1. When you think of your favorite books, what is it that draws you to them and makes you want to read them over and over again? Characters who are relatable. Feeling connected to the characters, like I’m living in their world and am experiencing all their emotions with them… that’s what makes me want to revisit the stories over and over.
2. Did you consciously decide to write the genre you write, or did it choose you? I write the stories that excite me the most and don’t really think about which genres they fit into. I let the categories sort themselves out once the books are published! I’ve discovered that my most comfortable voice is a younger one – it’s what comes naturally to me, probably because I still feel very young at heart!
3. If you could sit down for a drink and a chat with any writer, who would it be, and why? Francine Pascal because her Sweet Valley High series was incredibly influential on me as a young reader and writer. I devoured those books and wanted to live in that world and be Elizabeth! The soap opera-ish feel to the series inspired many of the stories I wrote growing up. I’d love to ask her about her writing process and how she was able to come up with so many story ideas.
4. When you are not writing (or reading) what is your favorite pastime? I love traveling, especially to figure skating competitions, and I follow the sport very closely. Closer to home, I have a TV addiction to Once Upon a Time, Chicago Fire, Pretty Little Liars, The New Normal, and Big Bang Theory.
5. At what point were you sure that your book was ready to be published, and how did you go about making it happen? I started out writing the story just for fun – for a few friends to read. Once I decided I wanted to share it with the world, I spent a long time rewriting, editing, and learning how to be a better writer. After I let my critique group read the entire edited draft and addressed all their comments, I felt it was ready to be submitted. I’d researched various publishing options and I’d found a new publisher, Astraea Press, who I thought would fit my needs perfectly. While I’d been polishing my draft, I’d made some contact with a few of their authors and got a better feel for the company. I submitted my manuscript to them and received a contract within a month. I was on top of the world!