- What inspires you to write?
I suppose the things which most inspire me are various forms of injustice that I see not being given the exposure which they deserve or major moments of history that have, though odd twists of fate, been catapulted into the obscurity of being footnotes.
- Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I don’t read anywhere near as much as I wish I could. I’m very fond of Anita Diamant, Susan Kay, Edgar Allan Poe, Anne Rule, V. C. Andrews, and William Shakespeare.
- Have you ever left any of your books stew for months on end or even a year?
I generally have several works in progress at any given time. So long as I complete at least one novel a year though, I’m happy.
- What is your take on the importance of a good cover and title?
Presentation is immensely important, so I always keep an eye out for great new cover artists online. As for titles, they’re the method to hook your audience, so, even if they’re only a single word long, they necessitate a great deal of consideration. Personally, I always run my title past a few key friends and family that I trust.
- How much of yourself do you put into your books?
A lot of my projects become intensely personal, particularly ones that touch on race, gender, and disability issues, which is why I sometimes need to take breaks from them.
- Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Research. I absolutely cannot abide badly-researched historical or medical scenes in fiction. To my mind, it’s better to be stuck in limbo, studying to get a portrayal done correctly, than to go ahead, like a bull in a china shop, and write inaccurate shlock.
- What is that one thing you think readers generally don’t know about your specific genre?
That depends. I write in several genres–mainly historical fiction, horror, and very recently I’ve broken into children’s books as well. Regarding historical fiction, one thing that I’ve encountered repeatedly is that a lot of people have concepts essentially set in stone in their mind about how things were during other time periods and they don’t like those concepts challenged. One needs to keep an open mind. Regarding horror, the question that’s popular to ask is whether or not writing it scares the author, like it scares the reader. For me, the answer’s yes. And, if it’s not yes, then it’s back to the drawing board. Lastly, regarding children’s books, I think that one of the popular myths regarding these brief, illustrated tales is that they have to be limited to non-serious subjects, as though children can’t handle anything else. Unfortunately, children live in a complicated world, many facing very complicated issues, just like adults, and they need literature and art to talk them through it.
- What do you do in your free time?
I have a couple books that I’m very close to having ready for publication submission. Perhaps when those are done, I’ll treat myself to some time off. In the meantime, I’m a full-time author, housewife, and mother of two. Free time? What’s that?
- Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?
Firstly, learn to LOVE the editing process. When you’re starting out, sometimes editing can feel like the worst thing in the world, but you’ve got to get rid of that negative attitude and look forward to perfecting the piece. There is no such thing as an acceptable first draft. I’ve seen plenty of people refuse to edit their work and, to my mind, this is what separates the amateurs from the professionals.
- Where can readers learn more about you?
In this day and age, being a writer means more than just writing. Success necessitates an online presence–twitter, blog, facebook author page; et cetera. To be honest, I’m a rather private person by these standards. That said, I do plan to be revving the engine back up on my blog in the near future.