Tuesday, January 3, 2012




Thank you Andrea for allowing Great Minds to interview you. In your bio you said you'd been writing since you were a kid, do you remember your first creative piece that you wrote and how old you might have been at the time?

*laughs* No, not really. I know I wrote stories for school growing up. The first one I can remember is a personal story I wrote in sixth grade about when I fell off my bike and broke my arm when I was 6.

Besides "Harry Potter" and "LOTR" what are some of your other all time favorite fantasty novels and what authors have inspired you over the years?

I also LOVE the “Percy Jackson” series. Rick Riordan is definitely another fantasy author at the top of my list. I enjoyed the “Dragonlance” series by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis. I also love to read romance novels. Danielle Steel is my favorite author and another huge inspiration to me. I enjoy Nicholas Sparks’ books, too.

Tell us about your book "The Chosen" and where can we find it?

“The Chosen” is about a young girl named Halli who learns her true calling in life, and joins a group of warriors on a mission to save their world. It’s a book I wrote for young adults, but kids as young as 10 and adults as well have enjoyed the book, which makes me very happy. Readers can find it at SolsticePublishing.com, on the Amazon Kindle, and on Smashwords.com for several different ereaders.

You are originally from New Jersey and now live in Florida, how different is the climate and do you still find yourself trying to get used to it?

The climate is very different. New Jersey is much colder, and it snows there in the winter. I was 7 when I moved to Florida, so I honestly don’t remember the feelings of those differences. I do know that even in Florida, occasionally in the winters it will get cold (not as cold as NJ, of course), and I’ll want it to warm up again. So, I’m probably better off down here anyway 

You worked for three years on "The Chosen" what was your inspiration for the book and tell us a bit about the writing process.

My initial inspiration was watching the movie “The Seeker: The Dark is Rising.” I had been trying my hand at different children’s stories, but nothing was coming together very well. Then, one day, I was watching the movie and I thought to myself, “I love fantasies. Why don’t I try my hand at writing one?” At the time, I was playing a role-playing game with my family, and I decided to create a story with our characters. I created my own world, Phantasma, and made up a story of the group meeting for the first time to defend their world from an evil creature. I slowly worked on it over the years, adding things here and there as I thought about it. When I realized one day that I was ready to type “The End,” I was beyond thrilled.

What does your family think about your writing and do you allow them to critique your work at all?

My family LOVES that I write, a luxury I know not many writers can claim, so I feel very fortunate for that. They are all very supportive. They’ll read my stories when I ask and give me their opinions, help me edit as I go (it’s hard to see all of your own typos), and encourage me to keep going when I’m burning out. I’ll listen to any suggestions they have while reading my manuscripts, but in the end, I make the decision whether to take their suggestions or not.

Are there any other genres that you have thought about writing in and what do you have planned next?

I tried my hand at an adult romance novel, with inspiration from Danielle Steel’s books. But I could never finish it. It just didn’t feel right. As I mentioned, I also tried my hand at a short story series for younger readers, but it never went anywhere. I feel I have found my niche now that I’ve been writing “The Chosen,” and plan to stick to that series for a while. Book two is done and on spec with my publisher, and the first draft of book three is almost complete. I also have another YA fantasy novel in the works that’s completely separate from the series. I’ve been working on it on-and-off over the years, and hope to finish it someday.

When you get the chance to read, what are some of your favorite genres?

*laughs* YA fantasy. I know, big surprise. But I love them. They take you to places you can only imagine going, and let your imagination continue to soar. I also still like to read Danielle Steel books, although I have several I haven’t read yet. I also enjoy Nicholas Sparks, and occasionally John Grisham.

Having a Bachelors Degree in journalism have you ever done any reporting or thought about it?

Oh, yes. I’m a part-time freelance writer. I write web copy for several different Internet sites, including Gather.com, DailyGlow.com, and recently, Bounty.com.

Do you have any advice you'd like to give to other aspiring authors?

Never give up your dreams. Keep working toward your goals, even when they feel impossible to reach. Reach for the stars, and make all your dreams come true.

No comments:

Post a Comment