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1. If you could have coffee with any character from your novels, who would it be and why?
This is cheating, but I’m going to select two characters. One is Joanna, my main character from Paused, and the other is Becca, my main character from The Sting of Summer. This isn’t because I want to talk to them (trust me, I was inside their heads for way too long) but it would be interesting to see how they’d interact. They’re both driven by something to the point of obsession. Joanna’s goal is status-related in that she wants to attend a prestigious dance school post-high school. Becca has a more interpersonal goal, where she would do anything to be with her crush. One approaches the situation with rigid determination and the other with hopeful enthusiasm. They’re polar opposites, and because of that, I think they could learn a lot from one another.
2. At what age did you decide you wanted to pursue a writing career?
It’s interesting because growing up I don’t think I ever explicitly said “I want to be an author” despite reading and writing all the time. I have one enormous journal that documents everything from my first day of seventh grade to my senior prom, so there was always an inclination to write. When I got to college the idea evolved to the point where I could say, hey I really want to try this. From there I dedicated myself to writing full-length stories, and with the rising popularity of self-publishing, a natural progression occurred.
3. Do you remember the first book you ever wrote? And if so, what was it about?
Sure do! It was for my Author’s Tea in kindergarten and the book was titled “Mr. Mouse.” I have zero idea what it was about, but I do remember rocking a red polka-dotted dress while I read my “masterpiece” to all the parents.
4. Are you an outliner or a pantser?
Both. In the beginning, I get really excited about a story and I’ll write down whatever pops into my brain. At some point I have to slow down and write a timeline/outline before the story gets out of hand. However, writing whatever you feel in the moment is way more fun!
5. How long did it take you to write Paused?
Paused started as a very different book that I wrote during my senior year of college, but I wasn’t happy with the result so I filed it on my laptop. Sometime later, I returned to the project and swapped a few characters for others and changed many aspects of the story. I would say it took me about five months from that second round of writing (although the time it took to edit, format, create a cover, and garner the courage to self-publish is a much different story!)
6. What is your favorite social media site and why?
I’m the worst at social media. Truly. I’m trying to get over it because it’s a huge part of how we communicate today. With that being said, I have a twitter handle and an Instagram account ready to go for when that day comes. As of now, I go on Pinterest, and I’ll blog sporadically. Seriously. I’m the worst.
7. I see that you are working on a YA paranormal novel. Tell me a little bit about that.
I don’t like saying much about what I’m working on until I have the finished product. Call it superstition or just the fact that I change my mind a lot (the novel started as a horror story and it couldn’t be further from that now, haha). However, I am certain that the novel will be about a teenager who moves to a new town and begins having vivid, reoccurring dreams about a mysterious boy.
8. You write YA contemporary, but is that your favorite genre to read?
There are quite a few science fiction and fantasy novels on my bookshelf. Right now I’m making my way through a book of short stories by Ray Bradbury. YA contemporary will always have a special place in my heart though, and it’s mainly what I read during my high school years.
9. What would you say has been your biggest success since you began writing?
There hasn’t been a point of major success—yet. The yet part is what keeps me going, but I don’t consider my goals unrealistic. My wish is to build a solid base of readers who enjoy the stories I tell.
My most recent novel, The Sting of Summer, has received some positive feedback from a number of bloggers. While many would not consider that a “huge success” it means the absolute world to me.
10. What gives you inspiration?
Music, without a doubt. I don’t think I can go a day without listening to at least one song. Going for a walk is a good way to clear the head and make way for new ideas. Oh, and reading, obviously. :)
The Sting of Summer
I don't usually write characters with anyone in mind so I thought this might be fun. I was shocked by how much difficulty I had! I searched through a lot of actor's lists on IMDB.com and came up with this particular cast. Add some hair dye, a few tattoos, and increase or subtract a few years from their age and you have the characters! :)
Seth: Grant Gustin
Nolan: Max Irons
Cameron: Daniel Sharman
Hannah: Dianna Agron
Layla: Brighton Sharbino
Becca’s mom: Teri Polo
Becca’s dad: Matthew Fox
Jean: Edie Falco
Bernie: Scott R. Wright
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