Heck no! I always thought I would spent the majority of my life in the military and left for bootcamp immediately after I turned eighteen. After a few years, marriage, and children, my priorities changed. I left the military and went back to school, but no, it wasn't for writing. Several more years later, I found myself needing to do something entirely for, well, myself. So I picked up writing again.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I actually started out writing poetry, and I do remember the first poem I ever wrote. It was about the loss of my father, who was killed when I was a child. After that one, the rest of the poems, songs, and stories are a blur...
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I usually spend my time reading, with family, watching television/movies, or playing The Sims! I love video games, and when I have the time, you will find me playing Spyro, Mario, Harvest Moon, or of course--The Sims games. And yes, I am an adult. :)
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy is sharing my story with people who love to read. I love to read, and emerging myself in a fantasy world that gives me a chance to escape reality is exactly what I strive to provide for my readers. I could care less about a profit (this isn't my day job, anyway), and I don't want recognition (hence the pen name). I just want to provide a place of sanctuary for myself and other readers, the same way so many writers have done for me.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Very first story? No. However, I do have several that impacted me, over the years. Reading the Little House on the Prairie series as a young child, I learned how a good description can really make you visualize a scene. I can still picture the house in the side of the hill from On the Banks of Plum Creek. Reading the Goosebumps books, shortly after, (and yes, I read all sixty-some of them!) showed me that it is definitely possible to write in a way that shocks and startles someone. I had always thought that scary books were too predictable to be scary. Welcome to Dead House proved me wrong. After that, I didn't get heavy into a series until I came across a Terry Goodkind novel in high school. Talk about a rude awakening! Until then, I had never read a book that made me hate a villain so much. His books still inspire me when I write about my villains, helping me to feel at ease about making my characters do evil deeds. You're supposed to hate them, right? Lastly, I, like so many others, was greatly impacted by the Harry Potter series. Rowling's ability to paint an entirely new world is what inspired me to create my own fantasy world. I want my readers to fall into the books, the same way I have fallen into so many, myself.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have read a lot of books/series over the years and I have different favorites for each genre:
Children's: Laura Ingalls Wilder, R.L. Stein, J.K. Rowling Romance: Nora Roberts, Mariah Stewart, Janet Evanovich, Fantasy: Terry Goodkind, Richelle Mead, & Nora Roberts (she does romance and fantasy so well!) Poetry: Ron Rash, Sondra Ball
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I have to admit, I don't usually scour the web to find books. When I finish a book, I use the suggested novels in the same genre to find my next book. I do not usually read stand-alone books, however. I would much rather read a trilogy or series. I hate to invest so much time into getting to know characters, only to lose them at the end of one book!
What is your writing process?
I know a lot of writers do not have a process, but I do. I start out with a list of highlights (things I want to include somewhere in the book), then I start to create the outline, placing the highlights into chapters and creating the flow of the story. Lastly, I use the outline to fill in the rest of the book. The chapters' outline usually only list three or so major events/points, so this gives me lots of room to add dialog, flashbacks, and other elements of the story that I think will be beneficial. After writing a chapter, I sleep on it. The next day, I re-read the previous chapter and edit it, before moving on to the next. Given enough free time, it usually takes me about a month to write the book. It really is quite a process, but I like to stay organized, to keep my sanity!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Personally, I like the Kindle Fire. Of course, I have never really spent time on a tablet or Nook, so I cannot say that it is better in any way. While I would rather hold a printed book in my hands, if I need to read it electronically, the Kindle is my go-to device.
Describe your desk.
My desk is my lap! I carry my laptop around the house with me, wherever I happen to be working. I am currently sitting in my bed with my laptop propped up on a pillow to type. I also carry my composition book and binder around with me when my "desk" travels, so it is always on hand to reference my story outline. I write on the couch, in the kitchen, in the car, and even in the bathtub! Thank goodness we live in a time with such great techno advances that allow my obsessive storytelling to be even more obsessive, following me everywhere I go!
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