Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m 21, Canadian, an Aries, a cat person, and an obsessive reader and writer. I’ve written five full-length novels and dozens of novellas and short stories. I started writing at twelve, finished my first book at seventeen, and I’ve been writing ever since. I started self-publishing in 2014 and never looked back!
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is a novella called Forsake This Violent World, and I’d describe it as ‘Spirited Away’ meets ‘Kill Bill’ with a wide range of inspirations. I was fueled a lot by abstract imagery when writing it; dark hallways shifting before your eyes, the moon cracking into a million pieces.
The idea that struck the entire thing into existence was the mental image of a girl stepping through the rippling surface of a mirror. Once that flashed through my head, I had to chase it somewhere, and the entire story spawned from there.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I tend to be nocturnal when I’m working on a project. Something about the night energizes me. I tend to listen to Spotify playlists (mostly pop like Kim Petras, Dua Lipa, Maroon 5, Justine Valentine, et-cet) and drink a lot of water and coffee. Other than that, I just zone out and lose myself in a story for hours.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Cassandra Clare, Leah Raeder/Elliot Wake, Ruth Ozeki, Patrick Ness, Carrie Mesrobian, Liz Braswell, Sarah J. Maas, Amanda Hocking, and Rainbow Rowell are some of the biggest. I also draw a lot of influence from Tahereh Mafi, Laini Taylor, and Maggie Steifvater. Lev Grossman is probably a big one as well.
What are you working on now?
I’m about to start my first round of edits on a Lovecraft-inspired short story called How You Become a God, about a man who feels compelled to travel to a remote island only to begin undergoing a gruesome, Godlike transformation into a sea monster. It was a very surprising, cathartic piece of writing for me to draft; it just flooded out of me one night.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
It used to be Twitter, but now I’ve left that site and I’m in a flux-state. I’m in the process of building a static author site, so currently I just post on my blog. My main source of knowledge and aid has come from several Facebook groups where Indie Authors exchange advice and support. I highly suggest new authors seek out communities like that!
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Just write. Let it be bad. Your first draft isn’t just ‘allowed’ to suck–it’s supposed to. Editing is magic. You will build something better out of this heap of word vomit eventually, so for now just worry about getting to the end.
Also, read Rachel Aaron’s book ‘2k to 10k’ on writing efficiency tactics. It will change your life forever.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
‘Just do what works for you.’
I think in the current literary community, we have a tendency to treat personal taste as the hard and fast rules of writing. Every reader is different, and every writer is different. If you want to write something badly enough, there is someone out there who wants to read it. Don’t worry about whether or not it’s conventional enough.
What are you reading now?
I’m halfway through Cassandra Clare’s latest, Lord of Shadows. I’m also nearing the end of Altered Carbon. I just watched the Netflix show and loved it, so I had to pick up the trilogy. The first novel has been amazing so far, and I highly recommend both it and the adaptation!
What’s next for you as a writer?
Everything! This year is going to be crazy. Call me mad, but I’m going to attempt to write seven or eight novels this year, as well as dozens of novellas. I might not sleep. My coffee addiction might leap to a whole new level. But I’m going to do it!
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?
1) A Tale For The Time Being – Ruth Ozeki
2) Carry On – Rainbow Rowell
3) The Nine Lives of Chloe King Omnibus – Liz Braswell
4) The Magicians – Lev Grossman