You are the author of the light Young Adult fantasy True Reign series as well as paranormal suspense and contemporary. Do you think there is a consistent theme or element in all your stories? What has led you to write such diverse genres?
There most definitely is a consistent element in all my stories, regardless of genre. I always write about a strong female character that is up against seemingly impossible odds. However, she is able to overcome adversity by believing in herself, never giving up, and learning to trust her family and/or friends. However, I will say that after writing such varying genres, I’ve discovered that my strength is in fantasy, and I plan to stick with these types of books in the future.
What has been the biggest highlight of your career as an author?
Having my first book, The Voice, win some awards! I’m honored that it received an award from The Romance Writers of America a few years back, it’s a finalist in the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards (YA category), and the winner of the San Diego Book Awards: Best YA Novel. When I first started querying this book, I didn’t have much success. Many agents told me that no one would read a book about a broken girl who learns to overcome her past to be a role model for others. I finally found a publisher who believed in the story and I’m thrilled by the reception the book has received. It’s immensely gratifying.
Has there ever been a time when a reader drew a conclusion from one of your books that was completely different from what you intended? What was it?
Yes. For The Power to See, I’ve had some readers upset that it’s an actual book with a plot and not about sex. Since the main character is in her early twenties, the book falls into the illustrious New Adult category. Many people automatically assume the books is a romance novel, and that’s far from the case. The Power to See is a crime drama. While there is a romantic element in the novel, it is not the driving force of the book.
Complete this sentence: Before I start writing a new novel, I must…
Think about the story and characters for a solid month before I can even think of writing. I have to get to know my characters, understand who they are, what their personality traits are, what they look like, etc. I think about them in different situation and settings until I get a good feel for the book and the plot starts to unfold in my mind.
Oddest thing to have inspired you:
That’s a tough one. I’m not sure. I know watching my kids at MMA makes me want to write a lot of kick-butt fight scenes.
Will Scarlett or Robin Hood?
What’s a question you’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview? What’s your answer?
Honestly, I don’t know. I am a very private, quiet, boring person. Interviews typically frighten me because they take me out of my comfort zone.
Bonus question: Can you tell us anything about what to expect in the True Reign spinoff series?
I’ve just started to write the synopsis for that one! I don’t want to give too much away, but the story will be told from Allyssa’s point of view (first person). Allyssa is Rema and Darmik’s daughter. She will be the strongest female character I’ve ever written and I can’t wait for you to meet her! She is going to be loads of fun to write.
Also, Nathenek will play a major role in the book as well. He acquires a unique apprentice who causes all sorts of mischief in the book. The evil villain will be someone you don’t expect! The spinoff will be filled with action, adventure, and some sweet romance.