Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first book I ever read by myself, or at least remember reading, was Lois Lowry's "Gathering Blue". It drew me into the worlds of reading, allowing me to picture different environments, scenarios, and people. The characters became real, and I actively admired their strengths, reprimanded them for their flaws, and came to know and care about them as though they were real people. I've been a bookworm ever since.
How do you approach cover design?
Simplicity, definitely. I don't like book covers that look busy. I usually don't even like faces on books. I like trying to picture people, environments, and so on in my head based on what the author wrote, but when there's a bunch of pictures on the front it kind of takes the fun out of getting to imagine it myself. The cover of my book "Summer on Hutchcook Isle", though, is a bit simpler than I would have preferred. I'm just no good at graphic design, haha.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Oh goodness, just five? I'll try, let's see. I'll limit myself and just choose from the genre of my first book: young adult sci fi/ fantasy. The "Artemis Fowl" series by Eoin Colfer definitely (I know, I know, it's a series not just one book, I'm cheating); the "Skinjacker Trilogy" by Neal Shusterman (I'm such a cheater); "Unwind" by Neal Shusterman (he's a fantastic author by the way); "The Secret Country" trilogy by Pamela Dean (cheater, guilty); and "The Passage" trilogy by Justin Cronin (Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know). I actually double-cheated with that last one, because it is most definitely not young adult, but if you're old enough I highly recommend it.
What do you read for pleasure?
Young adult, sci-fi/fantasies are usually the books that attract me the most, but I love just about all books.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle, but I'm old-school and nothing beats a good, solid book in my hands. I only do kindle when I can't get it in print for some reason.
Describe your desk
Desk? What desk?
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Washington state. Obviously, it influences the setting of my first book "Summer on Hutchcook Isle", but I like to travel so I hope to do other stories in different locations. I just hope I can keep my facts straight and people who actually live in those locations won't be like "what????"
When did you first start writing?
I "wrote my first book" when I was probably between eight and ten. It was a few sheets of college-ruled paper stapled down the middle and folded like a book, titled "The General". I didn't even like playing make-believe army or anything, so why I decided to write a book about a general war hero is beyond me, but that's what I did.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Two backstories: 1) I've heard you should write about what you know and like. 2) I loved how in the "Artemis Fowl" series, Eoin Colfer blends science with fantasy. Everyone knows fairies aren't real, but the way he meshed science into the story sometimes had me wondering, "What if we're wrong, and the fantastical is scientifically plausible?" These are what led me to write my book "Summer on Hutchcook Isle". I was taking a class on marine biology, which was giving me some ideas for a story, and I said, "I want to do for mermaids what Colfer did for fairies". I hope that's what I did, haha.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Impatience, really, haha. I didn't want to jump through the hoops of traditional publishing, so I self-published. By the way, thank you, Smashwords, for making this possible!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I'm finally getting my book out there for others to read, and I'm hoping to get some feedback. That's huge for me. Thank you, Smashwords!
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