I remember my first book. Pre-K. I couldn't spell very much. However, one afternoon I took a stack of construction paper - this really thick and shiny kind - and began drawing pictures. Almost twenty years later, I can still remember the story. It was about this orange house and an alien. I drew the house, the alien, and how the alien wanted to live in this orange house. After, I stapled the papers together. Violia. I had my first book. A picture book.
As I got older, I transitioned into poetry, then short stories. By eighth grade, I'd started my first novel. From there my obsession/addiction to tell stories has produced over a dozen unpublished novels.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The story behind Blue Ruin is not the story it's become. I began the book in the spring of 2014, in desperate need of a break from another novel. I'd just finished an amazing story by a fellow author and thought to myself, I really want to try my hand at writing a book about magic. That night, I had a dream about this young girl, orphaned, and sent to live in a boarding school for witches. However, she had no powers, yet, when an evil organization threatens to destroy the school, she's the one who must save them. Somehow, I've gotten a whiskey drinking, cigarette smoking, foul-mouthed, asskicker from the original story.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Being able to escape. I began writing novels during a dark time in my life. I'd been battling depression at a critical point in my life. I was a teenager, in high school, coping with growing up. Hormones. Oh man, hormones played a role. But, writing helped me escape the problems many others find themselves in. I was able to express myself, deal with my issues by manipulating them on paper, and create something I could feel proud of.
What are you working on next?
I have many books in waiting, hoping to be picked up next. However, I'm going to try to stay on track with The Phoenix Series. New Dawn, the second book in the series, has been written in full, but has yet to go under the extensive editing process Blue Ruin went through in the last year. For me, editing takes longer than the actual writing.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My stomach usually. Sometimes my bladder. On other days, it's my alarm clock. Not that the blaring alarm inspires me as much as it forces me.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a very lazy person. I love to lounge around, watch television, listen to music, and spend time with my family. If I'm not writing, I'm typically critiquing other works by fellow authors. And, like every other writer, I'm brainstorming ideas and thinking about how I should be writing.
What is your writing process?
It depends how confident I am in the scene I'm about to write, or how developed the scene is in my head. If it's developed, I simply write it. If it's just an idea, I'll either write the idea down, or construct an outline (which typically involves writing out the dialogue and structuring character movements around it) and then fill in the skeleton when I've gotten the scene on paper. Then comes the editing...lots of editing.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read what I don't write. I write dark fantasy, and I can't say I've ever read dark fantasy. Or even fantasy. I've read Twilight, Harry Potter (does that count) but that's the extent. I read dramas, mysteries, things that could happen in real life - like finding a baby, being divorced, being a single parent, or living in a psychotic family. I enjoy reading books that focus on human emotions/reactions.
Describe your desk
My desk is my bed, the couch, the porch, the car, the floor. Wherever I can write. The world is my desk.
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