Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
I've always written something—poems, stories, plays. But I started writing novels three years ago with my first book Someone To Kiss My Scars, followed by Some Laneys Died. My newest book will release May 24 and is called Crystal's House of Queers.
What makes writing your passion?
There is no activity so all-consuming as writing novels. The characters live in my head, and the story simmers and surges in my brain for the entire time I'm writing. I'm a pantser, meaning I do not plot out details before I write. I start with a general idea and let it develop as I write. That constant heat of creation is like a high.
How long have you been writing?
Since high school.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Elation. Fear. Intense vulnerability. An aching sense of loss because my characters would fade from my brain after I came to love them.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
Having to plan promotions and marketing—the business aspect of it.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
Go outside and work or walk in the woods for miles.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
What keeps me going is the occasional heartfelt response from readers, when my story has touched someone deeply, empowered them, made them laugh or cry or both. My advice would be to write—just get words onto the screen and try like hell to finish what you start.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Start writing novels, you idiot. Stop the poems and the songs and the plays. Write a book. Then another and another.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
Yes, I read my reviews. When I first started receiving reviews, negative ones would hurt badly, even though most of the time they were obviously written by people with issues. :))
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
I will tell you a story. I paid a very reputable, well-known review service for a review. The one I received was entirely negative. The reviewer seemed to enjoy destroying my book. I wrote to the main editor with complaints, and she assigned me another reviewer. That review was a starred review, their highest, with not a single negative remark. So much depends on the individual likes and dislikes of your reviewer. Pin the good ones to your wall and toss the others into the trash.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Certainly, but I will never tell what those things are. It is not true that authors take their own lives and twist it into their novels. But it is true that every writer's story is affected by the life they've lived.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
I will never tell.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
Yes, which is why I used Cherie Chapman. She's the best. She's never given me anything but a beautiful, eye-catching cover which captures the essence of the story.