For many years I have been following alternative and indie music, and I have found so many great albums by browsing those categories. I think writing isn't any different. There are many people out there with really unique ideas that don't want to go through traditional publishing. For now, I am one of those who would rather do the research and use the tools that are out there. I have always been self motivated, if goals have been set. And I love it! I find the process of starting from scratch, and then building upon that, challenging. And currently, it works with the situation that I am.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I am originally from a tiny town in Washington state. Blink and you'll miss it. Growing up, everything was about apples, apples, and more apples. And beauty was all around: clear blue lakes, icicle dripped trees, sweet blossoms in the spring. It was simplicity. But as a restless teen who wanted a different kind of adventure, I chose to leave. Even then, after years of moving around and waking up to the lights of Vegas everyday, I still remember the smell of kicked up dirt from the orchard rows. I still remember the softness of blossoms. I remember what it was like to freely play around the apple bins with no care in the world. Whenever I write, I hold onto those memories and continue to build off of them wherever I go. Whenever things seems to get too tough, I always go back home (mentally) to remind myself to keep it simple, be humble, and continue to grow with each experience, good or bad.
What are you working on next?
Following the The Skyloft, I will be adding my other novels from The Valley Series, starting with The Hardest Truth. A preview of The Hardest Truth is available at the end of The Skyloft. All of the novels are contemporary romance and each storyline focuses on a main couple along with the supporting characters. I am also working on stand alone romance novels that will be added at a later date.
What is your writing process?
My ideas usually start while running along the woods and listening to my favorite music. Other times I'll be hiding out in a quiet room, daydreaming about my next storyline. Once I have a collection of thoughts, I write them down in a notebook. I do a basic outline, detailing moments that I don't want to forget. Then I sit down at the computer and let the ideas flow. After each chapter, I go back and read what I have written. If I get into a mental rut, I'll take a trip to the beach or go hiking. Once my story is complete, I put the finishing touches on it and then share it.
When did you first start writing?
As a teen I would randomly write whenever, then, get distracted with drawing or designing. And for a long time, I was determined to attend design school and eagerly jump into the industry in L.A. or New York City. Too many unexpected things happened all at once, and I found myself drowning in the unknown. As a result, I finally took the time to sit down and look at what my options could be, realistically. I also realized that my introverted personality was overshadowing my current interests. To have a better home life, along with the understanding that we would be moving around for jobs, I needed to find something that would allow flexibility. About five years ago I began to write. I honestly didn't have a clue what I was doing, other than trying to paint a picture with my words. After making many mistakes and changing up my writing style several times, I finally feel comfortable with sharing my ideas.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love taking a storyline from beginning to end, visualizing every character, every chapter, and every detail that may capture the interest of a reader. I enjoy painting a picture with colorful descriptions and vibrant tones while remaining in a state of calm. At the end of the day, when chaotic schedules overrun our daily routines, I am wishing to offer a quiet moment, so the reader can leave the stress behind and immerse themselves into the world of fiction.
Describe your desk
My desk is a DIY project that my kids built for me. I wanted something small and minimalistic, and painted white. My computer is in the middle, my fresh cup of coffee on the left, my notebook on the right. A wall of fashion cutouts, photos, and other inspirational tacks are on the back of the desk. From my desk, I can see the sun rise over the woods.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
When I was about seven or eight, I wrote a story about a unicorn. The title was Una and the book was full of colorful pictures.
What do you read for pleasure?
While I was attending design school I spent most of free time reading magazines, sewing books, and the random YA novel. I also went through a period of reading romance novels daily, for pure entertainment. If I'm looking for something a little more thrilling I'll reach for something darker. I am very open to reading almost anything, although my time is now limited. If I have a quiet hour to myself, I'm typically writing or drawing.
Who are your favorite authors?
Over the years I have enjoyed everything from John Grisham to Stephen King to Kristin Hannah. I'm not very selective when it comes to genres or authors. I tend to pick up whatever catches my interest at that very moment. Sometimes I'm in the mood for a thrill, other times, I want a cozy read on a rainy day. Susan Wiggs, however, has been one of my favorites over time. I admire the way she writes. Many of her novels leave the reader feeling warm and happy, and ready to pick up the next one.
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