I usually always have a story forming in my head, no matter what I am doing. Writing allows me to let the story out while giving me the chance to fully form the details. I am a detail-oriented person, I love making things more complicated than they need to be and things like creating an elaborate plot or world-building really let that part of me shine. The strongest characters I create attach themselves to me, making a place in my head where they can flourish.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. I never thought that I’d publish anything… ever. I spent years of my life hoarding my stories away and finding ways to sabotage myself so that I didn’t have to worry about anyone ever reading the words I’d written. After some not-so-subtle encouragement from my husband, I entered a writing contest held by a convention we were going to be at. I wrote a short story and submitted it, expecting to never hear a thing about it again. Little did I know that was going to be the start of a whole new journey. That anyone likes my work in the first place means a lot to me. Anyone who professes themselves to be a ‘fan’ of my work…that is surreal and amazing.
Who are your favorite authors?
Patrick Rothfuss. Hands down, my favorite author and the only one I’ve ever fan-girled over. The way Mr. Rothfuss uses words is captivating and I find myself almost insatiable for more. I love the detail in the world he created.
I also read a lot of Stephen King, I love the unexpected twists to his stories and the way he’s not afraid of just doing what he wants.
I am a big fan of George R.R. Martin, his complete abandon of doing what’s expected and how he sticks to the story he has inside of him, no matter how much it angers his fans. Plus, if you’ve ever read my work you’d know that I love killing characters and that habit of Mr. Martin’s both thrills and terrifies me. If Arya ever dies, I just don’t know what I’ll do.
I love J.K. Rowling. Her character development is so intense and pure that they become familiar friends, ones I consider essential parts of life. I admire that trait, the talent she has for creating characters with depth and richness. I’m also incredibly envious of it.
I am a big fan of Michael R. Hicks. He’s created a series that grabbed me and sucked me in. I am still reading through it because I can’t get enough.
What do you read for pleasure?
Horror, Sci-Fi and Fantasy, Mysteries and Thrillers.
What is your writing process?
I find that I’m most productive when I know what I’m doing. I write a rough list of the parts of the story, main and sub plots, then arrange them into sections. Using these sections, I write the chapters. It’s weird but it works for me.
What are you working on next?
Right now I’m editing ‘Planet Bound’ my debut novel with my editor. I’m also working on world building for a series…I’ve mocked 6 books in the series so far, not sure if I’ll end up doing more or not. They’ll be YA novels, written in honor of my daughter. As with pretty much everything I write, they’ll be dark, I’m not sure if my style will work for YA but I’m plunging ahead.
Describe your desk
I spend a lot of time at my computer. Dual 22″ widescreen monitors, a massive whiteboard with plot info and more sticky notes than I can count are the things you’d notice first. There’s usually a cup of coffee with me while I’m working and a few reference books scattered about. I try and keep my space neat but using it so much lets it get out of hand.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have a day job taking calls and answering questions. I spend time with my kids, Christian and Ashleigh, as often as I can. I have a huge group of friends with whom I enjoy an active social life. I am a huge fan of football and I love to read, cook and watch movies.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I own a Kindle, a gift from my father.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Anchorage and grew up in Kirkland, a suburb of Seattle. I don’t know if the location of my childhood had as much impact on me as the influence of those around me. My parents have always been big readers, encouraging the habit since I was little. I was also exposed to science fiction and horror at a young age, things I latched onto with glee. When I found fantasy, I began reading as much of it as I could. I am a speed reader and started on adult novels before I was out of grade school.
It’s so odd how the smallest things can trigger a moment of pure inspiration. I love those times where I am minding my own business and suddenly there is a voice inside my head that is demanding to be heard, a story that is screaming to be told. A scene I can smell. Especially after long periods where I start to worry if I have tapped my creative resources completely. Like it’s a well that will eventually dry up.
I knew that starting a new job would be a good thing for my writing, and it has been. I’ve been very productive both with PB and the editing but also with 7R — I’ve gotten layouts and some actual writing done as well. I am SO excited for that project.
I still have a TON of things on my to do list and the deadlines are coming up fast but as long as I stick to my guns and keep pushing myself, I’ll accomplish what I’ve set out to do.
