How did you become a writer?
My mom had a Masters in Reading and encouraged me to read a lot when I was a kid. I fell in love with the written word and began to tell my own stories at a young age through various outlets including journaling, poetry, and school projects. After the birth of my youngest son, I told my husband I wanted to write a book. An artist himself, he told me to do it. He has been my biggest supporter.
What inspires you to write?
Love, in all its forms. I am a sucker for a love story and a happy ending. I write as a discovery and an escape and I want my time to be rewarded with what life doesn’t always give—joy.
Art is a big inspiration as well. Not necessarily a certain piece or artist, but the processes artist go through to create something meaningful. My husband Matthew is an artist and he says art is about the process, not the product. I think my work is at its best when the process of writing and discovering the story is deriving value, as opposed to pushing out a manuscript for the masses that has no meaning for me.
Perhaps grief is my biggest inspiration though. Most of my writing has been about realizing grief, great or small, in characters and trying to figure out what redemption for them looks like.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
I usually fall in love with a character first and then the plot follows. I am interested in people, what drives them, what choices they make out of those drives, and why/how they fight/survive/change.
Could you share some of your challenges as a writer?
Insecurity is probably the biggest. I hate being insecure. I want to be better than that, but I’m not. I am just a regular girl trying to figure it out.
Also, sometimes I feel like that new parent that shows you every video on their phone of their child, except I’m talking about my made-up friends. Yeah, that’s awkward.
Tell me about your protagonist. What's your favorite trait and/or weakness?
Switching Addictions is from two POV.
Emlyn is a twenty-year-old barista, who has an aversion to touch. My favorite thing about Emlyn is how raw she is throughout the book. I think love does that to us. It open us up in ways we can’t do alone and unexpectedly heals parts of us we didn’t necessarily know were wounded.
Kyle is a twenty-three year-old farmer, who is blind and uses his hands to see. He is Emlyn’s biggest weakness and there are many things I love about him. My favorite thing about Kyle is how loved he is by his family. It sets him up to be what Emlyn needs—a gentle, patient, and honest man.
How does your antagonist create conflict?
The antagonist in this story is fear. Both of these characters are struggling against themselves. Emlyn is afraid to let Kyle in physically because she thinks it will help her avoid pain. Kyle is afraid he will not be marriage material because he is not your average guy. For both, fear is blocking true connection and forbidding them from getting what they need.
What are your current/future projects?
Switching Addictions is the story I have been telling you about. I also am working on a companion book to this one. Niki is a twenty-three-year-old stubborn dental hygienist, who needs help taking care of her dying mom, but when that help comes in the form of her high school sweetheart Clive, who broke her heart then and wants to woo her now, she struggles to find the balance between letting his love in and losing the love of her mom.
Do you have a routine you follow when writing?
Routine is a four-letter word to me. I am the least structured person I know, it’s a wonder my kids ever eat. I write all the time and anytime I can. If I have five hours, I sit down at my desk and write. If I have five minutes, I scratch something into my journal. When I lived in the States and would have long drives for work, I would often dictate to my girl Siri and she would write it all down for me in my Notes app on my iPhone.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
Get experts’ feedback because they will tell you the whole truth. After that, it’s your story; tell it the way you want to.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
It’s a slow roll, and the easiest part is writing the story. Know that and keep going!
* What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you?
Face-to-face over a good craft beer, but I suppose social media will do too.