Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Portland, Oregon where the arts really seemed to take the forefront. Yes, we have U of O football, but in the schools creativity took a forefront. I remember in elementary school each class in each level would have a theme to write about and we would write a story which was spiral bound and laminated. We read our stories to small circles and they were voted on and awards given. We even had published authors come visit during this annual week of literary celebration to speak with the students. I'd say that was a pretty big influence in my writing career.
When did you first start writing?
I'll be cliche here a moment and just flat out say I've been writing for as long as I can remember, and definitely reading before that. Words and communication have always come naturally to me. I only wish languages did, too.
Who are your favorite authors?
I read a fairly wide variety of genres, but have a soft spot for Zane Grey westerns. The way he describes the landscape makes it as much of a character of his novels as the main protagonist. It's an era I love to read filled with simplicity, justice, blurred lines of right and wrong, and adventure.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My alarm clock. I am most definitely NOT a morning person. I would much rather have a fluid schedule not connected to clocks or the position of the sun in the sky. I tend to be more creative at night and so end up having to cut myself short in order to get enough sleep for the next day. One day the clock won't own me and I'll be able to sleep however I please... and that day is coming soon!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Learning. I love to learn and am currently enrolled as a full time student in University. If not that, then reading. I'll admit, I love watching TV. Travel, dining out, and exploring the world fill up my time even though I only make it a few hours from home each time.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Mostly by recommendation. I wasn't big into eBooks for the longest time, but I've come around. I still have my print library at home, but having an eLibrary that I can take with me is undeniably amazing. If I'm really hard pressed for a book, I'll just sift through the online stores until I see some cover art that catches my eye. Yes. I judge books by their cover and I have no shame in saying so.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I don't think it was the first I ever wrote, but the oldest one saved is a story from when I was six years old about a leprechaun who falls off the rainbow and whose friend rescues him with a lasso. I do remember that the reason why I wrote the story was because I had brand new crayons that had glitter in them and I wanted to use every color.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - I would give my left ear to be able to write a story and character as beautifully strong as Charlotte Bronte has. Jane's strength of willpower, connection with her inner worth, and conviction of self. It's inspirational. Whenever I am in doubt over myself I bring up Jane and she really does inspire me to do better.
In Secret by Robert W. Chambers - This is a forgotten book published nearly 100 years ago in 1919, but during a time where intelligent, independent, heroines were in rather short supply - yet he wrote one. Espionage, war, romance, and saving the world. You can't come up with better stuff than that!
Rumo and His Miraculous Adventures by Walter Moers - This man is a brilliant author whom I eagerly translated work from. In fact, he's the only author out there that I willingly pay full price for his books. And I don't even complain. Rumo was my first introduction to this man's crazy imagination, artwork, and playful formatting. I highly recommend looking his work up.
Call of the Canyon by Zane Grey - Any of his work, really, but this one specifically calls to me as the main characters leave the city life behind for the wilds of Arizona. A soldier recovering from what they then called battle fatigue and his superficial sweetheart learn to navigate new worlds, each experiencing a transformation many today need as well.
The Edge Chronicles by Chris Riddell and Paul Stewart - Yes, it's an entire collection and yes, it's a young adult series, but I love them. I love the stories, the artwork, everything. It's beautiful and thoroughly entertaining. I have read each book several times.
What do you read for pleasure?
Everything, usually. I collect old books that were published between 1880 and 1940. I consider this my own made-up genre, but it is my favorite. The characters are intelligent, strong, and innocent. The love is innocent, the adventure typically strenuous and shocking. It's time travel to another world and historical fiction, but at the time it was written it was just fiction. Some of my favorite authors include Rex Beach, Jack London, and Robert W. Chambers. Agatha Christie is a given, but there are many forgotten authors out there who have truly amazing works worth digging up!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I only have a Kindle, but I do love the Kindle app because it connects the book I'm currently reading with my phone, Kindle, and PC. I know that sounds like an ad, but it's seriously cool. I use it for textbooks and leisure reading so it is doubly helpful.
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