Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Lets see…I was born and reared in Minnesota until the age of 19, when marriage resulted in a move to the deep south. It took me about 2 years to get over the culture shock. I now love it down here. ^_^
In my efforts to be practical/responsible, I fought the impractical desire to write and went back to school to receive my nursing degree. I tried utilizing said nursing degree for a couple of years, but as it turned out, I had the bedside manner of a wood-chipper. >.<
Fortunately, my son came into the world and gave me every reason to try out the full-time mommy thing–which also eliminated every excuse I’d come up with over the years to not take my writing seriously. Since my son was born, I’ve written two novels and gotten a solid start on #3.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is called Once Upon A Road Trip.
In the week after graduating from high school, I happened to set off on the most risky venture of my otherwise unexciting young life–an 8-week road trip. The people, sights, and experiences of that summer forever altered the course of my life…and made for one unusual story. ^_^
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Many. But I’m a creature of unusual habits to begin with. ^_^ (For instance, I have the odd tendency to unconsciously sniff anything I’m about to eat or drink…as if I were checking it for poison. >.>)
I have a few benign rituals I like to perform before I begin writing. I always have to get myself some hot and caffeinated beverage to sit down with before I can get into the “zone”, and I fold one leg up under me so I’m sitting on my left foot…which can’t be great for my circulation. >.<
What authors, or books have influenced you?
The Giver is one of the first books I recall leaving a strong impression on me.. and likely attributed to my affinity for dystopians. But things I read all through my teen years all helped shape and mold me as my mind was at the height of ordering itself into something resembling an identity. At the most critical times in my life, books kept me sane.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently at work on a Young Adult sci-fi series, with a vaguely dystopian bent. 🙂
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Goodreads is my favorite so far. I just love how it lets me interact directly with readers and host giveaways. I really enjoy getting to see what my readers are reading and what they’ve liked in the past. 🙂
Do you have any advice for new authors?
All of the staple advice is completely valid: Never give up, grow a thick skin, don’t write in a vacuum, write every day, read as much and as widely as you can, study writing craft, attend workshops…
One of the things I personally recommend, and don’t see handed out often, is this: Jump at the opportunity to review books and judge for contests. Take workshops and receive proper training first, of course…but don’t be too intimidated to analyze other people’s writing in depth. You will learn a great deal about your own writing by breaking down the works of others–what works, what doesn’t and why…what habits you may need to nix. We all have blind spots in our own writing styles. This is the best way I’ve found for helping me peel back the blinders–short of a few highly astute critique partners who aren’t afraid of hurting my feelings. ^_^
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Nobody can tell your stories the way you can. And if you don’t tell them, they’ll never be told.
What are you reading now?
I’m currently reading ‘Divergent’ by Veronica Roth.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Keep on keeping on…as long as there are still stories in my head. And so far, that’s looking quite likely for many years and books to come. ^_^
What is your favorite book of all time?
Oh, I don’t like this question at all! Why don’t you just ask me which of my kids is my favorite while you’re at it? LOL. 😉 I seriously couldn’t pick a favorite, but I COULD narrow it down to around a dozen. Among them would be an eclectic range of genres, with titles including: The Hobbit, Ender’s Game, To Kill A Mockingbird, Dune, Storm Front, A Hint Of Frost, A Walk To Remember, Jane Eyre…