I am a U.S. Navy veteran. I have been writing since I was six. In junior high school I placed in my states Power of The Pen writing competition and won a couple of awards. In high school I won many awards for my poems. Writing is how I process things and deal with life. I took a hiatus from writing (it became more of a hobby, a stress reliever, when I had the time) while on active and reserve duty and for a few years after I joined the civilian population again as I settled into life as a single mom. I love to spend time with my children, read, hike, and watch movies when I am not writing.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. I was raised predominantly by my mother, who to this day is still the number one fan of my writing, and my great-grandmother. My father died when I was in kindergarten and the school's psychologist suggested that I start writing down my feelings in a journal. By second grade this exercise in expressing my thoughts and feelings better grew into a love of story telling and drifted from non-fiction to fiction. By fifth grade, I was writing short stories. By junior high I was being entered into writing competitions by my teachers (I attended a small private Catholic school), By high school I was winning awards for my poems and being entered into competitions left and right.
I had somewhat of a difficult childhood and my escape was my writing. What made my life difficult turned out to be my greatest inspiration. Writing allowed me to create my own world and turn negatives into positives. I went heavy into writing when my life was turned upside down the summer before my junior year in high school. My mother moved us out to Glendale, Arizona in the middle of my junior year and I went from a small Catholic school of five hundred students to a public school where my graduation class eighteen months later had almost five hundred students. I spent the last year and a half of high school as the new kid and spent a lot of time putting those feelings and experiences to paper.
All things things influenced the writer I am today by providing me experiences to write about, chances to understand and develop my characters better, and the love and support of my family and friends over the years as given me the confidence to be able to do something that I love.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The story behind my latest book, Hidden Demons, is interesting. Hidden Demons started as a scene a day serial that I started as a distraction for my best friend's teenage daughter who was going through a very difficult time in her life. Since I had gone through something similar around her age and writing had kept me sane during it, I began this project as a way to bring her out of her life and into another world for a little bit each night. After completing the day's scene to email to her, I would email the scene to her mother, too (who just happens to not only be my best friend since I was her daughter's age, but also one of my two editor's). The scenes helped both of them and after the first two scenes I was receiving texts from both mother and daughter demanding more than one scene a day. They were raving about the story line and loving every minute of it. So a serial story to help out a lost teenager suddenly turned into a draft for a YA paranormal book. This latest book wouldn't be possible without great subjects as inspiration. This latest book is more special to me than any other project I have ever worked on.
When you have more questions about yourself than answers, being put into Paranormal Witness Protection isn't cool. My new look, back story, and school are hard enough to adjust to. Keeping the lies straight is impossible. The only people willing to answer my questions about who and what I am are the ones who killed me on my seventeenth birthday.