No one else can make these dreams come true.
No one else can ruin them, either.
In my newest project, I am world-building a universe that will be the setting for a series of of YA novels. Each has a theme that has been selected already and the first has been roughly outlined. I have the rough map of the landscape itself and a list of ‘background’ characters that are centralized enough to carry through several of the stories.
I’ve been doing a lot of research and have been compiling information and details in a lot of different places. Now I’m at a point where I need to start bringing this information into one organized place and I don’t know how I am going to do that. In my current situation it needs to be in such a way that can be put away when I’m not using it, my usual method of my big whiteboard doesn’t work because it’s put away…there’s no room for it here. I am just really frustrated trying to figure out how to make this work when everything I try just keeps not working out and making less sense than before and … ARGH.
I can’t wait until I have space of my own that I can control and manipulate however I please. This is really hindering my creativity.
On the other hand, I am coming up with some really great ideas in all this researching. It’s been really fun. I am really excited for this project — I think it’s going to be really stellar once it’s completed.
So it’s not entirely bad. I just need to concentrate on the things that I have control over right now.
As summer wraps up into fall [FINALLY!!!] the little bug is off to fifth grade and I’m getting ready to start my new job next week. Within a few months we hope to be in a new apartment and finally settling into our new life. I’m working hard on the outline for the first Cimmerian Forest novel though I keep losing my writing time…I’ve had a lot of medical troubles in the last few weeks. I was hospitalized for a few days without my laptop (this was bordering on torture, let me tell you) and have just been in no condition to write at all. Well, except right before I fall asleep & I’ve already taken my meds. This might be the single most annoying thing in the world and I swear it happens every. single. night. Ugh.
I am also working really hard on the deep edits for Planet Bound with Charity. I want to get it done & ready to go to print before mid-December. Why? Because in January I have been invited to Rustycon as a pro and I really, really want to have the book there & available to sell.
I don’t have a heck of a lot of time to get this done and I’m trying not to stress out about it (especially because of a probable ulcer). I just need to concentrate, believe in myself and get it frigging done.
SO! Get your plans in order to come to SeaTac this January and see me at Rustycon!
In outlining the first novel for my Cimmerian Forest series, I first needed to be able to clearly picture the world in which these stories would be happening. Since I’m not using *our* world, I get to run wild and free with my imagination and make my own. So I present to you, the sneak peek of the rough draft of the map! Of course, this isn’t the same that will be used for future books (other places in the three countries will be highlighted in addition to and in place of those you see) but it gives you a general idea.
I am SUPER excited for this story.
As of this moment, the manuscript for my science-fiction novel has been written, edited, edited again, rewritten, modified, edited and is now in the hands of my publisher.
Officially I am free to start working on my next project without a single stitch of guilt that I am ignoring anything important. That feeling, in and of itself, is surreal and amazing.
I already know what I’m going to be working on (of course it’s a huge project; the birth of a series, what would I be if not an over-achiever?) and am incredibly excited to be standing at the precipice of it’s creation. I’m also terrified. When am I not when starting something new? It’s a constant thing in the back of my mind.
After I submitted the finally-finished manuscript and before I started on any real world-building for what I’m calling ‘The Cimmerian Forest’ collection, I got to go on a mini vacation with Ash & Jager to the almost-annual family reunion. It’s about every two years or so and it was really good to see everyone that was there.
The weather was, of course, hot as hell. Ash had to use her inhaler five times during the weekend we were there. After months of nothing having to use it at all. Everyone was really supportive and encouraging with everything that has been going on in my life lately, which is awesome. I love having people that are just *there* for me, no questions asked. They’re family.
But now I’m home and my little Ash bug is off camping with her daddy and then off to a week of horsemanship camp as soon as she comes home again. Two weeks in which I’ll be hopefully planning our move (into our own place!!) while I’m plotting the next novel and world-building for the series.
Eventually the manuscript will come back and will need more edits, but I’ll face that music when it shows up in my inbox.
Before I know it I’ll have a book in my hands. MY book in my hands.
I’m still here — by the way, what do you think of the new layout?