Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m a Maryland native and could never imagine living anywhere else. I married my high school sweetheart for time and all eternity in the Washington D.C. Temple after I fell in love with his endless sense of humor. I enjoyed a short stint as a labor and delivery nurse before becoming a stay-at-home mom for my two beautiful daughters. In addition to my new-found love of writing, my passions are: my faith in Jesus Christ, gardening, and yoga. My favorite delights are decadent homemade cakes, cookies, or brownies—never store-bought.
I started in February of 2013 and have one completed novel published on Createspace and two manuscripts in the revisions stages for a chronicle of three books. It is about immortal beings, dragons, and the fight between light and dark inside each of us and around us.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest novel is Master of Lies (Chronicles of the Half-Emrys, #1).
I started writing this book back when I was doing a Lord of the Rings movie marathon. I even based some of my characters off of Tolkien’s. I imagined the rolling hills of Middle Earth for my realm of Terrin and the murky swamps of the Dead Marshes for Rolant. The torturous snow peaks of the Misty Mountains could be my Eirwen Mountains, where the entrance to Gorlassar is hidden. And when you enter Gorlassar and fly to the capital Emryn city called Mared, I imagined the majestic music from when the Fellowship entered the great hall in the Mines of Moria.
But scenes and characters aside, I think that is where the similarities stop. My writing is nothing like Tolkien’s.
I would have to say music is what carried the feeling in my book. I mentioned the music from the mines of Moria scene. I did listen to the LOTR’s sound track quite a bit in the early phases of my free writing. But I took any music that uplifted or motivated me, from Evanescence’s Fallen CD to the Piano Guys. I think Twilight’s various sound tracks for all of their movies was a major inspiration for me. Evenstar (LOTR) was my inspiration for the final scene before the epilogue in my book.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Every hour I jump up and dance to a song in my kitchen. I read somewhere that exercising five minutes per hour can prevent the detrimental effects of sitting. Plus it revs me up, and I enjoy my day more. You’d be surprised how fast an hour flies by when you are elbow deep in a novel.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
My favorite childhood author was Lois Duncan. But more recently, The Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi showed me that writing is an art. The way she even used her formatting to evoke the character’s emotion opened my eyes. I was blown away. Brandon Mull is my ultimate favorite author. He speaks to the kid in me.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on Book Two in my half-Emrys Chronicles. The Two Masters is in the revision stages, and I hope to release it in the summer of 2015. The Chronicle picks up after my first book, The Master of Lies, when Ahnalyn’s son, Einion, is about to be crowned king of Terrin.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Still learning this. I just stuck my foot in the door. I have been looking into free sites to list my book and filling out author interviews.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Get a support group. Join a critique group. Free write without stopping until the book is done. Forget the grammar at first. Just get it down. Find people to critique, beta-read, and proofread. But have fun. And don’t let anyone tell you how to write your book. Take the advice and use what works for you.
And remember, only write the parts people want to read!
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
The protagonist should have a terrifically hard time getting what she wants. The more obstacles thrown in the way of her progress, the better, but the best obstacles are ones that come from her trying one thing or another that goes terribly wrong, despite her best efforts. The reader wants her to triumph in the end (or else fail miserably if she’s actually evil, and her goals are simply self-serving).
What are you reading now?
Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Once I complete my Half-Emrys series, I have several spin-offs planned. Lost Emrys. Fallen Emrys. I’m stuck in this world. It’s become my life.
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?
The Book of Mormon. The Shatter Me Series. The Fablehaven Series. Okay, I cheated. So that’s more like ten books.