My key is brainstorming. I still do the 'old style' of using paper and pen. While getting all my thoughts out on paper and making up characters with certain personalities. I love how I can take a character's style, features, and demeanor and form it into a mockup drawing of a person. Then I make titles for each chapter and build off of them while incorporating an outline and research on where I could possibly put said characters. Most importantly, in my mind, a set the tone as if I am seeing the scene as a movie production. Each scene is projected onto the paper as it would be seen walking through to the next set of characters.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote was "The house that burned down on the hill." It was a very short story and it did not end well since I never quite got around to finishing it because it seemed the book took on a more extreme notion that it was going to end badly. So, I put it aside and have yet to finish it because it is still a WIP even after 20 years or so. haha.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Hard to believe it was "Animal Farm" by George Orwell. I read this in high school and did not feel it was a good one until I finished the book. What changed my outlook on it is how every animal had a different insight on how to 'get one over on the master.' I say it showed me how to be assertive in my speaking, to become noticeable, and to take charge if need be. Whether or not you agree this is what I felt the book gave me. Even though it was the revolution of felt good intentions and the tyranny of the end results; it still involved me into its world and a sense of being there right where it had begun and ended.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up all over Chicago. My many influences come from family, friends, places, and things. I absorb as much as my mind will allow each day whether it is learning outside or on the net.
Giving myself the ability to know more, gives me the creativeness that this book and the others ahead makes it worth it all.
How do you approach cover design?
Since my novel is my first I wanted it to reflect on several things without showing so much on the cover. The young girl on the cover signifies Sabrina, the star, of the book. She is the focal point since there are many people around her and it is her life that is moving forward in her million miles to walk.
Our own lives start out on a path unbeknownst to what lies ahead into the future so the road was more of a direction to which she is taking. The colors red, orange and yellow have a defining factor for the book. It signifies certain parts of the book and when you read it, you too will understand. *Hint* It is a part of her.
The starry background is another aspect of the book. It is simply the wondrous notion of what a person sees when it is gazed upon. Stargazers often are found looking upward and seeing different messages, forms, or even inspirations.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing when I turned ten years old. My world of writing began when I noticed a poem from myself becoming a masterpiece.
I live and then I die. This poor bird cannot fly. Struck down from a pebble from the mean boy across the street. Her babies cry out against the wind. Oh, what a sin to have done onto you. May you rest in peace.
May of 1983.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Motivation came from my grandmother (may she rest in peace), my aunt and my children. In some way, shape or form they all pushed the envelope to make me greater than I hope to be. My grandmother who mostly pushed me to believe I could do anything in life as long as I put my mind to it and my foot was planted. My aunt who always told me to believe in myself and with everything I have to give, give freely without receiving.
My children are best motivators because as a mom, I am not perfect. I believe in them as much as they believe in me and this is my greatest driven accomplishment. It also shows that "Dreams are met if you work them."
Who are your favorite authors?
GOD Dean Koontz Joyce Meyers Stephen King Maya Angelou Mark Twain Anne Frank
What are you working on next?
I am working on book two of Her Million Miles. It is where four years has passed and Sabrina is thirteen now. Again, this next book is a WIP and I would like to keep all the goodies to myself. I do want my readers to know it is a great pleasure to write this next book in this series. Expecting the Unexpected is always the words to live by. One would never know the real twists and turns of each others' lives when it comes to the OBer-Hein's and where it may lie.
Be as it is; a rustle with 'old' foe or an extreme battle of witts between the good and bad....stay tuned with Her Million Miles Book 2!
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