When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve been writing since I could work a pencil. As a young girl, I would write notebook novels. I remember spending half a summer, when I was twelve, writing a mini-novel that I called The Cell.My cousins Jen and Matt helped me type it and they drew the cover art. It showed a clawed hand reaching through a doorway. I should have realized then that writing was never going away for me.
When did you start writing professionally?
I took creative writing courses during undergrad at Michigan State University as I was pursuing a degree in Psychology. I would write short stories and articles and submit them on-line or to different magazines, but I didn’t experience much success. I worked for a short time writing copy for a digital marketing agency in Traverse City and spent a couple of years writing blogs and copy for small business owners. Ultimately I realized that I wasn’t a copywriter. I love to write fiction – period. The other stuff doesn’t come naturally to me. I wrote my first book – it had a lot of holes and I never tried to publish it – in 2008. Then I started writing Ula: Born of Shadows, but took a break for a couple of years before returning to the story. I completed it and found a small publisher in 2011.
Where did the idea for Ula: Born of Shadows come from?
I originally daydreamed the character Abby finding a body in the woods. At the time I thought it would be a mystery, but the more I wrote, the more I saw Abby as a witch who discovered a magical aspect to reality.
Do you have any advice for writers?
-Write every day. Especially for indie authors. You have to write more books to establish a presence that readers can come back to. I wasted years between writing Ula and Sorciere because I felt if Ula wasn’t selling then writing Sorciere wouldn’t help, but the truth is no one wants to read one book in a series.
-Choose information that inspires you. I used to devour articles for new writers, many of which were filled with doomsday prophecies about life as a writer. Now I read and listen to writers that are making it sound easy. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, but I’m interested in getting motivated, not depressed.
-Read a lot. Everyone says this, and there’s a reason for that. Reading helps the writer in your head to hone their craft. The more I read, the more I am able to craft my own characters, worlds and plots. I’m also a wide reader. I love horror, fantasy, literary fiction, chick lit, thrillers. I believe that the variety of books that I read adds depth to my writing as well.
Tell us something that only your close friends and family know about you?
I eat weird stuff. One of my favorite snacks is saltine crackers with marinara sauce. I also love pickles with peanut butter and hard boiled eggs mixed with hummus. To be honest, most of my close friends and family don’t even know this. I tend to save my especially weird snacks for my alone time.