I spend a lot of time allowing the story to play out in my head like a movie! I've found that when I sit and just create the picture in my mind, the words flow so much more easily! Although, sometimes as I'm writing, my fingers get away from me and I find the story changing as I type. Often times what I've written is better than what I'd 'planned' and I stay with it. Some of my greatest story lines have come from spontaneous ideas!
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I've always loved to read and couldn't possibly remember the first novel I read ;) But I do have a very vivid image in my mind from tenth grade, when I read "To Kill a Mockingbird" (which is also one of my favorite novels of all time!). I became so upset about the death of a certain character, I stood on my bed and threw the book across the room, tears running down my face. Yes, I was very emotional and I think that was the first time I realized just how much a book could reach the depths of my soul.
How do you approach cover design?
Again, I imagine what I'd like to see if I were the reader. Once I have a firm picture in my head, I use a photographer and graphic designer to bring it to life!
What are your five favorite books, and why?
"To Kill a Mockingbird" - Love the message. A beautiful novel that I will recommend in a heartbeat! "Pride and Prejudice" - I'll admit, I had to see a few Jane Austen movies, before I dove into her reading. But once I understood her style, reading her works was so much easier! Love, love, love this book! "Harry Potter" Series - Not sure I need to give a reason why :) JK Rowling is a genius. The series is legendary for a reason! "The Fault in our Stars" - Just a beautiful, beautiful novel. I can't describe why exactly, other than John Green did an amazing job making such a depressing topic become so magnetic. I can't count the number of times I wanted to memorize entire passages of this book! "The False Prince" Series - This was such a well done middle grade novel. I just loved the plot line and how Jennifer Nielsen wove it together, keeping the reader in suspense until the very end. Can't wait for the final book in the series to come out to complete the story!
What do you read for pleasure?
Mostly young adult novels, since that's what I love to write. However, I do get into a romance novel kick every once in a while, and really enjoy historical fiction from all eras. Every once in a while a biography will catch my eye, too.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I got my Kindle as a birthday present, so that's all I have to read on! One day maybe I'll try a few others to see how I like them, too ;)
Describe your desk
My desk would be my lap. In an effort to downsize, we have chosen to live in a smaller space than most would desire. Therefore we do our school day at the kitchen table while I usually sit on the sofa with laptop in lap! Or, I write in bed at night, but the laptop still takes residence in my lap :)
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Baltimore, MD. I lived in a very diverse area and I'm thankful for all the experiences I've had. I feel that it has made more well rounded and I've learned a lot about different cultures and ways of living. Having moved to a much smaller, rural area inhabited by many Amish, I feel my education in various cultures and peoples continues to expand.
When did you first start writing?
I've found many writings from when I was a child, so maybe age 7? Not sure. Most of the stories are ridiculous and involve some sort of bodily function :) Now my own daughter writes very similar stories so I guess it's a kid thing.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Lots of research. My husband did the majority of it, which is probably the reason why I've published anything at all. I had thought I'd go with the traditional route of publishing for over a year before I decided to give self pub a try. I'm so glad I did!
What are you working on next?
I've got about 10 manuscripts going right now, all in various stages of the process - some MUCH closer to publication than others :) Most likely the next ones to be published will be an inspirational romance and dystopian society/zombie novel series.
Who are your favorite authors?
Ann Aguirre has really captured my love with many of her different series. Of course I love anything Jane Austen and some of the more contemporary novel series by Cassandra Clare, Carrie Ryan, Veronica Roth, Amanda Hocking, Ally Condie, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Hugh Howey, Julie Kagawa, A.G. Henley, Jennifer A. Nielsen, Lauren Oliver and Lauren DeStefano.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Other than homeschooling my girls, I like to exercise, stay active in my church and I'm an avid movie buff. I especially like to see movies once I've read the books, to see what the director did with the author's storyline. Yes, it's true that usually the books are better, but in some cases, I've really enjoyed seeing the actor bring the characters to life and it's changed the story for me.
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