise that you have ever gotten about your writing?
Don’t stop. My critique group helps keep me motivated when I’m feeling down, and they always remind me that I won’t get anywhere if I give up.
3.When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I knew in high school, but I didn’t know what I wanted to write until much later. I think that’s one of the biggest problems facing authors. I’d always thought I’d write literary fiction, but nothing I wrote even came close. Once I discovered YA, that was it. I’d found my calling.
4. What is the first book you remember falling in love with?
POKEY LITTLE PUPPY. J I still love that book. SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut is the book that inspired me to be a writer, but RATS SAW GOD by Rob Thomas is the book that put me on the right path.
5. Can you tell us something about your latest writing project?
I’m revising a new adult novel currently titled FULL COUNT, about a college baseball player who suffers a serious injury and makes some poor life choices afterwards. I’ve got another manuscript to revise after FULL COUNT and three other projects in the early development stages.
6. Do you have any hidden or not so hidden talents you could share with us?
LOL. No, I’m afraid I don’t.
7. How do you handle writer’s block?
I don’t believe in writer’s block. If you’re stuck on a project, something isn’t working or you’re not ready to work on it. Work on to something else or freewrite for a while. Just keep writing.
8. What are a few of the most challenging and rewarding things about writing?
The most challenging is time. Since I work full-time and have a young daughter, my writing time is very limited. The most rewarding is standing in front of a group of students who love to read and talking books with them. I love school visits.
9. Where is your favorite place to read?
Anywhere! But I have a big red chair with an ottoman where I sit. In the winter, it’s the best because it’s right by the fireplace.
10. I like to do a short word association game at the end of interviews. I will start the sentence and you finish it!
(A) The funniest person in the entire world is… my husband. But don’t tell him that. It’ll only inflate his ego.
(B) I never leave home without… my cell phone.
(C) Some day I will learn how to… relax. J
(D) I always go back for seconds when I am eating… chips and salsa.
(E) I can always depend on my best friend for… talking me off the ledge. My friend Ella Martin tends to know when I’m stressing out and sends a timely text to calm me down. Works every time.
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