Q. What books/authors have influenced you and why?
This is a difficult question to answer because I’m influenced by all the books I read. They have all influenced me in some way, shape or form. Even if it’s not a very good book. Those books (the ones I don’t like) help me to understand what I shouldn’t do with my writing, while my favorites help me understand what works.
That said, I do have some absolute favorites that I love and I will always love. Of course, like everyone else, I love Harry Potter. I’ll warn you that I’m a Slytherin though, and I’m proud of it. I also loved Michael Creighton’s Jurassic Park series, and Erin Morgenstern’s Night Circus. I love both of Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha and Six of Crows series as well. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is also a favorite of mine. I could go on and on. I love so much about so many books. I’ll stop there though so I don’t bore everyone to tears.
Q. What are your current/future projects?
I have several works that are in different stages of the publishing process. Witches’ Quarters is a YA fantasy novel about four children brought to a separate world by dropping a U.S. Commemorative Quarter into a creepy coin bank. They arrive at the scene on the back of the quarter used, and muddle their way through a new and very dangerous world – think Alice in Wonderland meets The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Witches’ Quarters is my debut novel, and it was purchased by Clear Fork Publishing in August. I am currently undergoing the editing process, and it should be released in Spring 2018 (fingers crossed).
I have a second project, which doesn’t have a name yet, that hopefully will go out on submission to editors soon. It is an Adult Mystery novel that is partially based on my prior experience as a prosecutor and as a public defender. I started writing it while very angry at a criminal defendant (I won’t say if I was a prosecutor or defense attorney at the time), which is why I created a Dexter-like serial killer. No, I’m not sadistic or crazy. It was just a nice thought at the time. P.S. I was justifiably angry.
The final project that I’m working on (let’s be honest less than I should since I’m still in edits on Witches Quarters), is another YA novel, but this one isn’t fantasy. It’s a YA thriller about a Reality TV program that goes very, very wrong for its high school contestants. Think Big Brother (the TV show) meets something Stephen King.
Q. Do you have a routine you follow when writing?
I’m a little neurotic with my writing. I generally write in the mornings, though. I’ll wake up ridiculously early, when everything is quiet, drink tons of coffee and write. Some days I can sit down and bang out 5,000-10,000 words, and others I don’t have time to write at all. I work full time as a lawyer, so I don’t have tons of free time on the weekdays, so I get most of my writing done before 10:00 a.m. on the weekends.
Q. If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
Calm down & Relax! I’m very high strung, which I think is a common trait in lawyers. I like to feel like I have control, which is not something writers have in the publishing process. There’s a whole lot of “hurry up and wait,” in the traditional publishing system, which is difficult for someone like me.
Ultimately, everything worked out and it wasn’t due to my incessant worrying. If I’d been calmer, I’d be in the same position, but I would have enjoyed the process a lot more and slept a reasonable amount. I’d like to say I’ve learned something from the process though, so this round of submissions will hopefully be much, much less stressful.
Q. What does literary success look like to you?
To me success would be writing full time, and practicing law part-time. I’ll never fully give up the practice of law - I love the drama & the stories too much – but I’d like to allocate more time to writing (and get a little more sleep).