Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
I have always been a writer. Even as a young child, I was constantly making up stories or writing in a journal. I loved documenting life or creating my own worlds.
What makes writing your passion?
I love getting lost in new worlds, new characters, and an experience different (but sometimes similar) to my own. I dedicate a lot of time to perfecting my craft and shaping my stories.
How long have you been writing?
All my life, but in a more dedicated fashion since 2013. I got quite serious about it in 2016.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Amazement. First that I'd written it in the first place, and secondly that there were people out there who might be willing to read it. Then getting in positive reviews tipped me over the edge. It's a wonderful feeling to have what's in my head down on paper and then to have people interested in that world is truly a gift.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
Retribution is about an FBI agent and a mafia family. I loved the idea of forbidden love, and the conflict between love and duty also fascinated me. Kimi should follow the law to the letter--it's what she's been trained to do. But she never counted on meeting Lorcan.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
I don't know that I find any aspect of it annoying. It's not my full time job, so I do this because I love it.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
For the most part, I'm not sure I believe writer's block truly exists. There are periods where I may need to take a break from a story to puzzle out a scene or a next step, but for the most part I'm a consistent writer. Sometimes it's just forcing yourself to continue until you get back in a groove or backtracking to delete something that's not working.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
I have a decent readership on serial writing sites, and their comments cheer me up and cheer me on when I'm feeling down. Writing can be a very isolating experience, and I've found that keeping my "people" close whether that be readers or fellow writers has been helpful.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
I'd tell myself that there's no way for me to anticipate what's coming, so just keep working hard. For me, that's always been the ticket, regardless of the job. Keep working hard and take the opportunities as they arise.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
Yes, I do. If you're lucky enough to reach a broad audience, bad reviews are bound to happen. Not every book is going to appeal to every reader. Often, at least for me, unfavorable reviews have more to do with the story the reader wanted to read as opposed to the story I wrote. Don't take it personally.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Of course, good reviews are great. My favorite ones are when the reviewer is specific about what character or moment gripped them or made them laugh or kept them reading. It's a wonderful feeling when you realize someone who doesn't know you "got it."
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Nothing specific, no.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
All of my characters, the heroes and the villains have some piece of me in them. I think it's inevitable that they take some piece of my experience either what I've seen or heard, but they twist that to suit their own needs.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
Yes, covers are important. Covers either make someone click or they don't. Once they've clicked, you've got a chance to win them over with your writing. But if they never click, there's no chance.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I have a newsletter, and I write on serial writing apps. In both cases, I encourage my readers to interact with me. It's a gift to hear their thoughts, especially when they are fans.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
I've never had someone recognize me in public. #goals
Who is your favorite author? Why?
I do not have a favorite, but I'm very into Emily Henry and K.A. Tucker lately. My "favorites" tend to change based on what sort of reading phase I'm in.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
Oh, gosh. I think I'd just like to have enough of an audience that the writing feels worthwhile and fulfilling. Of course, I'd love to have some fame and money to go with it. ;) But comparison is truly the thief of joy. I try to focus on continuing to build what I've got.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
No, not at this point. They're all reflective of where I was at as a writer at the time.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.
I'd tell them that I'm sorry their life hasn't turned out the way they wished it had. Those types of reviews don't come out of a good place, and trying to combat those with "fire" isn't helpful, I don't think. It only feeds the flames in the wrong direction.
What would you say to your readers?
Thanks for taking a chance on me. Thanks for sticking around for more and more.
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I live in Ontario, Canada. I have two kids, two dogs, and one husband.
What is your day job if you have one?
I'm a secondary teacher.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
Between kids, reading, writing, and working a full time job, I don't have much free time anymore.
Did you have a happy childhood?
Very. My parents and brother were awesome. No complaints.
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
I'm always working on something, and I don't usually talk about ongoing projects because they tend to change and evolve as I write.
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
Depends on your country. ;)
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
What is your favorite music?
Share a secret with us 🙂