1.What was the inspiration for your novel?
When I was in my early twenties, I escaped an abusive relationship and did flee to Alaska to start my life over again. I convinced my best friend to travel to this place we knew nothing about so I could try and begin over again. I was a young single-parent, working long hours at a dead end job. Alaska became an adventure.
It was the most beautiful place I had ever been and I began rediscovering myself until I found out someone I trusted was dangerous and I ended up having to be rescued. There are a lot of parallels in the first novel and in my life but as I began writing, the characters developed a mind of their own and they took over the pages. It became fun discovering what they were going to do next.
2. When did you take up writing?
Since I was a child, imagination was always a big thing in my family. My parents encouraged it. My father was an author and my mother was a poet, teacher and an artist. Our family actually had an Annual “JourneyThrough Art and Poetry” book which everyone in the family would contribute to—everyone from the newborns (who would have their hands traced) to the grandparents. It was a beautiful project that we stopped doing when my dad past away, but we are hoping to restart soon. We have 10 years of Art and Poetry Books as a family and it was fun watching my children write as they grew up. We never tried to publish them. They were for our enjoyment.
When my marriage became very unhealthy, I stopped writing for many years. I stopped dancing. I stopped traveling. I stopped doing most things that I loved to try and please a husband who didn’t appreciate me. He left us and for a while I was devastated. I had no idea how I was going to keep a roof over my daughter’s head or get my oldest through college. I wasn’t sure how we were going to survive. He just disappeared. And even after he left,I couldn’t write–I was empty. Then somehow my niece convinced me to do the NaNoWriMo –The National Write a Book in a Month Contest and I made a goal of 10,000 words even though I thought it was impossible. All of a sudden the little key board began to sound like popcorn and I finished my novel in the 30 days! 80,000 words! Writing, dance and traveling are loves I let die. Now, I am an author, ballroom dance instructor and I just got back from Puerto Rico. Who knew I could revive those passions! It is weird when you find the person that you locked inside yourself while you were trying to please everyone else! I am recommitted to living life to the fullest! I love adventure, my family, service, and am a hopeless romantic! Even though I have a few scars, I still believe in happily ever after and believe one day I will meet my prince charming!
3.a How important is setting/place in your writing? My novels show up like a movie and they appear at the most inconvenient times. I will have a great scene flash in my mind as I am driving 60mph down the highway and disappear by the time I get a moment to write it down. I have pulled off onto the side of the road to write, pulled out a pen at a red light to jot down notes and grabbed napkins off the tables in restaurants to remember plot points. When the muse hits, I listen and I write. When I was a teenager I slept with a notebook and pen next to my bed. It is really sad, but sometimes I sleep with my laptop under my pillow–hoping the muse will wake me. The only problem with midnight writing is I have erased many chapters falling asleep on my keyboard. If you write after midnight remember to SAVE, SAVE, SAVE!!!
3b. Oops, I think I answered that wrong! lol. I was thinking you meant, “is there a setting I like to write in.” As far as a setting for my books– this series is mostly in Alaska—one of the most beautiful places I have lived. People think of Alaska as remote, much of it is, but Anchorage is a pretty big city. The difference is it is surrounded by these mountains that leave you breathless! I like to write about places that I have been because it helps me relive those memories. Each place we go becomes a treasure and ultimately a part of who we are. I just got back from Puerto Rico, BEAUTIFUL!
Old San Juan reminded me of a mixture of Mexico, The French Quarter and San Francisco! I could see that being
the backdrop for one of my novels! Of course it would mean I would have to travel there again to fully get the feel! I guess I will return. Oh darn… more salsa under the stars. Poor me! Lol.
4. Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current novel?
That is really hard. As I said before, I am a hopeless romantic, so I would love to find a Dylan to sweep me off my feet. But Bradley, Nicole’s male best friend, is that boy next door you can’t help but love. I joke that if I met either one, I would
consider getting married again.
5. What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given?
My dad would always ask the question, “What if?” and wait for me to fill in the blank. Explore, imagine, and take risks with your writing. If you hit a block, ask yourself “what if?” and stay open to all the possibilities that will start bouncing around your head. Your imagination can take you anywhere! Never put it in a box.
6. Do you have a schedule for writing?
No. I write when the muse hits me.
7. Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it?
I had all three books in this trilogy mapped out as well as the next few series I will be working on,but I am flexible and many times my characters will do something unexpected and I have to rework my plan. I already have two endings
written to the Impostor Trilogy. It will be fun to see which one will end up being the final chapter! I haven’t decided yet. Feed back is wonderful! I love my fans and they may inspire which one I choose.
8. Can you name three of four of your current favourite books?
Ashes and Ice by Rochelle Maya Callen. It will be released in November. I had the privilege of being a Beta
Reader for it early on. Another would be the Deadly Mandrake—one of my dad’s books (of course I have to mention one of them!) So many books, so little time! I have too many good ones to choose from. Sorry!
9. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now?
I am finishing the second book of the Imposter Trilogy. I can’t give too many details because I would have to scream SPOILER ALERT. Sorry. I am having fun though! I love meeting with a criminal investigator over almond
bubble tea (yum!) to see if what I have written could really happen. I love watching the relationships develop as I type or scribble away and especially get chills when my fingers take over and I look at the page and say, “Did he really just do that?!”
10. What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on their journey?
The beautiful thing about the written word is it will live even after you are gone. How beautiful is it that we are reading words written down years ago, words written before we are even born, before our great-great-great grandparents were even born. What if they never let the ink bleed onto the page? You have a gift inside you. You have a voice, an experience, a story that no one else can share. Write—it can be poetry, letters, fiction, non-fiction…whatever is your muse, whatever is inside you. Enjoy the journey. Just do it! Even if it is just a journal for you to enjoy far after the memory has disappeared.
Write! At the beginning, do not worry about action verbs or grammar or convoluted compound sentences. Get down the ideas. Then go back and give them life and in the end, clean them up and make them shiny. Don’t fear constructive criticism. Some people don’t like getting feedback that isn’t perfect. I love it! I love my characters so the more time I get to spend with
them the better. Spend time with your story and always keep
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