I grew up in coastal New England and on the Jersey Shore. Most of my summer vacations from school were spent writing stories or painting pictures, so I guess I can say I’ve always been an artist and a writer. I have a very professional day job that I love, but when I’m not working I’m busy being creative – it seems to recharge my batteries better than anything else. I’m currently an urban fantasy author, but I have a few stories that are nearing completion in other genres. I also run a small art and design business.
What inspires you to write?
I am inspired by the urge people have to reinvent themselves. I think it’s fascinating that we spend all of our time on the earth constantly evolving because things change in our lives. We get our first job and that changes who we are – we get married, and that changes how we view things…we are constantly faced with reevaluating who and what we are. That is the journey I take my characters on – the journey toward finding yourself no matter what situation you happen to be in.
Tell us about your writing process.
I generally start with the middle of the book. That is my first thread and where all of the other pieces get woven together. From the middle I work backwards to the beginning and then finally write the last part before I connect the middle to the end. My stories are crafted in this sort of “inside-out” manner because every layer changes something in another area and I like to move back and forth. I’ve tried outlining, index cards, power points…but in the end the words flowing out on the computer screen seem to work the best. When I do my final read through, I’m always amazed to find the threads that I’ve woven into the story are so clear because I’m not conscious of doing that all the time. I also tend to work on three to four books at a time to keep myself from getting stuck.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters are my commuting companions – they are in the car with me or walking down the street with me chatting about things that later become part of the story they are in. I often fall asleep at night thinking about plot twists or picturing story locations. I get totally absorbed in the stories and most Sundays I write from the time I get up until dinner time because I’ve spent all week talking to my characters and I simply MUST get their stories out. I like my characters – even those who aren’t honest or have ulterior motives. I see their growth and struggles as part of their journey and their decisions are shaped by their experiences. I make my characters explain themselves to me in the car and I guess I think of myself as their therapist.
What advice would you give other writers?
You need to keep at it. You’ll start brilliant books that go nowhere and you’ll get frustrated and give up, but one day you’ll get a spark of insight that will make you excited to finish that book. It took me almost four years to write Elementary Magic but when the spark of insight hit, I finished it in a month! My best piece of advice is this: When you get stuck, start writing a completely different book. Not only will your mind stop focusing on the fact that you’re stuck, but your ideas will flow a little easier because you’re using your imagination on a regular basis. It becomes a habit to create stories. Don’t force the book but trust that when you’re ready to tie it all together, it will happen. You just need to stay with it.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I agonized and agonized over it, but in the end realized that I wanted to write and didn’t want my ambition and enthusiasm squashed by piles of rejection letters. I have never even tried to submit to a publisher because I have a day job that I love and I want to write because I love it. Whenever a hobby becomes “work”, I lose a little of my passion for that hobby. I decided to self-publish so I could enjoy the process without deadlines and so I could keep total control over the final product without feeling the stress from someone else looking over my shoulder.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think this is an exciting time to be a writer because there are so many options for publishing. I think we’re only just beginning to see the impact self-publishing will have on the market. I think there are great opportunities for all kinds of book related services from promotion and cover design to reviews and movie deals. I think we’re on the cusp of something great which will break down the walls that used to exist. Unknown authors have a chance at getting a small piece of the pie without needing to know someone in the industry and because of that, the industry is constantly changing and growing.
What do you use?
What genres do you write?
Urban Fanstasy, Contemporary Fiction (and coming soon: Historical Fiction)
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print