When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
About 5 years ago, which is sort of crazy, considering all the time I’ve spent writing in my life. I’ve always loved writing in school. I started a (very bad) book when I was very young, and I minored in English with an emphasis in creative writing. Despite all that, I never considered actually writing fiction for a living. Books are so LONG! How could I ever write that much? Then I lost the creative outlet of my theatre arts major in school, became a lawyer, and BAM! Needed another creative outlet. Law school taught me to write LONG things, I read one too many books that made me think “I can write better than that,” I read a few great books that made me want to emulate them, and here I am.
Holy crap. I had no clue you were a lawyer! That is awesome!
Do you have a writing schedule, or do you just sit down whenever you get a spare moment?
With a full-time job, three kids, and a husband, I write whenever I get a spare moment. Which is normally at night (after bedtime) or on weekends. Car rides and “outdoor activities” are great times, too. :)
I hope you're not writing while driving! He he. ;)
Could you tell us a little about yourself? Random facts? Hidden talents?
I can sing, but I can’t dance. I’m good at bossing people around as a director, but I wasn’t good enough at acting to make the acting track in college. I find it well nigh impossible to say no to anything related to writing. Worse, I can’t stop actively volunteering for things—but it’s all so fun, I can’t even really regret it, either. In the last 9 months, I’ve become a group leader for Farland’s Writer’s Groups, co-host of Farland’s Authors’ Advisory, and been a panelist/gopher at Life, the Universe, and Everything. I have a Whitney Award winning first cousin (whose name isn’t really Sandra Grey), and my husband’s brother’s wife’s father’s brother’s daughter’s married name rhymes with higher.
Cool! I wish I could volunteer for more things. That's cool that Sandra Grey is your cousin! And the author that rhymes with higher is awesome too! ;)
If you were stranded on a desert island, what is one thing you couldn't live without? (Besides your family and a laptop of course.)
Can I assume I have the necessities of life and my laptop is connected to the internet? What else could I possibly need? Food? Drinking water? Unlimited ebooks? I’m good.
Ha! Love it!
What is one book you could read over and over and over?
I can read lots of books over and over, but I buy my favorites. Anything by Stephenie Meyer, Brandon Sanderson, Shannon Hale, Dan Wells, Robyn Carr, J.K. Rowling, and a host of others.
I love Stephenie Meyer too. Even if people think it's cool to hate Twilight now. I heart those books and I don't care who knows it! :D And Shannon Hale. I love her. And of course J.K. Rowling. And Dan Wells. I've never read Robyn Carr, but I've heard she's good. I heard of Brandon Sanderson. I think everyone I've interviewed has recommended his books to me! Maybe I should get on that...
What book are you dying to read this year?
Elana Johnson’s POSSESSION—which is strange, because I’m not really a dystopian fan. Dystopia + snarky heroine, though? That I can get behind.
More than even that, though, I’m holding out hope that an ARC of EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton finds its way to me before the end of the year….
Have you seen that AMAZING cover for EVERNEATH? Holy Freak! It is BEAUTIFUL! Everyone reading this? Look it up NOW! Pretty sure it's in my top three favorite covers ever.
What genre do you write and why?
YA Urban Fantasy. Because it’s the coolest genre. (Duh.) I love stories about magic in our normal world. I love the What If of that, dreaming how things could be different with a little more magic.
Love Urban Fantasy. Probably why I write it. ;)
Do you have any writing rituals? Music, silence, eating, etc.
I’m a mother and a lifelong obsessive reader, so I’m really good at ignoring just about anything. It’s just background noise to me.
Ha ha ha!! Well said!
Where do you come up with your ideas? Dreams, while driving, etc?Wherever, really. Mostly by sitting down and considering what I want to write about. What elements interest me? What character/story do I need to fit those elements? What do I want to say with the story? I have a story on the back burner right now that started as a simple scene that niggled at me until I wrote it down. I’m still just starting the process of deciding the hows and whys of the world, what the MC would want, what would stand in her way, etc. I dream for a few months and, often, the old subconscious will pop up the perfect solution when I least expect it.
I don't think I've ever seen the word "niggled" in a sentence before. ;) I love it so much I looked it up. I know. I'm a huge geek.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Lots of advice says that, if you can possibly do anything else, do that instead, because writing is hard, and if you’re not obsessed with it, it’s not worth it. While that’s true, it’s also true that you can learn to be obsessed with writing. If that’s your dream, work at it every day, no matter what else you’re good at. Attend writer’s conferences. Join a crit group. Network with all the awesome writers online. **Waves to Chantele** Keep at it until you have at least written a whole book. Then edit that book until it’s as good as you can make it. If you hated the process and can’t imagine going through that again, maybe you should do something else. If you find you can’t stop writing… you’re a writer. Don’t quit, keep learning, and eventually you’ll succeed. (Everybody says so.)
Fantastic advice. I agree with everything you just said. Especially "If you find you can't stop writing ... you're a writer." Love it.
Random Writing Question: Your MC gets to meet a superhero. Who would they choose to meet and why?
Rogue, from X-Men. She can steal anyone’s powers, which means she’s had to adapt and learn a lot of different ways to use them. Brina could use some advice about that. Also, in the cartoon, Rogue can fly. Brina loves to fly, so they could go flying together and compare aerial tricks.
Cool! Your MC can fly? I've always wanted to be able to fly. And be invisible. Sigh. I wish I were a superhero. Thank you SO much, Robin! :D