- When did you first discover your love for writing?
I’ve been writing since I could read. At first, I made scripts of books I loved for me and my friends to act out. At one point, I wrote a story about a Star Trek food fight. The evidence of these is lost forever. I put them in a wardrobe when I was fourteen and haven’t seen them since.
- Do you have a favourite place to write?
I write wherever I can. Anywhere with space for my laptop will do. In particular, I like anyplace that smells like coffee or tea.
- Do you have a writing routine or process that you adhere to?
The only rule of my Write Club is: write something every day. Sometimes it’s a grocery list in limerick form or a parody of my latest earworm’s lyrics. More often it’s part of one of my series or a poem.
- Are there any authors or specific books you aspire to?
I prefer admiration over aspiration. There are too many to list. Here are some in no particular order: Robin McKinley, L. Frank Baum, Peter S. Beagle, Mario Puzo, Ursula K. Leguin, Robert Aspirin, Jane Yolen.
- What inspired you to write Barely Awake?
I read through some Paranormal Romance books a friend of mine recommended. A bunch of these were about bear shifters, taking place in winter with no mention of hibernation. I’d already thought of writing about a magic college in Rhode Island. The snow we had last winter made me wonder how a bear shifter who’d never been up north might react to 30 inches of snow. It also draws on my own experience seeing show for the first time after growing up in South Florida.
- Can you tell us a little about your book?
Sure! Barely Awake takes place just a few years after the only Ivy League school for Magic and psychic education opened its doors to anyone. This is part of the world’s adjustment to The Big Reveal, when Extrahumans like magi, shifters, and vampires came out to the rest of the world. The main female character in Barely Awake, Lynn Frampton, is the first human to attend. The fact she’s the only human makes her feel isolated. And the main male character Bobby is completely out of his element once it snows. As the plot progresses, they start to suspect they’ve been singled out and targeted on purpose. We get some clues about that at the end of the book.
- Do you have a favourite amongst all your characters?
That’s the toughest question you’ve asked me. I like all of them in this series, even the antagonists. In this particular book, though, I have to go with Bobby’s dragon shifter roommate, Blaine Harcourt. Not only is he fun to write, but the way the other characters interact with him makes me laugh out loud. I can’t wait to write his book, which will be the fourth one in the series.
- Does your book contain a message for readers to consider?
One phrase kept going through my head while working on this book. You’re never as alone as you think you are.
- What would say has been your biggest challenge and achievement in writing Barely Awake?
Time. I’ve got such piecemeal timeframes to write in. That’s challenging. Going for a couple of hours at zero dark thirty in the morning before everyone else wakes up helps. Also, I have almost three whole hours in a row when my husband gets together with his friends to slay Internet Dragons twice a week. Thanks, Jim! And I have the best Mother-In-Law ever. She brings my daughter to the library once or twice a week so I can get more writing in. Thanks, Patty! I couldn’t crunch through this series without you.
- What have you learned about yourself as a writer through writing Barely Awake?
I’ve learned that I love getting my humor in my fantasy. It’s better than getting chocolate in my peanut butter. Reeses, eat your heart out. Writing has way less calories than candy. But seriously, I worked a few years on a darker Historical Urban Fantasy series. It took me longer to write the same amount of words in that project. I take to the fun stuff more readily, I guess.
- Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors?
Keep writing. I’m not alone in saying that, of course, but writing something every day is the only way writers get to practice. Don’t be afraid to grab an idea and run with it either. If I hadn’t, I’d still be figuring out how to start the Provdence Paranormal College series.
- Anything else you would like to say?
I’ve prepared a few words. Elephant. Sloth. Riesling. Thanks!
- And finally, do you have any future works planned?
Lots! There’s ten books outlined in Providence Paranormal and I will write them all. My Historical Urban Fantasy series is tentatively called Tree of Life and that’s got four books planned. I’ve also been slowly adding to a project I call the Poeticalendar. It’s a 365 day geek-culture influenced collection of poems and flash fiction under 100 words. Thanks so much for the interview!