Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I just finished my sophomore year of college studying convergent media – my practical plan in life is to go into graphic/web design, although my real dream has always been to be an author. I’ve finished an illustrated collection of short stories and a novel at the moment, and am currently working on another novel.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My novel is called “Life in Polaroids” and was basically written on a whim. I had a lot of free time last fall semester, and a couple friends of mine invited me to do NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. I’d barely written in a few years as school got busier, but I decided I finally had time and went ahead with it. I found a picture on Pinterest that ultimately inspired the entire book of a girl with bright blue hair and a chunky cross around her neck. I spent all of November writing, and I’m sure driving my roommates up a wall with rants and questions and ramblings about Coney Island and lesbian bars.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Not particularly. I tend to make a playlist on YouTube of music for each book and always have that playing while I write, but that’s about it.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Growing up, I always loved Peg Kehret, but my favorite book that I’ve read recently is “The Martian.” In fact, that book has had a very big influence on my current project, but I can’t connect Life in Polaroids to another book or author in particular.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on a science fiction novel that’s a much larger project than Life in Polaroids. In short, a group of scientists accidentally created what turns out to be a superhuman and the world finds out. It’s turning out to require a lot more research and such than I expected. In fact, I gave up for a couple weeks because I didn’t think it was possible for the story to work thanks to US laws, but I eventually figured a way around it. It’s been a struggle.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I don’t know yet; I’m very much a new author, and am just now exploring my options, so I don’t know yet what will work and what won’t.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
I feel a bit unqualified to answer this, given that I’m a new author myself, but essentially: Figure it out. Want to self-publish your book? Figure out how to get it on Amazon. Figure out how to format it for a paperback and ebook. Figure out how to design a cover. Figure out how to promote it.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
I read an article somewhere about an author who self-published 20 or so books on Amazon before one took off and became very popular which led him to great success. Something near the end of the article said that his advice was for new authors to just keep writing. Keep releasing books, even when no one’s reading them, because you might just hit the next bestseller.
What are you reading now?
“Red Mars.” I competed in an international science fair in 2013 with a project about Mars, and loved “The Martian,” so I have a bit of a bias toward Mars-based science fiction.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’m currently trying to figure out how to effectively market “Life in Polaroids,” and push my way through a first draft of my science fiction novel. Those are the two big things.
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?
Let’s see… “The Island,” “My Side of the Mountain,” and “The Martian.” All three of them have to do with survival (granted, one’s on a different planet, but close enough, right?) and I’d be rather useless in keeping myself alive. I’d basically be using them as how-to guides, but I do enjoy all of the books in their own right.
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