Reading for pleasure often depends on my mood. My favorite genre is a dark, suspenseful gothic romance. I also love a good fantasy or adventure. It seems that I can find enjoyment in almost every genre out there, though. Horror stories will always have a special place in my heart, part of the reason I enjoy writing in the gothic genre is that you get a mixture of mystery, romance, and horror.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have and love my iPad for various reasons, one being the apps I can utilize, i.e. Kindle, Nook, and iBooks all on one device. Not to mention I can use my wireless keyboard and write whenever the spirit moves me.
Describe your desk
Sloppy. A whirlwind of stack of this and that including books and notepads, a wooden ale mug filled with an array of writing utensils. There are tiny speakers, a bowl of gold foil wrapped chocolate from my day job, and various things for my upcoming wedding. On the walls and computer are multi-colored sticky-notes with reminders and ideas for manuscripts and scenes, there's a hand-colored Dora the Explorer that my fiancé's little sister made for me. Above all of this is a giant, antique-looking map with green dots on the places around the world that I've been.
When did you first start writing?
It's difficult to pinpoint exactly when I began writing, but I recall working on a "novel" around the age of 13 in a composition notebook. I wrote around 100 pages and even shared it with some friends before having a stroke of pure genius in-which I thought it would be better to burn the manuscript than continue. I really wish I had not done that, because I'd be very interested to go back over that story, no matter how poorly written and embarrassing. A scene I remember from that story actually found its way into "Walls of Ash".
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is an escape. Sometimes it feels very much like a deep meditation where I've left myself and feel l've taken over the body of one of my characters. Getting away from the "real world" is always something I look forward to, when I am able to get that far in zone.
What are you working on next?
I have so many other projects in the works, having ADHD can be a real problem when you really need to focus on one thing. Immediately after finishing "Walls of Ash", I began the sequel, "The Masque and the Mausoleum", which follow's Tamsin's daughter. About 1/3 of the way through the story, I had a sudden and great idea for a YA novel that I began working on. It was a whole different ball game, a contemporary story with a much bigger sense of humor than my usual gothic historical. Only a chapter or two into that story, I had yet another idea that I was overly excited by and had to start, another YA story, with a paranormal story. I started working on it, enthusiastically, until I finally wound up with writer's block that lasted several month on end. It wasn't until January (2014) that I was able to get back to work.
Who are your favorite authors?
Eleanor Hibbert is my all-time favorite author. She wrote under multiple pen-names and released hundreds of books, many in the gothic romance genre, but some historical imaginings revolving around real people. I've been reading Hibbert's books since I was about 12 years old and still haven't read them all... and I've read A LOT of them!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
That first cup of coffee, it's up to me after that.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Thinking about writing. I do think about that, often, but I try to keep myself busy and entertained. I read, I watch whatever absorbing tv show I happen to be into at that time. I work a regular old day job, and take care of my cats and boyfriend. I love to travel when I am able and consider it terribly important to the creative process.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I don't remember the first story I ever wrote, but I remember writing a lot of songs and poetry as a child and into my teen years. There were assignments for creative writing in school that I always enjoyed tackling, I even had a poem or two published in the local newspaper and school newspaper. Then there was that novel I began in my tween years that didn't survive the fire I threw it into...
What is your writing process?
It all starts with the general idea of the story. I'll think, 'Hey! That's a great idea,' and then the plot forms, the characters appear within my imagination, and BOOM! I'm writing like there's no tomorrow. It always starts with something small, a shred of a place or a question. I'm always amazed at how something tiny can become something as big as a novel, but what always surprised me most is that I came up with it and wrote it.
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