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What attracts you to this genre(Darkspell is a Paranormal Romance)? Are you trying to get a message across?
The first thing that attracted me to this genre as a reader is that it doesn’t, for the most part, have the questionable content that many books for adult readers have; violence, sex, language.
I have a passion for teenagers. While adults are fighting their battle of survival, so are teens. They are fighting to know who they are, where they fit in, and how. Their internal identities are in question at every turn, especially if they don’t know, or show it. They feel that they need to prove that they are strong, even though it isn’t always that way.
It is my wish for them, along with any-age reader, to know that while our lives are pitted with many obstacles, we may fail, but if we don’t give up hope, we will come out strong. It is, and has always been my goal to write uplifting books that won’t pollute anyone with dark thoughts.
What inspires your writing?
Anything can inspire my writing. If I see a twisted branch hiding under dead leaves, a whole world of fairies comes to mind. If I see a bloody sunset, a story about vampires rises. Seeing my hubby in a jetted tub filled with foaming bubbles over his head made me think of a mermaid book, too! Have you seen those little cupids from Night at the Museum, Battle of the Smithsonian? An entire novel was born from that. My ideas come from anything and anywhere.
You have many talents - for one, you are an artist as well as an author. Has your art helped you become a better writer, or has your writing made you a better artist? How do the two talents aid each other?
I was going to say my art has made me a better writer, but my writerlyness has also made me a better artist. As I write, I can see what I am describing in great detail because as an artist, I’ve learned to appreciate the details in everything I see. As an artist, I can depict images I’ve written about, or characters in my books, which ultimately give me an edge to creating something with a story behind it.
As a mom, how do you make time for your writing?
It’s hard to write with the kids running amuck. I need absolute silence to feed my muse, so I create my time. When I’m I the zone, I have what’s called “quiet time”. It is an hour where the kids play or read by themselves in their respective rooms. I write during that precious time. I also write from the time they are in bed or while they are away at school.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
For me it’s finding the time. I can write an entire novel in 8 days if it was just me, but I would never trade my family away for a career. Why would I when I can do both? Since I never am left wanting for inspiration, I can still write a novel in a few months around my family’s schedule.
What is your process of brainstorming a story? Do you just sit
down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline
First an idea floats by and I pluck it from the air and entertain it. I wonder how a person would react if placed in a certain situation and how others would respond to him or her. The story just widens the more I think on it. I jot down a rough summery or introduction to get my magic flowing for later if I’m unable to do it right then and there.
Where did the idea [for Darkspell] come from? was it a 'what if' or something else?
If you venture into Gail Carson Levine’s Writing Magic, on page 4, there is a writing prompt. It is the 5th one down if you want to see how Darkspell was born! As I jotted the prompt down, I let my muse take full control. Since I love romance, the first thing I thought was how would it be if the second person was a girl? And what if the first one fell in love with her? What if there was something special about her that lured him to her that she didn’t know? My mind deepened so wide, I didn’t think on the 2 dimensional level of these questions, but I felt them stirring as people bursting to be born on paper.
Who is the main character in DARKSPELL? Can you tell us a little bit about him/her?
Every character came to me fully written. As I started my novel, I felt Alex stirring like a specter waiting for his tale to be told. I imagined him intrigued with a pretty girl as he painted an image on her arm, anxious to show off his power. Then I thought of how this girl would feel about him and what kind of impact he’d make on her. Winter couldn’t help but think how different her life changed after meeting Alex.
Winter is the point of view character—written in first person. She just wants to get by, be happy; especially with her father’s death so long ago that she can’t get over but doesn’t realize it. She has learned to become independent because of that. She is the oldest in the family and the only girl, but doesn’t have too many friends. She prefers the company of her family until she meets Alex.
Tell us something about your villain and what makes him or her interesting?
Ooh, the villain. He is a twisted, evil thing that shapeshifts into a demonic creature. He rules by magic and great power. Nothing stops him from hunting Winter down once he discovers her secret. Or had he always known?
What was the pathway like for you to get your first book published?
I felt like a dog who finally caught the proverbial car. Now what? I got sick to my stomach. Really. I didn’t jump at the first chance and say yes, but I prayed and studied up on the company to make sure we were a good match even though I was the one that submitted. Crazy, isn’t it?
What do you hope readers will get from this book [Darkspell]?
I’m hoping that they know that staying true to yourself by following your dreams is certainly achievable!
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Believe in yourself—that is the strongest medicine to overcoming every doubt!