Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m primarily a fantasy/urban fantasy writer, and have fifteen works published at the moment. My two major series consist of the completed epic fantasy saga Dreamwalker, and the in-progress urban fantasy series Elemental Magic. When I’m not writing, my second career is as a sign language interpreter, a field I absolutely love. I specialize in college interpreting, which means I get to sit in on some fascinating classes and be a perpetual student without the homework and exams. It makes for a great research source I can later apply to stories too!
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest release is a romantic comedy titled, “Cupid’s Cat.” It started with a scene in my head of a used bookstore’s resident cat having the uncanny ability to fix people up—except his methods usually involve dropping heavy books on their heads or tripping them so they literally fall head over heels into someone’s arms.
Despite the quirky premise, the novella also deals with some serious themes, such as grief and heartbreak. The main character, Rachel, is a young widow simply trying to get by, but with the help of this unusual feline, she’ll learn that love can be found again in the most unexpected places.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I’m a plotter, and love pen and paper for initially getting a story idea down. I also like to color code my outlines. Depending on how complex the story gets and how many changes I need to make, those brainstorming pages can get pretty complicated. If I were to look back at my notes from the books I wrote a year ago, I probably wouldn’t be able to decipher them.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I loved Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series, particularly how secondary characters introduced in one book later became the main protagonist in a later book. That’s how I’ve structured my Elemental Magic series. I’m also inspired by Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series.
What are you working on now?
I’m getting ready to release the sixth book in my Elemental Magic series: Spliced Magic. Air elemental Sylphie Seaton’s life is about to get turned upside-down when her brother ends up framed for murder and dying from exposure to a genetically engineered super serum. Sylphie will risk everything to save him, and it’s going to be a wild ride.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Learn from others who have gone before, but don’t expect the same results! Every author’s journey is different, and personal. There are a lot of experts out there who will tell you what you need to do to be successful, but not everything is going to fit your personality or style. Find what works for you, and whatever you do, make sure you’re always enjoying yourself.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Give yourself permission to ___. Whatever it may be that is holding you back or causing an enormous amount of stress. Give yourself permission to write a lousy first draft/to take a week off writing/to not be perfect! Do what you need to always keep moving forward.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’ve got a handful of story ideas in mind; the challenge is picking which one to work on first!
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
First book would be The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. It’s a magnificent synthesis of what it means to live with the heart of a disciple. I re-read it every few months. And while I would want a fiction book to keep me company as well, I can’t choose just one! And lastly, it’d probably be a good idea to have a survival man’s island cookbook!