What is your favorite writing and reading genre?
Young adult. I never grew out of it, though I occasionally wander over to new adult. As for subgenre (fantasy, contemporary, dystopia, etc) it just depends on my mood, I love them all!
Where and how did you get your idea for your books?
Most often, it’s listening to music. I get “book videos” in my head when I hear a song -doesn’t matter what the song is, any genre *Country, rock, pop, classical, etc), something about the song whether it’s the feel or the lyrics, or both, will call out to me and I’ll suddenly see scenes from a book. For The Black Mage that happened way back when I was in middle school, I heard a rock song and pictured a guy and girl fighting each other with magic despite the fact they were in love. Thus, Darren and Ryiah were born.
If a movie or TV show would be created for your books, which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead roles for you books?
Kind of a cross between a young Jared Leto (early 2000’s era) and Ian Somerhalder for Darren, as for Ryiah I really don’t know -I like the idea of Emma Stone and someone else, not sure who.
When did you decide to become a writer?
Always, I just never thought I could finish a book or that it was a stable career. It took some reality checks to make me realize personal happiness was more important than money or stability. And as to finishing a book, if you want something bad enough, you’ll make it happen.
How did you get your book published? How long did it take for you to get it published?
I got my deal 5 months after I finished the first draft of First Year. It was another 7 months before that book got published.
Do you ever get writer’s Block? If so, which book did you get the worst while writing?
Every single book. I suffer from writer’s block a lot. I plot my books out from the start but I’m also a perfectionist so if something doesn’t feel right I can’t move forward until I solve the issue. My worst case was Last Stand, there were a lot of issues outside of writing that made it harder to write, but the truth is Last Stand was the book I’ve had in my head all along. When I started this series, I knew how it would end all along. I’ve been working this entire time towards the events that transpire in the final book, so the pressure was paramount and everything had to be perfect. What’s funny is the parts that took me the longest time to un-block are the best parts in the entire book -I wrote and rewrote those chapters so many time and they are so much stronger for it.
What is the average time for you to write a book?
Ha, if I had no other responsibility than writing, 2 months, easy. But, truly, I aim for 3-6 months per book because life and other authorly responsibilities get in the way!
For your own reading, do you prefer kindle or paperback books?
I prefer to read ebooks, but I collect paperbacks of my favorites. The paperbacks are more of a novelty so I can display on my shelves at home -I’m striving to build my own YA library one day.
How are the covers made for you book?
You’d have to ask my cover artist -I just pay them and tell them my ideas!
What advice would you give writer wannabes and future/young authors?
It sounds corny as heck, but never give up. Write every day, and push past that writer’s block (believe me, I know how hard that can be). I could write an essay on this -but really, a great tip is to follow your favorite authors’ newsletters and look at writing advice forums and blogs. Authors like Susan Dennard give great tips, and it helps to see people you really respect struggle with block too!
What do you do during your free time, how do you relax?
Reading, hiking, and Netflix are the three most common denominators.
When would the cover for the fourth book of the Black Mage series be reveled, when would the book be released, along with the novella?
I can’t comment just yet on this, hopefully I’ll have some concrete news revealed soon. I have big plans but there are some issues I have to work out first. Just follow my author newsletter to stay up-to-date!
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