I often chat about my writing process right here on my blog, but if you’re searching for answers, I hope this page answers your questions. If you still have questions, feel free to comment below, and I’ll do my best to answer.
When did you know you wanted to be an author? I’ve always loved to write, but I ultimately decided to pursue publishing when I was 11. Yes, 11! At that time, my mom passed away very suddenly, and I realized I wanted to spend my life doing what I loved. She had always wanted to write but never did, and it was my wake-up call. I wish my wake-up call had been different, but I know my mom would be proud.
Where do you get your inspiration? All around me! I love to read and listen to people’s stories. I love interacting with nature and the world around me. But a lot of my initial story ideas happen when I’m asleep. My dreams are super vivid, and I’ve always used them as inspiration.
How do you balance a full-time job and write? I work full-time for The Story Center in Kansas City, so I put in a minimum of 40 hours a week at my day job. (Sometimes more!) But I love my day job. I get to be around storytellers all day. I am constantly inspired. That being said, working full time and writing takes a lot of hard work and dedication. I get up early before work to write, and I usually use my lunch breaks and weekends to write, too. My suggestion: experiment with your schedule and find what works for you. Be willing to adjust. If you’re curious, this is what my life was like as a night-shift full-time freelance editor and publicist in 2015, and here’s my post in 2013 that covered what my writing life was like as a full-time college senior working part-time at a publisher. Here’s my latest routine, which I wrote about in February 2019.
How did you become an author? I read a lot, and then I wrote a lot. And then, I wrote some more. I found critique partners, edited my work, and then reached out to agents and publishers. I received lots of rejections, but I made friends along the way. In fact, having a supportive network has been the most beneficial to me, personally, emotionally, mentally, and career-wise. I suggest every writer do the same. Oh, and keep writing! Dare to dream big, then be willing to put the work in to make those dreams happen.
How can I become an author? Read and write until you can’t read and write anymore…and then, keep reading and writing. Educate yourself on the publishing process through websites like Jane Friedman’s Key Book Publishing Paths and Query Shark. Reach out to your local SCBWI chapter. Attend conferences if you can. Apply for mentorships, such as PitchWars. There are so many options today. Even better? The writing community is a super supportive network, especially on Twitter. Check out #writingcommunity and just dive in.
How can I get review copies of your books? Please use my contact form with the following details: Which books, who you are reviewing for, URL of website/journal, etc. I cannot guarantee a review copy.
Can I get my book signed? I offer signed copies on a limited basis. Please use my contact form with the following details: Address, personalization request, titles, and number of copies.
Can you visit my school/city? I have a special page for Book Clubs and Teachers. Please check it out and ask your teacher, librarian, or local bookstore to contact me via my form. I am available to schedule in-person visits as well as via Skype or ZOOM.
What are you currently reading? Follow me on Goodreads! I aim to read a minimum of 52 books a year, one for every week.
THE TIMELY DEATH TRILOGY
Where did you get your inspiration for the superpowers, particularly the giant swords? I grew up watching anime and reading manga, and I always loved the ginormous swords. Not only were they beautiful, but they just looked so powerful (and fun)! I loved Sailor Moon, Inuyasha, etc., and still do.
Will there be another trilogy or prequel? Maybe one day! However, there are no plans for this at this time.
BAD BLOODS SERIES
What is the order of Bad Bloods? The Bad Bloods series is a unique model. It’s what I’d call a generational duology series. Though the story is linear, the books are told by different sets of bad bloods. The first set – November Rain and Snow – are told by Daniel and Serena in November 2089. The second set – July Thunder and July Lightning – follows the same timeline, but takes place in July 2090 and told by Violet and Caleb. You get to see the old cast, but also meet new bad bloods!
Book 1: November Rain
Book 2: November Snow
Book 3: July Thunder
Book 4: July Lightning
Can I read July Thunder/Lightning without reading November Rain/Snow? Yes, you can read them independently, but I suggest reading them in order.
Will there be any more Bad Bloods books? Not at this time, no. If you heard the rumors, I did have an outline for October Blood #5 and October Bone #6, which followed Ami and Skeleton. So, maybe one day!
I heard Bad Bloods was originally published when you were 16. Is that true? Yes. November Rain and November Snow were originally one book, and it was published in 2007 by Golden Eagle Publishing. The publisher is no longer around. Over the years I rewrote it and Clean Teen Publishing, who published the Timely Death trilogy, decided to take a chance on the series. When I was 16, I planned the series to be 12 novels long! (One for each month.) I’ve learned to scale back since then.
I heard Violet from Bad Bloods is related to Jessica and Eric in the Timely Death trilogy. Is that true? Yes, but to avoid spoilers to those who haven’t read, you’ll have to highlight my answer below:
Violet is Eric and Jessica’s future daughter.
THE TOMO TRILOGY
What happened to Take Me Tomorrow? It was originally published by AEC Stellar Publishing in 2014, but was removed from the market less than three months later when the publisher closed down.
Where can I read Take Me Tomorrow? Since rehoming seemed implausible, I decided to upload Take Me Tomorrow to Wattpad, which is actually where the novel originated. Here’s a link to my Wattpad.
When will book 2 and 3 release? Took Me Yesterday, book 2, of the Tomo trilogy is already posted on Wattpad! You can read the full novel here. Book 3, Never Taken, will go up eventually, but I’m focused on other projects right now.
Where can I get paperback copies? The Tomo trilogy is not currently available for purchase in paperback or ebook form. I may self-publish it one day, but for now, I’m satisfied with it being exclusively on Wattpad.
When does your next book come out? Only the future knows!
What are you currently working on? The best way to get a sneak peek at my secret projects is by subscribing to my quarterly newsletter Coffee & Writing. Only four emails a year, but I promise it’s worth it! And you might win prizes, too.