Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I grew up with a passion for all things literary. I first put pen to paper writing articles for a newspaper I designed and created during elementary school. My creative channels evolved into writing poetry, short stories, essays, novels, blogs, and children’s books. When not writing my own material I love reading everything and anything I can get my hands on especially mysteries, suspense, and historical fiction.
Some of my other talents include finding new and creative ways to use sarcasm, spilling/dropping things, being supremely weird without even trying, graphic design, and photography.
I attended California State University Northridge where I majored in Psychology and minored in Child Development. I continued my educational pursuit and attended Phillips Graduate University where I earned a Master’s Degree in Psychology with a dual emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy and Professional Clinical Counseling. Months after graduating with my degree, and growing more miserable every day that brought me closer toward a career I truly didn’t want, I finally realized that writing was the only career that would make me happy and nourish my soul.
I am a proud member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and The Alliance for Independent Authors. I am now gleefully concentrating full time on bringing to life all the stories that live in my head so I may share them with the world. I currently reside in Los Angeles, California and have three books in wide release.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is called A Thousand Little Words – Poems of Life, Love, Loss, & Beauty. The inspiration for the title came from the idea that many words strung together can create something magical. Additionally, though words may be small, their meaning is big. I believe that when the voice fails, the written word communicates and speaks.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
By nature, I am a very superstitious person. That being said, I tend to write in the same places everyday (either in bed or at my desk). When I am writing in a notebook or journal I also have to write with my “lucky” pen. When it empties of ink, it’s quite the ordeal for me to find a new “lucky” pen. I basically have to go by the feel of it. I also keep certain stones around me to help with the creative flow. I believe they bring a certain vibe to my work and help me to concentrate.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I am such an avid reader that this list could be quite long. The authors whose work I have poured over, analyze, and tried to learn from include Dorothy Parker, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare, Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, Mary Higgens Clark, Karen White, Susanna Kearsley, and Emily Dickinson.
In terms of books that have influenced me, I loved The Great Gatsby, The Crucible, The Scarlett Letter, Frankenstein, Dracula, Secrets of A Charmed Life, The Winter Sea, The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, Enough Rope (and Dorothy Parker’s other poetry collections), Macbeth, Julius Caesar, The Witches Daughter, and Grand Central.
What are you working on now?
I have a ton of projects in the works! I have a children’s book coming out in June, a historical fiction/romance novel set to be released in the summer, and a coffee table style poetry book coming out in the fall…and that’s just this year! I also have another novel surrounding the North Berwick witch trials that is very near completion. It’s a story that has taken me years to write due to the extensive amount of research that needed to be done. I’m hoping to see that released sometime next year. Stay tuned!
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I enjoy blogging and using Twitter to promote my books. I feel these are the best avenues to connect with my readers and get constructive feedback on my work.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
As cliché as this is, I would say to never give up on your dream. Writing is not an easy field to be in, but if you have a passion for it then I don’t think you should let anything stand in your way. Keep trying to learn your craft in any way possible, read a ton of different genres, take classes, analyze the work of other writers, ask questions, find a mentor, read books on writing, experiment, join writing groups in- person or online, join professional writing organizations, and most importantly follow your gut. Finally, I would say never be deterred by naysayers. There will be people who want to find fault with whatever you do, but you know what…that’s their problem! Just keep writing. I think you’ll be surprised where the journey takes you.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
It’s not really advice per se, but a quote I repeat to myself often. It’s from none other than the great William Shakespeare and it’s “to thine own self be true.”
What are you reading now?
I am currently reading a book called We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I love her writing style because she has a way of building suspense and then twisting the plot leaving the reader going “what the heck just happened!” I read the book Genuine Fraud first, and then wanted more!
What’s next for you as a writer?
I hope to continue putting out novels, poetry books, and children’s literature. However, I open to expand into other arenas specifically, by trying my hand at writing a screen play. I would also love to open my own publishing house one day to help other authors navigate the complex world of publishing and make their dreams a reality.
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.) The Crucible
2.) The Great Gatsby
3.) How To Survive on a Deserted Island
4.) A Field Guide to Venomous Animals and Poisonous Plants
Lets be real, I have to survive long enough to get off the island so I can get back to my books!