Let’s see… I was born and raised in Southern California, and later graduated from Oregon State University (Go Beavs!) with a degree in Forest Management. I am happily married with two small children, 4 and 6. I believe life is an adventure, and try to make every day memorable.
Life is an adventure - so true! Even when you don't have young kids running around. How long have you been writing, or when did you start writing?
I have been writing my whole life. It has always been my creative outlet… some people sing, some paint, some cook… I write. I didn’t start pursuing it as a career until a couple of years ago.
Do you write primarily in one genre?
So far, my writing has focused on the fantasy genre. It is one of my favorites, and one that my mind natural is drawn to. I love the idea of good triumphing over evil, Princes Charming waiting around the corner, damsels in distress, and that magic is as real as science.
I love fantasy. :D As a writer is there a particular obstacle you face? If so, how do you get around it?
My biggest obstacle is balance. I struggle to find the right ways to juggle writing, social networking, and marketing with my family life. I am constantly shuffling things, and trying to find a balance that works… I am still a work in progress on that. Ha!
Believe me, I know how that goes! I have an almost five year old, an almost three year old, and a seventeen month year old.
Tell us of your experience getting your first work published.
A couple of years ago, I started thinking about what I wanted to do when my kids were older and in school full time. With a blank slate in front of me, I started to think about what I truly wanted to do. There was only one thing that popped into mind. I wanted to write.
With that revelation in mind, I began to do what I needed to do… I edited my book, edited it some more, queried agents, edited more, queried publishers, edited more… after a year of this cycle I received a contract from Malachite Quills Publishing.
I have written 2 books. The Escape for Princess Madeline and its sequel, The Battle for Princess Madeline. The third and final of this series should be ready Winter 2013.
Do you have any tips or tricks to help keep your ideas in order or at least from being forgotten?
Write them down!!! I have a notebook that I keep in my purse, so whenever an idea, a bit of dialogue, or a new arc of a storyline hits I can write it down. I also use the microphone option on my cell phone, if I can’t write. When inspiration calls, I have to answer.
Do you have a writing schedule?
I am trying to get better at this and more disciplined for a consistent schedule. I try and wake up an hour before the kids and get up to have some quiet time, as well as after bedtime. During the day, I am 100% focused mommy.
Sounds like you definitely know how to juggle being a mommy and a writer.
How do your stories unfold? Are they plotted first and then filled out or do they simply unravel as you go?
I am a plotter. Before I sit down to write my first draft, I have a clear outline of what is going to happen. The major story arcs, conflicts and twists are all designed. From there, I weave my words to follow the structure, but allow for sudden changes that may develop. For me, this keeps my thoughts more streamlined and plot holes a bit tighter.
How do you go from a degree in Forest Management to being an author of Young Adult Fantasy?
Haha, well, I say every day is an adventure that you never know where it will take you. This is an example where I can say I have been a writer my whole life. I remember being in the woods on my lunch breaks, writing. I would be out on fires, and in the evening, I would be writing a story. I am an outdoorsy girl, feeling completely at home and at ease in nature. What I found, for me, was that working in the forest, took the enjoyment out of it. Having the joy removed from one of my favorite past times was too high a price… and so life took a detour, and a new career path.
Where can readers find you and your work?
So many places!!!! I love to connect with new readers and fans.
Who are the people you would like to thank? A big thank you to my husband, who supports me and stands behind me 100%, and to my kids. They teach me every day to be grateful for the little things, to believe in magic, and to live life to its fullest.
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