Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m a travel junkie, video game addict, and writer–mostly because the voices in my head are too loud to ignore. My first book, a historical fiction novel set in Pompeii, started with a simple one-page blurb I wrote for fun while I was vacationing in the south of France. After I wrote those first few paragraphs, I was consumed by the idea of a young girl traveling back in time to try and stop the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Over the course of eight months, that little blurb became Defying Vesuvius, which I published when I was a senior in high school. Since then, I have written Merciless and Heartless, the first two books in my new fantasy series.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Merciless is a high-fantasy epic which was inspired by Sarah J Maas’s Throne of Glass series and the character Zevran from Dragon Age. In my book, Mercy is a seventeen-year-old orphan who has been raised by a deadly Guild of Assassins since she was one week old. When she is finally given her first assassination contract–to kill the prince–she must brave the mad king’s court, which is rife with betrayal and intrigue.
I really wanted to explore how growing up in as brutal a place as an Assassins’ Guild would shape Mercy’s personality and her interactions with the people and world around her.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Other than staying up wayyyy too late writing, not really.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Kiersten White’s And I Darken series was a big inspiration for the mood and narrative style of Merciless. I also love Six of Crows, Shatter Me, and Throne of Glass.
What are you working on now?
This month, I’m publishing a prequel novella to Merciless, editing book 2 of the series, and writing book 3.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Because I write Young Adult fiction, I’ve found that Instagram is most helpful for reaching new readers. I’ve connected with a few Bookstagrammers who have done wonders for promoting my book to their followers (including one who gave Merciless a SIX-star review!).
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Read, read, and read some more. Aside from writing as often as possible, the only way to improve your craft is to read books by authors whose style and stories you enjoy.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Write the story you want to read. If you love your book, writing will never feel like a chore.
What are you reading now?
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo.
What’s next for you as a writer?
SO MANY THINGS! I keep a list of book ideas on my phone at all times, and at the moment, I have concepts for at least twenty-three more books. (Where I’ll find the time to write all of them, I have no idea . . .)
First, though, is finishing the Merciless series, which is going to be six books long.
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?
To give a little variety, I’ll exclude the aforementioned favorites. I’ll say: Flowers for Algernon, The Summoning, An Ember in the Ashes, and Pet Sematary.