When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I didn’t write growing up, I played pretend. Which meant I didn’t realize I liked writing until I was an adult. I was going through a period in my life when I didn’t read that much (babies will do that to you) and a friend suggested I read the Twilight series. She said her daughters loved them, so I took her up on it. A week and half later I had the whole series read. When I was done I kept asking myself- why do I like these books? Then, it came to me-THE CHARACTERS! And through that I realized I wanted to create people, too. So, I sat down and created the characters in my first novel. That was 3 years ago.
Oh, that dang Twilight. Just kidding. I love those books. :)
Do you have a writing schedule, or do you just sit down whenever you get a spare moment?
Don’t I wish I had a writing schedule? I usually write on my lunch breaks at work, after the kids go to bed, and sometimes I shut myself in my room with a notebook and pen on the weekends.
I love writing with a notebook and pen. It's kind of calming I think. I've gotten some of my best ideas and written some of my best scenes that way.
Could you tell us a little about yourself? Random facts? Hidden talents?
Hmm…my mom thought I was a boy until she had a dream and they lifted up my shirt and I was definitely not a boy. She was disappointed because she almost had the Brady bunch. I give concerts in my car every morning and afternoon. (I’m actually not a bad singer; I was in choir during high school and college.) I would die if I did not have spell check, and I’m secretly a southern girl that lives in a Pacific North westerner’s body.
LOL I'd like to hear one of those concerts! Maybe we could do a duet! ;)
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.)
Sunscreen. I am white as a ghost and I would burn really bad. (I know boring, but who wants to be uncomfortable on an island?
What is one book you could read over and over and over?
This one is tough for me. I live for figuring out the end. I turn pages and sometimes find myself skipping parts to get there faster. (I know, I know the writer put their blood, sweat and tears into every word.) So, I don’t usually re-read books that often. But, I would have to say Chronicles of Narnia and To Kill a Mockingbird.
I love To Kill a Mockingbird. That's actually one classic that I like! :)
What book are you dying to read this year?
I assumed you meant books...The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder, Prized by Caragh M. O’Brien, The Next Door Boys by Jolene B. Perry, (if you haven’t seen her shiny new cover, you should check her website out. It’s beautiful.) and Crossed by Ally Condie.
I'm SO excited for Prized! And Crossed! And The Next Door Boys! Holla Jolene! :D
What genre do you write and why?
I write YA Urban(?) Fantasy, but I also have an idea for an Adult Contemporary and when my boys get a little older I plan on writing a full MG Fantasy with their input. I started with YA because that’s the age of the first characters that popped in my head and I don’t read adult books that much. I write fantasy because even when I’m trying to write something normal, imaginary creatures pop up in the story, I just can’t seem to help it. Oh and I love the “what if” of fantasy.
That's exactly why I write fantasy as well. I love the "what if" factor. And I LOVE imaginary creatures!
Do you have any writing rituals? Music, silence, eating, etc.
I don’t listen to music while I’m writing, unless I’m trying to feel the character’s mood. I usually have a cup of coffee somewhere nearby, and I almost always start with pen and paper. It’s my way of outlining a scene. Paper allows me to be messy and just get down the framework. Then, I type it up on the computer and add the details and emotions.
I love that. "Paper allows me to be messy and just get down the framework." So true.
Where do you come up with your ideas? Dreams, while driving, etc?
The ideas tend to just pop into my head at random times and they are pictures or conversations. I try to think about what I’m working on before I go to bed, then my brain puzzles over it while I’m sleeping and I wake up with a clearer picture in the morning.
That's awesome. I wish my brain could work things out while I slept.
Any advice for other aspiring authors?
Surround yourself with great people. Writers, friends, and family will all help you through the hard times and be able to rejoice with you when the good times happen. I have been blown away by the writing community and how helpful everyone is. It’s like we’re all on a team. I don’t know many professional communities like that. Get a Critique Partner if you don’t have one, and try to listen to what they have to say. Try not to compare yourself. (I’m still working on this one.)
It's so hard not to compare ourselves to others. I'm working on that one as well. :)
Random Writing Question: What character out of any book would you love to meet. And why? :)
OK, I am going to cheat, I mean REALLY cheat. I’m going to throw a dinner party and invite a few friends. Aslan sits at the head of the table, then surrounding him are Lucy Pevensie, Anne of Green Gables, and Nancy Drew. Here’s why-Aslan is a character I fell in love with-his warmth and love reach through the pages (and screen) and envelope me every time. Lucy because I love her almost as much as Aslan, and I think Queen Lucy would love to teach me how to fight with a sword. Anne because I think her chatter would liven up the party, and Nancy Drew because she’s been my friend since childhood and I don’t think this party would be complete without her, and she might invite the Hardy Boys.
That would be one rockin' party! :) Thank you so much, Jenny!