What made you decide to write? What did you do before becoming a writer?
Though, I have always been a writer, there was a moment in my life when I said, “I need to write a book.” It was because of a dream, not the proverbial kind, but the “wake up groggy and wonder what the heck that was all about,” kind.
I’d been sort of running this play in my mind for years (about 12 I believe), sometimes I’d dream about it. Other times I would imagine the characters doing something extraordinary. Until I dreamed the end … period … all of the sudden the story was done.
It was such a shock I had to write it down. That was three years ago and I’ve been writing fulltime ever since. The last career I had before that was Salon Owner/Nail Tech. I don’t miss it.
Do you have a writing routine? What does it look like? Where do you usually write?
I do have a routine, I wake up and write until the words are blurry, go to bed, wake up and do it again.
My goodness - that sounds dull. It isn’t to me, I’m in heaven. But my family and friends think I’ve lost my mind. Egh, I’m happy with my insanity.
Where I write changes, when I’m home I have an office. But my husband is currently on deployment at Fort Gordon Georgia and I’m down here hangin out in our 5th Wheel with him. Now I write at the dinette set or in the gazebo, if it’s not too hot.
Is the life of a writer what you thought it be? What is different?
It is exactly what I thought it would be, its magical, its compulsive and its engaging. Writing digs its hooks into me and captures my mind endlessly. Whether my fingers are moving or not, I am always writing and I love it.
Do you have any special time management tricks for working in writing time and living a normal life?
I don’t think I am capable of being “normal” anymore. I have the utmost respect for writers who write while raising children or working another fulltime job, that is true talent.
What is the best advice you have received about this journey?
It wasn’t advice given to me personally, it’s my favorite quotes that inspire me to keep writing. Here are a few…
"What you write becomes who you are…so make sure you love what you write!" J.K. Rowling
And my favorite…
“If you love to write, then write. Don't let your goal be having a novel published, let your goal be enjoying your stories. However, if you finish your story and you want to share it, be brave about it. Don't doubt your story's appeal. If you are a good reader, and you know what is interesting, and your story is interesting to you, then trust in that. If I would have realized that the stories in my head would be as intriguing to others as they were to me, I would probably have started writing sooner. Believe in your own taste.” Stephenie Meyer
What advice do you wish someone would have given you when you were starting out?
Don’t rush it, slow down and enjoy the ride. If writing truly is what you want to for the rest of your life, then take the time to grow your skill and make your characters live through your words.
What do you do to fight burnout? Do you ever worry about "running out of stories"? How do combat that?
I hope and pray I never have to find the answer to this question. I have taken breaks from writing, but they were intentional and quite frankly almost painful. I cannot finish one book without the next great idea formulating in my brain.
What kind of scenes do you have a hard time writing?
I don’t find that one type of scene is harder to write than the others, for me I struggle with the transaction from one BIG scene to the next. I see the book like a storyboard in my head first. Half a dozen big events that push the plot, those are easy to write, filling in the gaps with necessary information without boring the reader to tears, that’s my challenge.
Do you ever write material based on your close relationships, such as a best friend? And how do you balance that material with the need to tell an interesting story?
I do not model books off my relationships, but I do borrow aspects or personality quirks if they lend themselves to the characters believability. So if you have a funny saying you use repeatedly, look out - it might end up in a novel.
What sources do you use for inspiration? (Music, movies, people watching)
My inspiration comes from unexpected places. Sometimes it just takes one word and whole story jumps to life, other times it may be a strange situation or even the pattern in linoleum that looks like a weird mystical creature.
What do you do when you aren’t writing?
I love the outdoors, boating, hiking, camping and motorcycling. I’m also a HUGE nerd. I love movies and books (obviously). I am a midnight release junky. You’ll find me in line with every other Potterhead and Twihard in costume probably. I’m also a Disney freak and I just got my first (real) tattoo. It covers half my back and is of Snow White, because she was my first true love, until Star Wars, when I turned into a geek.
Tell us a bit about your work in progress.
I’m so excited to share SEEK with you. I actually just finished my first draft yesterday and now I’m editing and getting ready to send it off to beta readers. Here’s a blurb…
SEEK is about seventeen year old Keira who poses as her older sister to join the secret governmental agency Search.Evade.Extract.Kill, as a huntress of shadows known as, khayal. Every khayal seen from the corner of her eye, every feeling as if someone is watching her, every whisper of wind in the trees that's a khayal and it's her job to kill them. She's good at being a SEEK agent, her life is focused and controlled and she's working toward her goal. Until Jonathan Steed saunters in, with his brilliant green eyes and shows her what the khayal really are and that SEEK's true identity and motivation are not honorable. Bitten by khayal or bitten by love, either way, her heart isn't safe and neither is she, now she's her own enemy. SEEK has kidnapped her family and every government agency is after her, teaming up with Jonathan and the khayal is the only way she'll survive.
What is next for you?
Next I am going to try something different, until now I’ve written only YA and MG, but I’m going to write a crossover. WHISPER’S CURSE will hold something for both male and female 15-80 years old and should be a lot of fun to write. I’ll keep my website updated.
How can we find out more about you? Blogs? Facebook? Twitter?
Thanks Dawn for my first interview! It was great fun! I’m usually on the other side, but I really enjoyed answering your intriguing questions.
Candie, thank you for stopping by!