Since I was very young, I've had an overactive imagination. I've always got a few stories in my head, and trying to put them onto paper--expressing the characters, ideas, and events I see in my mind--is both the most rewarding and frustrating part of the creative process.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
While I will never be as active as my heroine, E, I do love to run and hit the gym. I spend way too much time at my gym, actually. I also love to travel, although I haven't had much time for it in recent years. I've recently taken up boxing and I love to cook, especially with and for loved ones. And I have to admit that I spend entirely too much time just watching television, often whilst scribbling down ideas for my next book.
Who are your favorite authors?
I'm ashamed to say I don't read enough. I loved JK Rowling and Tolkien growing up, and I absolutely devoured Stieg Larsson's Milennium trilogy a couple years ago. I was absolutely devastated when I finished the third book and realized I would never know how his story ended. But there's no one that I really follow. I'm not waiting on pins and needles for any certain book to come out..
What do you read for pleasure?
Trashy tabloid mags, old letters, the horrid comments after internet articles... I'm not discerning. I've been known to fall down the Wikipedia rabbit hole a time or two.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
My mother actually saved it for me. It was a short story (a very short story, actually, as I was five), and my teacher saved it and had me read it to the class above me. Seems silly now, but both the teacher and my mother were certain that I'd be an author or editor from a very young age.
What is your writing process?
I generally get an idea, write furiously for a week or two, abandon the story for a few years, find it and work on it furiously for a few months, get way too excited about publishing it, format an entire series and work on cover art, then forget about the whole thing.
Describe your desk
Messy. My must-haves are mechanical pencils, those amazing Paper Mate corrective fluid tape strip dispenser thingies, pretty thumbtacks and inspiration boards, and obnoxious rap music playing. Right now I've got a few snapshots and photo booth printouts of me with my best mates.
How do you approach cover design?
I overthink cover design, generally. I've got a background in design and art, so I have very high expectations for myself, although it's obvious to me that simple is often the way to go, and I can see how well it works for so many authors.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I traveled quite a bit growing up, and I know this may come across in my less formal writing (like right now). When I'm actually working on something I want to publish, however, I clean everything up and try to Americanize my writing.
What are you working on next?
I'm always working on E's story, but I'm also trying to work on less ambitious projects. E's story is big and complex and action-packed, and it originated at a time when I thought that stories had to be adventurous and loud to be exciting. In recent years, however, I've gained appreciation for subtle, well-written stories about the mundane. Everyday life is as beautiful as any story. With that in mind, I think it's almost more difficult to write a good story about ordinary life, because we've all experienced it and will inevitably make comparisons, and when writing a simple story, you don't have a crazy plot twist to rely on. The prose has to be on point.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I'm suuuuuuch a procrastinator. I've spent ages working on E and her adventures. Far too long, really. On top of that, I am the worst at dealing with criticism. It's a cop out, but self-publishing allows me to work on my (ridiculously slow) schedule, and I don't have to deal with rejection. Would criticism make me a better author? Undoubtedly. But right now, writing is not my full-time job, and I'm not yet prepared to take that step. Maybe some day I will be, but for now, I'm fine with taking things slow.
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