Q. How similar are you to Jamie? How different are you from Jamie?
I am extremely different from Jamie in most ways, and I had a lot of fun creating a character who possesses few of my personality traits or physical attributes. Where Jamie is shy and reserved, I’m outgoing and social. She doesn’t like to plan out her life, but I need a list for each and every thing I do. But, like Jamie, I’m extremely close to my family and don’t really care about having the best of everything. Like her, I enjoy simple pleasures.
Q. At what age did you discover that writing was something you wanted to pursue?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, and when I was ten years old, I actually sent my first manuscript, Freddy the Flame, to a children’s publisher. It was rejected, but I never stopped writing. But I never realized that I could turn it into a career until a few years ago. I had written four novels while teaching ESL to adults and believed that I would one day be published. But, after my second child was born, I decided to stop teaching and started my own writing/editing business. Now, I get to write for a living, and it is a dream come true.
Q. If "Finding Lucas" were a movie, who in your opinion, would make a great Jamie?
I love this question! I think Ginnifer Goodwin, with her very natural, shy and easygoing demeanor would be a great Jamie. But lately, I’ve also been thinking that Emma Stone would make a fantastic Jamie, too. She has the right combination of toughness and vulnerability that Jamie possesses.
Q. What book are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading Destined to Fail by the incredible Samantha March.
Q. What is your favorite part of the writing process?
I love to create my characters and let them take over the story. When I sit and write and the words just flow from my mind onto the page, I get so excited and can’t stop. I love when I’m totally immersed in the story, and sometimes when I go back and read it, I’m surprised that I wrote it.
Q. Do you have writing ritual? If so, what does it consist of; if not, why?
I don’t have any rituals, per se. I need to write in an empty house or a coffee shop. I can write with strangers around, but I can’t write when anyone I know is near me. I guess it’s because strangers don’t know me and my family and friends do. To be able to create characters and tell their story, I almost have to become a different person. Oh, I do need a cup of coffee by my side at all times, and I’ve had to switch to decaf in the afternoons so I don’t twitch!
Q. Where is your most favorite place to write?
We recently set up an office space for me in our kitchen, and I love it. Of course, I would love to have a real office with a door that closes, but for now, my desk, close to the fridge and coffee pot, is perfect.
Q. What can your fans expect next?
I’m currently in rewrites on my second novel, Everything But. It’s quite different from Finding Lucas and is more women’s fiction than chick lit. Though there are some hilarious moments and it has fast-paced and snappy writing, the story is very sad at times. It’s about Maddy Taylor, a woman who had never wanted kids…until she does. But, her husband isn’t quite on the same page, and the novel is about her struggle to have everything she wants without losing it all.
Q. What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Keep writing and don’t give up on your dream. Rejection is part of the process, and though it’s painful, take all of those comments and continue believing in your talent. Also, connecting with other writers, bloggers, reviewers and readers has got to be one of the best and most important parts of being an author. I have had the amazing fortune of getting to know some incredible people who I cherish.
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