Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I was born in New Haven, CT and raised in a small suburb on the coast in CT. I was raised by two great parents in a Polish household with a blended American culture. After getting my undergraduate degree at Franklin Pierce University in Psychology I traveled to Texas for my first job! I ended up getting a Master’s degree is Sport Psychology instead. I met my husband and we are both huge Red Raiders (get your guns up!!). We then moved to North Carolina where we have lived for seven years. I work at a local University and in March of 2014 I successfully defended my doctoral dissertation from North Carolina State University!
I always loved writing but thought it was a hobby and then in the summer of 2014 I had this story I couldn’t get out of my head and Safe & Sound was created. It is my first novel.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My novel is titled Safe & Sound. It was inspired by several things. It first started with a morbid conversation my husband and I had when making our wills. People live so much longer than previous years and life is so unexpected, so what happens if one of us died, what does the other spouse do then? At such an early age?
Then we went on vacation in the summer of 2013 to Oak Island, North Carolina and I feel in love with the town and the setting and I knew that the story running around in my head was gonna be set there. When we got home from vacation, I couldn’t sleep one night and I finally decided to do it. I sat down and pen words on the page and it just flowed from there.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I have to listen to music when I write, it helps me focus. I know it’s been a good day if I put on my playlist and then I don’t remember any of the songs playing. I know that sounds silly but then I know I blocked out everything and focused on my writing. I also like to write in a darkly lit room, then I don’t feel like I’m missing out on the day.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I read so much as a kid. My mom couldn’t get books in my hands fast enough. That slowed down a little as I went through college and graduate school (I’m really looking forward to free reading again!). But my fondest memory is as a kid, I belonged to a monthly book club that would send you books every month. Every month I would get a new Babysitter Club book by Ann. M Martin. It was the love of reading that influenced me in wanting to be a writer.
What are you working on now?
I am working on a new story about a women and her daughter Hayden Grace who is trying to become a professional snowboarder and the unexpected encounters along the way.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I work with a great social media specialist Caitlin from Royal Social Media. She is phenomenal in helping me with outreach on social media and other mediums. We can collaborate on ideas on promoting the book or specific giveaways. It has been an invaluable relationship to me.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
YES! I have several actually…it’s sometimes scary to put yourself out there but you have to do it. There will be criticism but that is part of the job and using that criticism to grow as a writer and professional is a great experience. BUT and this is a big but, don’t let that criticism get in your head when you write. It’s a balancing act and you need to navigate it carefully.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Write something you would want to read.
What are you reading now?
At the moment I am in between books. I just finished John Green’s Looking for Alaska.
What’s next for you as a writer?
There is always the next book and the one after that. As a writer I find myself always thinking 3 or 4 books ahead.
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?
A Discover of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
some type of survival manual to help me survive 🙂