What’s your favorite meal?
Sushi. Anything sushi…. drats, now I want some!
What movie do you love to watch?
Pride & Prejudice or the newer Alice and Wonderland. I could watch those movies over, and over, and over. In fact, I used to fall asleep to Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter. Don’t ask me why that worked, but it just did. And Pride and Prejudice? Doesn’t matter which version it is, I’ll watch it. There’s something divine about that story – especially Mr. Darcy!
What’s your most embarrassing moment of your life?
I don’t really get embarrassed… I find the things in life that might embarrass are much better off as laughing material. You can’t take yourself too seriously, you know? But, the stupidest and funniest thing I’ve ever done is when I asked a celebrity how to spell their name. Why, you might ask? Well, I was so “in the zone” that I didn’t realize who I was talking to until they started to (shocked and stunned) spell their oh-so-simple-and-well-known last name. My entire office got a laugh and, after I facepalmed myself to death, I did too.
What’s your next project?
I am finishing off the Dragonics & Runics series with the third and fourth installment and then I will be releasing a dark retelling of the Little Mermaid as well as – at my readers’ request – a prequel to the Dragonics & Runics series. After that, I have quite a few story ideas laying about. Which one I’ll choose, I haven’t decided.
How long have you been writing?
So, it might sound a bit cliche, but I’ve been writing since before I could write sentences properly. I even have my first “story” saved thanks to my pack-rat mother (I say that with absolute adoration). It had two almost-sentences and lots of horribly drawn animals. It was about a giraffe — although it could’ve been a horse…
When did you first know you could be a writer?
I’ve been writing and sharing stories all my life, but I never thought, “This is your calling!” until my undergrad English professor pulled me aside and threatened to fail me if I didn’t change majors. I was a history/international relations double major at the time, and I was just taking that English class on creative writing to pass requirements. I never thought it would turn into anything more. But, she threatened me (I know she wasn’t serious) and she got her point across. I don’t think I’d have had the inkling to switch majors without that graceful shove.
What inspires you to write and why?
It sounds silly to say everything, but I find inspiration everywhere. I find it in the child playing in the cart at the Target checkout line; in the homeless man by the downtown L.A. train station; in the gusts of wind rustling the old oaks on the mountains; and in the playfulness of two idiot dogs running amuck. Anything that inspires can make me write that idea down, and eventually, I’ll put that idea into a full story. What makes me pick ideas before others, I’m not sure – but they usually just speak to me in a sort of, “Woman! You have GOT to tell this story – right now!” sort of way.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
Fake critics. And, no, I don’t mean real critics with solid criticism. It is well known that not everyone is going to like everything ever written, and a writer cannot advance and grow without strong criticism to improve off of — but, what I consider the most challenging about writing is dealing with fake critics. They’re the ones who put writers down without ever offering an explanation or basis. Their comments are not constructive or helpful. Their criticism offers no course of growth or redemption. And, they scream the loudest. They are the ones that terrify good writers with strong potential into a cave never to be seen from again – all because it makes them feel better to deconstruct someone’s creative work maliciously because they cannot offer anything to better it. It’s a shame – a lot of the fake critics have destroyed careers of potentially amazing writers. It’s also a shame because a lot of those fake critics could have really helped build those careers – or careers of their own.
Have you developed a specific writing style?
I do, though I couldn’t tell you exactly what it is. I am known for being very descriptive and using all the senses to engage a reader. I am known for uniquely developed characters with intricate pasts and interactions. And, I am known for my weird (I call it weird) “voice” that is a mix of a friend telling you the story over coffee and a voyeur showing the story to you like a movie. Oh, and my professors and grad school colleagues always said that they’d be able to pick out my dialogue anywhere, as they enjoyed the realistic zippiness it tends to have (thanks you guys!).
Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I personally do not subscribe to writer’s block. I write in spurts and scenes, so I am constantly jumping around my story, just writing what comes to me as it comes to me. That means I’m not a linear writer, which I think helps me avoid getting stuck. I’ve never had a moment where I couldn’t think of SOMETHING useful that my story needs to write – it might not be where I was writing a few minutes before, but there is always something. And, if I’m not sure what that something is, I just start freewriting and word associating. I fill up an entire page of random words until I get what I am looking for – then, I move forward. My characters don’t have time for writer’s block, so I don’t either.
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Genre - Fantasy
Rating – PG-13