How did you become a writer?
As a child, before I knew how to read or write, I loved to draw and I would illustrate pages and then dictate the stories to my mother, who would patiently write them down for me. Stories have been important to me ever since, and I see much of life in story form. As I grew up and chose a path, it made sense to tell stories myself.
What inspires you to write?
I’m inspired by life and situations. I sometimes hear a phrase or picture an image, and I feel the need to share the idea of the phrase or image in my own words. I express myself much better if I am given the chance to write it down and see it than I am at speaking, so sometimes words themselves inspire more ideas.
Could you share some of your challenges as a writer?
Finding time is sometimes the biggest challenge. I also tend to write too much. I grew up thinking wordiness and flowery language was good writing, but that’s not true. Learning to revise and cutting unnecessary sections— or even chapters—is still a process I struggle with. But I’ve come to enjoy it.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
I try not to over-plan the plot. When I finish writing for the day, I’ll leave a brief description of what’s coming next, or what I plan to be next, for a reminder for the next day. It’s kind of like leaving a night light on; there’s a dim outline of what’s ahead of me, but nothing looks fully formed. As for characters, oftentimes they drive the plot for me. Their choices and personalities, once established, help everything else unfold.
Do you have a routine you follow when writing?
I try to write 1200 words a day and also revise previous work, but that doesn’t always happen. When it does, the time it takes depends on the point of the book or my mood. It might take under an hour, or sometimes it takes up to three. I try to avoid social media during writing time, but I do use the internet if I need to do research.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Persevere. There are days that seem like what you’re writing is pointless and maybe a waste of time, but you never know what good may come out of that writing. And the more work you produce, the more likely you’ll find out what works, what you enjoy, and what others will enjoy, too.
What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you?