Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a very small town. It had a population of 450 and not even a stop light. This affects my writing (and even my reading) because I have difficulty understanding and relating to stories set in large high-schools. I only had 25 total in my class, and for the most part, we all go along. I find it difficult to understand and relate to the complex dynamics that most people associated with homeschool. The clear social hierarchy that is so often written about, I never experienced. No, I wasn't popular, but I was well-known, along with everyone else. My school was K-12 combined all in one building and we totaled just over 250 students. I knew people who had that many just in their class and it completely blows my mind. My class was actually one of the largest ones, but we still got along pretty well. Even the college I attended was pretty small, so I can't really relate to the larger environments.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing a story off and on during college but scrapped it. I picked it up a few times since then, but never got very far. I finally found my writing style last year. I was riding to my doctor's appointment while pregnant with my second child when an idea hit me. I had been reading about writing on Pinterest and found an article about strong opening lines. I was thinking about something powerful and thought of "He never loved me." I felt like it told a bit of a story and packed a punch. I wrote the whole first chapter about heartbreak. I actually started out in third person and moved forward from that event, planning to fill in the gaps using flashbacks. I sent the story to my best friend to see what she thought, she loved it, but by the time she got back to me I had already rewritten it. I hate reading third person, I relate to first person much better, so I switched the entire story over. Then I realized I hated when stories overuse flashbacks, so I decided to use the first chapter as a prologue and write from their first meeting. It became an entirely different story, but my friend wanted more. So I kept writing, sending her each chapter. I had joined wattpad to read a story by my favorite author, Colleen Hoover, and my husband said maybe I should post my story on there. I laughed it off and didn't think much about it. Then as we were traveling to visit our friends, I decided to take the plunge. Just to see if anyone would read it. I posted everything I had written into but didn't get to finish before we arrived. On the way home, I published everything I had. It was slow, but more and more people read my story. I had my second child and had to take a small break, but I just kept writing. I just finished writing the draft of Chapter 43 yesterday. My story now has 5.26k views, 1.24k votes and 2.41k comments and it's listed in 46 reading lists. I can't even believe the response. Out of all those comments, I've only had a few that were mildly negative. It's mindblowing that people actually enjoy reading it. They comment, reacting to my story and my characters. It's just amazing. I know my story is far from the top, some have millions of views and I'm not even ranked in the top 1,000 of the Romance genre, but to me it's so encouraging. I never would have continued writing this story if I didn't have such amazing readers. I get complaints daily from my best friend, demanding the next chapter. It definitely motivates me to continue telling this story. If you have difficulty finding motivation to write, I definitely recommend posting to Wattpad. Smile you're there, you can check out my story and add me as a friend. If you ask nicely, I might even read your story if you read mine. :) http://my.w.tt/UiNb/Q9FCQHceOv
What's the story behind your latest book?
I will post the description I use on Wattpad, but it's just scraping the surface. There's so much more to the story, but I want people to discover the twists and turns on their own, without ruining it.
Description: Just out of an unhealthy relationship, Katarina decides to give up on men all together... Only to meet Bentley, a terribly attractive playboy with a few pretty big secrets. When their best friends couple up, Kat and Ben agree to fake a relationship. They begin to question how much is pretend and how much is real, but will their fake romance be able to handle the real challenges? (WARNING: Contains strong language and sexual situations. NSFW, 18+, Unedited)
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Honestly, I'm not one yet. Once I finish my support, I hope to self publish it. My inspiration for this is my favorite author, Colleen Hoover. I read "Slammed" back when it was self-published and barely recognized. I feel in love with it and along the way I've read everything else she's ever written. I not only love her stories, but she's an amazing person. She's so giving and genuine, plus she's freaking hilarious. Seriously, she's one of my favorite people and I don't even know her. I read a post of hers about how to publish as an indie story. I've also read other authors I love that wrote about self-publishing (I believe R.L. Mathewson and maybe Jamie McGuire, but I'm not 100% sure) and I felt this would be the best path for me.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Oh wow. This is tough. I write very organically, the words just flow out of me, but if I don't get them down, I lose them forever. One of my favorite things is going back through to read it again because I've already forgotten what I've said. It's like re-reading a story, you vaguely know what will happen, but you forget the exact timing or how things were worded. It's always interesting to me to see what I was thinking at that point. I know it's weird because most writers hate going back to see how terrible they've done, but I write what I would want to read, so going back through, it's almost like reading someone else's story that I enjoy. If that makes sense. Also, I love all the positive feedback I've received on Wattpad. It's so amazing and definitely a huge encouragement to keep writing!
What are you working on next?
I'm not finished with my current story, but I know it's coming to an end in the next 20 chapters. I have already started planning and writing the next story in the series. It will be from a secondary couple's perspective. Their best friend's Nate and Vanessa. Their story is going to be extremely difficult for me to write as her story is one that's very close to my heart. I have been in a similar situation that has shaped me into who I am today. Her experience will be much deeper and much more traumatic than my own. For the most part I have blocked mine out, but she will be facing her demons head on. It will be interesting to see how it takes shape.
What is your writing process?
I wrote very organically. I just write, I don't think about it. The words just flow out of me. I can't write anything unless I'm falling inspired. I plan big things, like the plot twists, but if they don't fit in or work with wherever the story is heading, then I would rather scrap the idea than force it. I write what I would want to read. If you don't fall in love with your story and characters, then who will?
How do you approach cover design?
I don't have an official cover, but I needed one to upload to Wattpad. I chose the model who inspired my main character. She has a very different look and I just love it. If I ever publish and have to change it, it will be very difficult to see anyone else on the cover. The girl is Aliyah Galyautdinova, in case you were wondering! :) My guy is inspired by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, but he's not in the cover.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read Romance. I really like the New Adult category. My favorite author is Colleen Hoover. She's just an amazing human being and her books are so real. I also love Jamie McGuire. I still remember reading Beautiful Disaster for the first time, it was so hard to put down. R.L. Mathewson is one of the first authors I really loved. I've read almost everything she's ever written and it's all so great. The Neighbor from Hell series is still one of my favorites. Even the Pyte/Sentinel series was fantastic and I'm not that into the vampire thing.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Nook, a Kindle and an Android, but I still always use my phone. It's just so much easier and I always have it with me. I installed the Nook and Kindle app, plus I read on Wattpad. What else could you need? :)
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