Tell us about yourself. How long have you been writing? I started on comic books…yes, I’m a comic book geek. Then I became a full-fledged book lover ever since my parents took me to this cool thing called the “public library.” I picked up this awesome book called “Nancy Drew” and never looked back. In hindsight, my parents were smart to take me to the library. No parent could have afforded my voracious reading habit—which is why I’m fully onboard with the eBook craze.
I’ve been writing since I first opened a composition book on vacation in India over ten years ago. Those long train rides can leave you a lot of time to come up with a great story. I remember finishing that first novel and having a stack of composition books to stare at. It was then that I realized I’d have to transcribe it all onto the computer. That second draft took a really long time.
How did you get from your day job to writing romance? Since I started writing before graduating from school, I’ve always had a day job and a night job (writing). I really don’t know what my life would be like without a work-in-progress. Maybe I’d take up video games. I’m fascinated by how far gaming has come—how complex the storyline and the graphics have become. I’m a computer programmer and a writer so the mix of the two in gaming intrigues me.
It was also the reason that pushed me to release My Boyfriend Merlin as an e-Book. More and more I see my digital library taking over.
Who is your favorite author(s) and why? Do you remember “Whitney, My Love” by Judith McNaught? That hooked me forever on romance. It’s a bit outdated now but I just loved the complexity of the story. Right now I’m really into Nalini Singh. I just love paranormal and hers are so intricate.
In YA, my favorite book has to be Beauty by Robin McKinley. What a wonderful story for a girl whose way too much into fairy tales. Recently though, I’ve been devouring the Vampire Academy series. I haven’t finished the series yet but everyone I’ve read so far has been so much fun.
The series that affected me the most, however, has to be Alanna by Tamora Pierce. I love the sword and sorcery bit—hence my own foray into the world of a modern day Merlin.
Tell us about your new book. My Boyfriend Merlin is a YA Arthurian paranormal set during our time. In this story, Merlin goes to high school to recruit Candidates to pull the sword from the stone—one of them his ex-girlfriend.
If you can’t trust your boyfriend, who can you trust? But wait…don’t let me just tell you—watch the book trailer on youtube at: http://youtu.be/dTMiYHRFEt8
Book Trailer Share Code:
<iframe width="480" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/dTMiYHRFEt8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
What is the appeal of writing Young Adult Fantasy genre? I love how varied the world of YA literature has become. It’s a fascinating time in our lives and even though I’m past it I still remember the highs and lows during that stage. I hope that my writing while entertaining and being escapist also helps those who read it by identifying with the characters and their situations. Sometimes the world can seem so dark and great books can be the beacons.
What kind of writing turns you off? Tough question because I read a lot and in different areas. I tended to be female-protagonist centric…then Harry Potter came along. I tended to not read too much literature…then my critique partner started writing it. I usually stay away from non-fiction…but then I had to crack open a computer book again. What I’ve learned is that great story is out there in any genre…
What stops you from writing? Oh, my old friend, the Internet. It’s a love-hate relationship. I’m sure everyone has the same problem. It’s just so hard to turn things off.
How have you shocked your readers? Hopefully by putting a few twists and turns in the story so they’re kept guessing all the way through. I’m a mystery junkie (yep, back to that Nancy Drew) again. To me a great plot will throw the reader a few curve balls. But not to worry, I can’t stand it if a book doesn’t have a finish…so I made sure I covered that.
How do you get your ideas? What is your writing day like? I think about what I want to say and the story forms around it. I’m pretty disciplined about writing. It’s the best thing in the world to do. I get crabby if I don’t do it. Once I get my behind into the chair (usually the hard part) I can write for hours. I also have to have music. I know a lot of writers don’t but I need my teen-bop.
Can you share three writing tips? First draft. Find a spot. Find a Starbucks. And just write it. Don’t worry about what you’re writing. Just put words down on paper until you can say “The End.”
Always push. Push your characters and your story past the point where you’re comfortable that’s when things happen.
Conflict. If there are not multiple levels of conflict in a scene, cut it.
Fill in this blank: My ideal fictional hero would think me gorgeous if…all I wanted to do was be a lump on the couch and watch the latest episode of Star Trek.
What's your favorite dessert? Custard. Bet you don’t hear that very often. My grandmother used to make it for me when I was a kid. It was a lumpy disaster. My grandmother was not necessary the best cook. When I had it at a restaurant (Crème Brule) you can’t get real custard in the states without making it yourself, I saw what I was missing. But the memories combined with a new non-lumpy recipe, it’s my absolute favorite.