How did you become a writer?
I’ve always had a vivid imagination, concocting elaborate scenarios and stories as a child while playing pretend with my friends or older sisters. I’d never thought of it as a form of writing or storytelling, especially since I’d hated reading up until I was a senior in high school. I remember the first day I started writing because it seemed as if it came out of nowhere. I was playing a life-simulation computer game in my freshman-year college dorm, and the character I was playing at the time was a writer. I’d had zero notion or desire to be an author at that point; the thought had never even crossed my mind. But as the character I played wrote her book, I started imagining what that book would be called, who the characters would be, certain scenes and then even overall plot. Before I knew it, there was a very real story in my head and this overwhelming need to share it somehow. It was only hours later that I started the first chapter of my first novel, and there hasn’t been a day since that I haven’t had a story (or several) in my head begging to be brought to life.
What inspires you to write?
So many different things, really. I guess it just depends on the story. Sometimes I get an idea from things I see in the lives around me or in my own life. I’ll witness something and think, That’s a story that needs to be told. Sometimes I come to a new idea when I’m just looking for something to read. I’ll get a sudden desire to read a certain type of story or plot or character. Often, I’ll find books with those specifics and realize they’re not quite the story I was looking for, and in a few cases, I’ve struggled to find those books at all. And then the ideas of how I’d write it just start coming to me. I even have a couple ideas that started as some random and strange dream. I don’t even realize there’s a story there until a few days later when I’m still thinking about that dream, only now the people in it have names and quirks and conflicts of their own.
Could you share some of your challenges as a writer?
Finding time to write can be a big one, especially while working the equivalent of two other jobs. I’m lucky to have a very flexible work schedule, but it’s still challenging to make the time to sit down every single day to write. And then, even if I do manage to find the time, it doesn’t amount to much when inspiration and motivation are less than forthcoming. That’s probably my biggest struggle so far. Some days my mind is so ablaze that I can type out 10k words easily, but I’ve never been the type to be able to force out words when I’m just not feeling it. It’s something I’m trying to work on with a set routine and daily word count, but there are some days when that’s just not going to happen or what I do manage to put down in words is complete and utter crap. Those days, I just have to accept that it’s not there and hope for something better tomorrow.
Tell me about your protagonist. What's your favorite trait and/or weakness?
Logan Kase is known for being the small-town wild child. She’s the chief of police’s only child with a penchant for getting into trouble, especially when it comes to messing with her childhood rival, Cole Tucker. Some may see her as reckless, but I just see how free she is. She’s outgoing and adventurous, two things I wish I could be more of. She’s not afraid to take risks and throw caution to the wind. She does what she wants, she has fun, and she’s not ashamed of it (for the most part).
What are your current/future projects?
Logan and Cole’s story, Keeping Score, is getting ready to go out on submission. I have a standalone sequel that I’m in the middle of writing, and I have notes and general outlines for two more. I’m about 80% through a young-adult contemporary romance I call Falling for the Wingman. I have a couple YA paranormal series that I’ve started—one about a group of orphaned vampire hunters and one about a girl with the ability to ‘teleport’ herself anywhere in the world but who still feels trapped in her hometown. I have literally countless ideas and notes for YA contemporary romances, including a family recently relocated under witness protection and an edgier New-Adult story about a girl struggling to cope after becoming a victim of sexual assault by someone very close to her and all the confusing emotions that come with that sort of betrayal. I’m not sure how many of these will actually see the light of day, but lucky for me I have a million more ideas and there not likely to stop coming any time soon.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
Stop second-guessing yourself. You’re a good writer, even if you don’t always see it. Trust yourself to know your characters and what they would do. Stop comparing yourself to others, wondering if your book is as creative and unique as so-and-so’s. Don’t waste time telling yourself that you’re not good enough and that it’s never going to happen, but use that time to get better, to reach farther. Don’t be afraid to struggle and fail because (almost) no one gets it right the first time. Don’t try to live up to other’s expectations of you; set your own expectations and make those the only ones that matter. And finally, don’t be afraid to want this or to show how badly you want this. Be proud of how far you’ve come and excited for what’s to come, and be sure to enjoy each step of the process.
What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you?
Any way you can. I'd love to hear from readers however they can reach me.