1. How did you get started writing?
I always liked to write but never dreamed I could write a book. That is, until one day… don’t all stories start that way? Then… One day…
anyway, it was September 11, 2014, and nothing happened. Like seriously, nothing happened. I was bored and sat in my overstuffed blue recliner with some time off and began to write yet another short about just how I felt about all this nothing going on. Thirty-one days later I had a book and set out to publish. It was awful; bad grammar, poor character development, a giant hole in the story, but I was proud. Until… (there is always an until you know, in any good story, here comes the twist). A mean review, and it was scathing. Once the tearful mourning was over, I sat down to read my masterpiece again and thought “who the hell wrote this crap.” I headed off to school and four years later earned a degree in English and writing, had revised the problem child more than once, and have not looked back.
2. Out of all your books, which one is your favourite and why?
My first — that problem child. Book one in the Dystopia Series. That book changed my life.
3. If your friends were asked to describe you in one word, what would it be?
4. What is your favorite thing to do outside of writing?
Camping, I love the outdoors, but not bugs. I don’t love bugs so there is a bit of a conflict there because camping almost always comes with bugs.
5. What do you love most about the genre you write?
Post-apocalyptic books address the unknown but are still perhaps realistic. There is a fascination with the end of the world, but not just my own. Perhaps it is a fear of the possibilities or simply a chance to explore within oneself the desire to survive.
6. What do you want readers to take from your books?
I want more than anything for them to enjoy them, to love as well as hate the characters. I offer in many of the books practical information and hope readers can take something away about our ability to survive.
7. Describe yourself in 3 words.
Here’s Auntie Boo-Boo
8. What made you decide to write in your current genre?
I’ve always loved the genre, reading books and watching disaster movies.
9. Tell us about your current release/or new release?
Coming at the end of August is the final book in the Co-authored Insurrection Trilogy (Abolition).
10. What does your writing space look like?
Chaos… Absolute chaos, with a side of sticky notes and a sprinkling of spiral notebooks.
11. What’s the one piece of technology you can’t live without?
My laptop, it is where I write.
12. Do you find it hard to kill off your characters?
Some, yes. Others, I kind of enjoy it. When I run across an unlikeable person, sometimes I will write a character that has the same traits and will use them to kill off so I don’t have to kill the ones I love. However, sometimes someone simply must die and I will mourn them before unceremoniously ripping their sticky note name from the wall.
13. How much of your characters are based on your traits or someone you know personally?
Some… I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you off.
14. What are you working on now? Can you share a teaser of it with our readers?
In preparation for the next book in the Nine Meals Series an excerpt from “Unrest”:
I never knew the sound of a bullet until that moment. At first, I had no idea where it came from as it whizzed by close enough to move the long strands of hair that had escaped the bun on my head. Before I’d even registered what happened, I heard the sound. Instinctively, my body flattened to the ground behind the tree, sprawled across his body. He still lay unconscious on the red sled I’d stolen from outside the Dollar General.
I had to do something, now! Crouching, I shimmied over and took cover behind a great oak tree. I peered around the side farthest from where I’d been; its great base shielding me while I scanned the woods ahead trying to find the source of the gunfire.
Time slowed to a crawl as I sat and listened. My eyes darting left to right, yet there was nothing; silence, there were no shots fired and I was briefly confused. I strained to listen, and a muffled voice weaved amongst the trees. I could barely make it out; a quiet cursing hung on the air. Something had stopped them. I shimmied once again on my belly across the open area in the trees to the big bull pine just twenty feet or so to the right. Sliding silently, I’d finally reached a position where I could see the pair.
He stood awkwardly, his blubberous belly hanging from beneath his jacket. He held the rifle out in front of himself, bashing at it with the heel of his hand. I nearly laughed at the sight; the arrogance of these people was only exceeded by their stupidity. Was it jammed? I wondered, or perhaps he just couldn’t figure out how to chamber the next round? Then I spotted her, there she stood cursing at him, the surly waitress with her perpetual sneer.
I remember you, I thought.
I glanced down at the pistol in my hand. Holding it out slightly and turning it over in my hand. I knew I was not quite close enough to have a clean shot with just this 9 mm. I had to get closer. I looked around the area for cover but the next closest tree wide enough to offer any cover was only a few feet from them. There was no way I could shimmy over there without being seen. My eyes darted left and right seeking the perfect position to launch an assault on them but the area had nothing but small trees, this section of woods had obviously been logged in the recent past.
It can’t wait. If this ass hole figures out how to load that gun, we’re in deep trouble. I glanced back to where he lay on the sled and decided to go for the tree and take the shot. I have to neutralize this here and now if I am going to get him to the camp.
15. Is there one genre that you have not written in yet, but would love to try writing?
Sci-fi, I really want to write in sci-fi. I am a closet Trekkie and love space adventures.
16. What do you do when a flash of inspiration hits you at an inopportune moment?
Either I love it and flesh it out in my brain, get all excited and then forget it before I get a chance to write it down, or I will send myself an email with a few notes to work on later.
17. What keeps you going while writing?
Some days almost nothing can keep me going. Most days if I am not loving the story, I simply work on another. I generally have 4-5 works on the go and will shift gears to a story that I do love that day.
18. What’s next for you?
Perhaps a sci-fi novel? I have a series right now of stand alone novels [Nine Meals from Anarchy] that I am working on.
19. Where can we find you on the internet?