Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I was born in Canada and now live in Vermont with my husband and Jack Russell, Ike. We have a boat so in the summer I enjoy being on our beautiful lake, hanging with friends, swimming, paddleboarding, and concocting new adult beverages. The winter is more about being a homebody and also when I get really creative, holiday decorating, cooking, DIY, etc. I have also recently joined the yoga craze, although, I admit, I am an avid American Ninja Warrior watcher, and if I was younger I would definitely be building ninja obstacles in my back yard.
I have been a closet writer most of my life, but The Scrying is my first published novel and the first in the fantasy trilogy.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The Scrying, is the first in a trilogy and a very personal endeavor for me. It was an accumulation of a lot of hard work, soul searching, and a determination to fulfill a promise. The story and characters, although fictional, represent strong females, of which I have many in my life, a strength and determination to overcome unsurmountable odds, personal sacrifice, and the power of destiny. It was inspired by many different things but the base foundation for the story was that I wanted to represent the power of the female bond, portray strong, self-reliant characters, and create an entertaining world where readers could escape.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
The writing process for me is very habitual. When an idea comes I start an outline, a rough version of plot, context, characters, settings, basically getting down the ideas before I forget them. These outlines linger in a manuscript folder until I decide what I want to develop.
During the development stage, I storyboard. I am visual reader and writer and I like to ‘see’ the characters, settings, etc. Storyboarding really helps in developing character profiles and world building. Once I feel comfortable that I have a story I am passionate about and the foundations of it are developed, then I begin to write, and this is where the detailed organization goes out the window. I am a free writer and write different parts of the story at different times, not always in sequence to the storyline.
As far as my writing environment, I do not like distractions when I write. No music, TV, or background noise. I write in my home office and usually the only sound that I hear is my dog snoring under my desk. Perfect!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I have to say the biggest influence was Oscar Wilde and his novel the Picture of Dorian Gray. It was to say the least, brilliant. Tolkien, King, Rowling are all big influences as well. In high school I was obsessed with the horror genre, Dean Koontz, John Saul, and Richard Laymon were my favorites and each was so good at establishing a creepy and enthralling atmosphere.
What are you working on now?
Currently, I am working on two books simultaneously. The Hallowed, the second in The Scrying Trilogy and a standalone paranormal fantasy. I have about fifteen other manuscript outlines, all at various stages of development, which of those will actually evolve into published works is yet to be determined.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I am new to publishing so currently promoting is one big learning curve. I have joined a few goodreads indie groups which have been very informative with respect to social media promotions, book promotion websites, and overall information and helpful tips. Currently, most of my promotions are trial and error to see what works, hopefully I can come up with a more streamlined plan of promotion as I publish more books and gain more promotional experience.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Do not try to be the next…..because you never will be. I hate when I get asked to compare myself to another author or asked who I write like. I write like me, and the only person I compare myself to is the writer I was yesterday. As a writer we are individuals and our works are subjective. Not everyone is going to like what you write and not every book is going to be a bestseller. Write because you are passionate about it, publish it because you are proud of it. Don’t try to be the next Rowling, Meyer, or Roth – just be you.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“You fail, only if you stop writing.” – Ray Bradbury
What are you reading now?
Currently I am reading the third book in the ‘Ketty Jay’ series by Chris Wooding. A steampunk, sci-fi, sky pirates adventure. I am totally hooked on the series and am enjoying immensely the adventures of Captain Darian Frey and his ragtag crew. The books are both exciting and humorous and a great way to escape from reality for a bit.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Finish the trilogy, that is my first priority but also to develop other manuscripts and create a larger catalogue of works that I am proud of. I also want to evolve as a writer, honing my craft, and developing my writing without losing my specific style and voice. I think it is important to always be a better writer than the one you were yesterday.
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?
Definitely books that take me to another place or are though-provoking, the Harry Potter series, anything by Dickens, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and a volleyball. If you are going to be stranded on a desert island everyone needs a Wilson!