I love to create. I believe I have the best job in the world. Over the past decade, I created the graphic novel series Faminelands and Lure and a comic book series Out for Souls& Cookies! Other Systems is my first published novel.
I currently lives in Seattle with my husband and two dogs.
What inspires you to write?
I write character driven stories which I would like to read. I have an over abundant imagination and writing allows me to focus that. Also I find being creative opens my mind to other ideas that come my way.
Other Systems was inspired by the Kepler Missions along side many other factors. First of all, I tend to be interested in groups of people that encourage camaraderie and I like ships (both space and sea-faring) so I knew I wanted to write a book with a ship in it. Secondly, I find the idea of time dilation and how it effects families really fascinating. Finally, I wanted to write a book that my husband would really like and he’s a science fiction fan. Howver the concept for Other Systems really hit me when I was out walking the dogs. A young Earth woman goes to another planet and realizes she has become a slave. However, due to her intelligence, she will escape and become a ship’s captain while she rescues her siblings also somewhere lost on this planet. Obviously for anyone who has read Other Systems, this original idea ended up being nothing like the final story.
That very night, I saw an article about young, uneducated girls from India’s rural areas traveling into cities with the expectation that they are going to get factory jobs only to end up working as sex slaves. Suddenly, I knew the how Abby got caught up in all of this. After that the book just flowed.
Tell us about your writing process.
My process begins with a big idea and the “end vision” for the idea. Then I just get to work to create that vision. I write my skeleton draft or outline as quickly as possible and get to researching major components during the second draft. Then I rewrite it again smoothing out the rough details and any problems with my characters. I tend to know my characters immediately, do a quick character sketch and then slowly get to know them over the course of writing the novels.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
All the time. I identify with all the characters at one point or another during the writing of a novel. By the second draft, all the primary and secondary characters start speaking to me even if they are not a point of view character. In Other Systems, Mark changed his whole sub-plot.
I actually speak with my characters. Sometimes I imagine I am them. I think what if I am in this situation, what would I do if I was Abby? What would Mark do? The answers sometimes surprise me.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write what you are passionate about.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My comics are all self-published, Other Systems was published by 48Fourteen. For new authors explore all your options. Look at self-publishing, look at small presses and look at major publishers. The worst thing I think you can do is close your mind just as you are getting started. No matter who publishes make sure it goes through editing.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I don’t. Right now there is a lot of squabbling, I tend to stay out of it. My goal is just to write stories I love.
My next manuscript is out being shopped around right now. If I can get it published with favorable terms for everyone involved, great! If not, I’ll self publish. I see pros and cons of each side.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Science Fiction, Comics, Fantasy
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print