How did you become a writer?
- I've always written stories, but I didn't begin taking it seriously until after college. I'd moved away from my friends, and without the regular distractions, I began my first novel.
What inspires you to write?
- There's no single thing I can point to and say, "That's where all my ideas come from." But one area that always inspires me is travel. Either domestic or abroad, I always come home with a story idea. It might be as small as a scene, or as large as a novel, but getting out of my regular routine and seeing new places is my best source for ideas.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
- Plots come from a tangled mess of concepts and that sort of form together. Once one has solidified enough, I usually merge it with several more ideas until I have a plot that I can run with and build on. Characters most often begin with their desire. What do they want? After that, they build outward, gaining quirks and personality.
Could you share some of your challenges as a writer?
- Patience. When writing, I have certain scenes I come up with early on, and much of the writing process is building bridges to reach those scenes. I often have to force myself to slow down and not rush there too quickly.
Tell me about your protagonist. What's your favorite trait and/or weakness?
- Kate is fiercely loyal to those she loves. She fights for what she wants. Unfortunately for her, losing so many friends and dreams has left her a bit broken and she's spiraled into drug addiction as the result.
How does your antagonist create conflict?
- The antagonist has stolen the two things that Kate loves more than anything, her friends and her dreams.
What are your current/future projects?
- I've been outlining a possible sequel for Ashes of Onyx as well as the beginning of my fifth Valducan novel. Recently I've become much more involved in the tabletop role-playing game community and I have some scenarios I'd like to put out there.
Do you have a routine you follow when writing?
- I give myself deadlines and I stick to them rigidly. When I first began writing, it was a chapter a month. No matter what happened in my life, I'd move plans or anything else to keep to that deadline. As I developed more as an author, that quota moved up to two full chapters, then to specific word-counts. That's an easy thing to do when things in life are ideal, and surpassing that minimum is common. I don't need it for ideal times. The deadlines are for those times when distractions and life are getting in the way and I need the self-imposed pressure not to neglect my writing.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
- Other than a lot of investment tips, I'd just want to give younger me the assurance that everything is going to fine and to stick to it.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
- Don't give up. Whether it's a difficult scene you're trying to get through, a bad time in your life, or the dismay of story rejections, don't give up.
What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you?
I'm active on social media and Facebook or Twitter are probably the fastest ways to reach me. Email is also good, but can be slower.