It usually just starts with a simple idea. I'll write the first chapter, or maybe just the summary, depending, and it'll take off from there. I don't always plan out every little detail that will happen in a story, and when I do, I usually frustrate myself trying to get to a certain event. Usually, planning does help out, though, but my writing process really just consists of me writing and getting ideas along the way.
How do you approach cover design?
The phrase "don't judge a book by its cover" has never been so wrong, in this case. Unfortunately, that's how we decide whether the story even looks interesting enough to read the summary. Now, don't get me wrong, there are some pretty awesome books out there whose covers are kind of..."eh". But on the whole, if a story has a good cover, it usually is a good book. That means, in my case, that I have to come up with an intriguing cover that pertains to some aspect of the story. As with Ethereal, the main character is enamored with dream catchers, hence the dream catcher on the cover.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Darkest Powers Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong: Hardship is good for you--it turns you into the person you will be. Darkness Rising Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong: Your enemies can be your closest allies. Chemical Garden Trilogy by Lauren Destefano: Life is too short to let others dictate how you live. Timber Wolves Trilogy by Tammy Blackwell: What you are lies within you, not in others. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold: Life will always move on without you, and karma will always get you back for what you've done.
What do you read for pleasure?
Almost everything Young Adult. Paranormal, horror, mystery, thriller, romance, action, adventure--as long as it's Young Adult, I'll probably be interested.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. It's the one I've always used since I started using e-readers. I just don't understand why you'd need apps on a reading device meant for reading. If you want a giant phone, go out and get a tablet--don't pretend you're going out to get an e-reader to read.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Haven't actually sold any stories yet, I've been on a writing site called Wattpad.com for most of my writing career. Typically, all it takes to get my stories out there are a few tags, a good title/cover, and going and reading others' stories and commenting on them. Being social really helps on that site.
Describe your desk
Cluttered, not fit for writing on. So many clothes strewn across it, you can't see the black-painted wood of it anymore. Books and papers that I haven't looked at in years are crumpled and laying haphazardly on it. It's just an overall mess that I don't use to write...but I will when I eventually get it cleaned, I hope.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I didn't grow up in any one place. I come from a military family, and the longest I've ever lived in one place will be 5 years in the summer of 2015. I really think it helped me understand that even different parts of the country that I live in has different ways of interacting with each other, different cultures. No country is the same all around, there are different ways people speak and walk and have a good time the further in that you go.
When did you first start writing?
When I was 12 1/2. I decided I wanted to deviate from reading a bit and create my own story. That story, to this day, is still unfinished. The basic plot has changed so many times, it's kind of pathetic now. However, it was a starting point, and I jumped off it to dive into the other stories that I've created so far.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I have two that I'm writing currently, but the most recent is Ethereal.
Jolene Radcliff is dead. She's been dead for over a year now, and in that time, she's learned what falling in love feels like. The boy she fell in love with doesn't quite know her. He, like everyone else in Seacliff, didn't notice her until she was already gone. But the more time Jo spends around him, the more he begins to wonder what she was like and who she actually was. Between the two of them, they both know that stories don't quite tell the truth about a person.
Join Jo as she recounts her after life experience following the boy she fell in love with, and the consequences of staying on Earth for so long after her death.
What are you working on next?
Like I've said previously, I'm working on two new works. Both are Young Adult and deal with two things that I think teenagers tend to cope with: depression and having to let go.
In The World in Grey, Jonathan tries to help Emilia see the brighter things in life while the town around them seems determined to kill the girl he's struggling to save. Will Emilia's depression win out, or will Jon be able to convince her there's more to life than just their little town?
In Ethereal, Jolene's been dead for over a year. In that time, she's fallen in love. But she was never meant to stay on Earth so long after her death, and now she's about to learn the consequences of her actions.
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