2. Tell us a little about your life outside of the world of writing.
I’m a freelance writer and internet marketer by day as well as an adjunct creative writing professor for the online graduate program at Southern New Hampshire University so I’m afraid I don’t have much of a life outside of writing! I do live with my husband, Peter, though, and my two cats, Frank and Julian. And I post way too many cat pictures on Instagram.
3. How long have you been writing? What genres have you written? They don’t have to be published.
I have been writing pretty constantly since I learned how. When I was 7, I used to write little plays and make the neighborhood kids perform them in the driveway. I have written plays and screenplays, but lately, I write mostly young adult urban fantasy fiction.
4. What has been the greatest influence to your writing? Other authors, life experiences, etc…
I have had so many theatre, literature, and creative writing teachers over the course of high school, college, and grad school in my MFA program that were huge influences on me. I am also greatly influenced by my favorite authors (Anne Rice, Jane Austen, Stephen Chbosky, Rainbow Rowell, Stephenie Meyer) and my favorite musicians (M83, Beach House, Slowdive, Morrissey, Smashing Pumpkins, the list goes on).
Yes, I am working on the third and final book in The Muse Chronicles called You and the Night. It should be coming out sometime in 2018 though I’m not sure when.
6. How do you typically begin your projects? Do you create outlines and character profiles or jump in head first with the initial idea? And do you focus on just one at a time?
I used to always be a pantser, especially with fiction. I would write 100 pages before I even knew what story I was trying to tell. Now I’m sort of a combination of plotter and pantser. I try to write a vague outline of the whole story, then I do a detailed outline for about five chapters, and then I’ll write those chapters. Then I’ll repeat until I’m finished. I may make big changes when I’m drafting or revising but I try not to start writing until I have some idea of where the story is going.
7. What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?
Because I’m also a playwright, I think dialogue is my greatest strength. This can also be a weakness, though, because I tend to use it too much, and sometimes I need more reflection and description.
8. After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share?
Lately, I’ve been reaching out to people on Amazon who have reviewed other indie books in my genre and telling them about my books. I’ve had a lot of great results with that. I think the main thing with marketing is persistence. You have to be willing to work hard and try different things.
9. What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?
When you’re just starting out, don’t worry about literary agents or traditional publishing or self-publishing or critique partners or beta readers. It should just be you and the story, and you should try to focus on what you love about the writing process. Once you have a story, then you can get feedback from peers and teachers and editors and decide what to do with it.