Where are you from?
I'm originally from Portsmouth, Va. I have also lived in ME, FL, TN and currently living in Dubail.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Many things: a vet, teacher, writer, private investigator, FBI, spy, and psychologist just to name a few.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I like to be lazy, so sitting in a comfy chair and drinking coffee is always a nice way to unwind. I also like to take long walks to clear my mind.
What is your favorite food?
American. Hahaha, I miss a lot of American foods living in Dubai. I love ribs, and baked potatoes. My favorite snack food is Pop Secret homestyle popcorn which they do not sell in Dubai.
Tell us your latest news?
I'm VERY excited that my second book "Conflicted: Keegan's Chronicles" will be released soon. Fingers crossed by September 15th.
What are your current projects?
I'm actually in the process of co-writing another YA series with a new author Nolia McCarty. It's so much fun to brainstorm with another writer. The first book in the series will be called The Book of Temperance with a tentative release date of mid-November. I've kept this hush-hush so you are the first to get the scoop.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It's funny the other day my daughter asked "So, can I tell all my friends my mom is an author?" I thought that is crazy, but I guess I really am an author. It's all so new to me so it hasn't really sunk in yet.
How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
Most definitely. My mother and grandmother had a huge impact on my writing style. Being 100% Irish there were always folktales told at our house. My mother was very open about a lot of things that others might consider strange. She made astrology charts, read tarot cards, and practiced Reiki. We use to follow her around as she sold her paintings during outdoor art shows. My father was pretty crazy. He loved to tell outrageous stories about monsters, aliens, and big foot. I honestly think he believed in all of them. We were raised to believe that imagination was one of the greatest tools.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I have major grammar issues. There is no way I could make it without my critique partners, and editors. I really don't know how I made it through college.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Well, I don't have to, but I love to travel. We are in a unique position living in Dubai. We are able to travel to many places cheaply that we would have never had the chance to in the States. I love using places I've visited in my books.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Find a couple of critique buddies. Hire an editor or two. Most importantly just write even if you doubt yourself keep writing.
Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?
I walk and walk and walk. Walking seems to help me when I get stuck. I also need quiet to think. I get stressed out if the kids are acting up. I know it's useless and wait until I can find some quiet time to think.
How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
They seem to develop for me. I'm very unorganized so I wouldn't do well with set formulas.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Three to four months for the rough draft so far.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for taking your time to read my books. There are so many choices out there that I feel honored every time I get a sale or see a new review.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Conflicted is the second book in the Keegan's Chronicles series. I don't want to give too much away, but Keegan went through a dramatic change at the end of book one. Conflicted deals with the changes and how she reacts to them.
What inspired you to pen your first novel?
My husband. He always believes I can do anything. We were talking about it and he told me to go for not for a second doubting if I could or not.
Who designed the covers?
I got so lucky finding Kadri Umbleja from deviantart.com. She is amazing.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I want people to take from it whatever relates to them. There are several messages, but I just hope readers enjoy the story.
What are you reading now?
Kissed by Darkness by Shea Macleod. It's really good.
What new author has grasped your interest?
My two critique buddies Heather Adkins and Talia Jager. Both are excellent writers.
Do you think Americans are reading less than they have before? Why or why not?
I'm really not sure as I haven't read any data on this lately. I've always been an avid reader so to me it's just odd to think of not reading a lot. I think teens are reading more thanks to Twilight. I have a teen daughter and most of her friends love to read. I think e-books are making it easier for people to read more often.
Interview by Sue Owen
This is part one of a series of interviews for my blog tour through Indie Writers Unite. Look for the Support Indie Authors logo for further submissions. Please support these authors, check out their blogs and purchase their books. They are the best of the best. /Sue Owen.