WRITING & PUBLISHING:
Absolutely! I think it colors every author’s writing. Our books arise from who we are, and who we explore to be. I grew up in a family of storytellers and adventurers. Obviously adventures made their way into my books. (Sometimes including adventures we wouldn’t want to take. Am I right?)
About how long does it take you to write a book?
Ha! I wish I had a simple answer for you. It really depends...on whether or not I am on a deadline. Ideally, I’d love to take a full 12 months from draft to polished manuscript. But usually I have about 6-8. A Time to Die took me 3 years! But that’s because I wasn’t under contract.
Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day?
Yes! I’m a freelance editor and have done that full time for the past three and a half years. As much as I enjoy it, though, I’m looking to cut back a bit so as to focus more on writing.
If you could write from any place in the world, where would it be?
But..but...just one place? I want to explore them all! ;) Okay, I’d got with either a giant castle in the mountains somewhere exotic (France? Germany?) OR...the Trans Siberian Railway--which goes all the way across the entire country of Russia as well as hitting some other countries on the way. (I know, this is totally cheating. But trains inspire me so much!)
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That God will insert themes and threads that I had no idea existed. This was so cool to see after they were published and feedback started coming in from other people.
In A Time to Die as well as A Time To Speak, one of my favorite aspects was the technology. Where did you get your ideas from?
I love, love, love the techy side of stuff. That was a surprise in itself, because usually I shy away from sci-fi. But most of my ideas came from nanotechnology. I was studying it while writing the books and couldn’t help myself. ;) I also watched a lot of Ted Talks about potential inventions and then ran with those.
If you had to go back or do it all over is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
I would plot better. I would try to have a rough outline of the entire series so I’d know how to wrap it all up. As it happened, writing A Time to Rise was one of the toughest things I’ve done and the writing process could have been more joyous had I better plotted. :-) But...now it’s written and I’m happy and readers are happy so it worked out in the end!
Could you tell us a little about your soon-to-be-released book and why it's a must-read?
Well, my soon-to-be-released book is A Time to Rise, the final book in the Out of Time Series. And it’s a must-read because I totally left everyone hanging on a cliffhanger in book 2! LOL. This book will finally bring the conclusion everyone’s been waiting for.
What attribute do you enjoy most about any character from the literary realm?
I enjoy Samwise Gamgee’s loyalty and love. He is endlessly sacrificial, yet constantly optimistic, and changes the course of history. *heart melt*
What is your favorite time to write?
Mid morning and early afternoon, when the day still feel fresh and things are awake and energized. I’m not your typical early bird or night owl (though I do all my brainstorming at night, every night.) My creative juices flow when I have my mid-morning tea.
No! Actually, quite the opposite. Parvin and her mother have a very strained and harsh relationship whereas my mom and I are best friends. Sometimes I’ll take an attribute from a friend or family member and blow it out of proportion to create a character, but for the most part...the characters are built from scratch.
What is your favorite quote from any book?
Oh goodness. I don’t really keep track of quotes, to be honest. (For shame!) But is it any surprise when you know the theme of my Out of Time Series, that one of my favorite quotes comes from Gandalf: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
Do you have a favorite bible verse or story? If so, which one?
I love the story of King Manasseh (2 Chron 33)--noted to be one of the most evil kings of Judah. But even after doing horrible horrible things, he turns to God in repentance and is forgiven. And he ends up being part of the genealogy of the Messiah (Matthew 1). What a testament to God’s forgiveness and grace.
What are your current writing projects?
I’m currently exploring a few different ideas before settling on one for certain. :-) (I promise to tell all when I have something to tell!)
What comment would make your day, if you received it from one of your readers?
That my book has caused them to pursue or know Christ even deeper. That is my reward as an author. :-)
Could you tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
I feel like you’re wanting something deep, but here’s what I’ll confess. I get sick-to-my-stomach nervous when I have to dress up in a costume. So dressing up in my genre or for a Comic Con or even a themed dinner I will probably secretly burst into tears before managing to pull myself together and join the party. LOL! I’d much rather give a speech to 300 people than get in costume! Why? No idea.
How have you evolved most markedly as a writer over your career?
Oh boy, let me count the ways! One giant way is in confidence. When I first started writing I wouldn’t tell anyone that I wrote books. And if, for some reason, I did, I would avoid questions and dreaded being asked what I wrote or what my book was about or anything. Now I love talking about it! And I’m fully confident in my calling as a writer. [grin]
What advice would you give to those who consider being a writer?
Write that first draft! Don’t stop. Don’t give up. There will be a time when you hate the story and you want to quit, but push through it and get that first draft done. So much growth will come after that moment.
Do you have a specific story about how you came to Christ that you would like to share?
I owe it all to my parents for being examples of Christ followers, and to my childhood best friend who constantly challenged me to be real and to seek. Thanks to them, I was able to open my eyes and see that God was pursuing me with a fistful of gorgeous flowers and a promise of adventure.
Review for A Time to Die here.
Quotes from A Time to Speak (with exclusive graphics!) here.
Review for A Time to Speak here.
Pre-order A Time to Rise here.