Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Hello! I am a twenty-six-year-old Texan, born and raised. I've been reading since age four and writing since age five, so you could say I love words, books, and all things story. I also love music (primarily movie soundtracks, alternative/indie pop, Broadway, and contemporary Christian), knitting (mainly gifts), and good food (ChickFilA, dark chocolate, and burgers). I've been self-publishing books since 2012, and my new release is my sixth. I also love to blog and write poetry.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book, Firmament: Reversal Zone is the fourth book in the Firmament series. I tend to be inspired first by relationships/characters, and second by ideas, and this book was the product of both. I wanted to explore the idea of how our personalities affect our choices and our behavior, and I wanted to explore what my characters would be like if they all did a complete 180 in their personalities. It may be my favorite so far of the series!
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Not unless eating enormous amounts of chocolate and drinking several cups of tea are unusual. Lately I've been going to the library or Starbucks to write, because something about being at home or at work is distracting. Also, when I get stuck I always open another document and freewrite ideas for the story, including all the "um"s and "I don't know"s. It helps get my brain going again.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Frank Peretti is a big one–I love his writing and the skillful way he incorporates ideals into his work without being preachy. C. S. Lewis as well–I love his imagination and his intelligence. Also Lester Del Rey–especially his book Badge of Infamy. He's one of my favorite sci-fi writers. Foremost would probably be Daniel Schwabauer–both by the beautiful writing in his "Runt" series and by his One Year Adventure Novel curriculum, which taught me more about storytelling than any other teacher.
What are you working on now?
Now I'm collaborating with some other authors to release a set of six fairytale retelling novellas. Mine is in the steampunk genre, and I'm very excited to share it when it's finished! Stay tuned…
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I'm not terribly good at promotion, but I'd say Facebook has been one of the most helpful. I promote on my Facebook page, and I also get a lot of support and advice from my network of other indie writers in various Facebook groups.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don't give up! Especially when writing novels, it's easy to get stuck in the mire of trying in vain to pull words and plot from a weary mind when you feel your story is the worst thing since unsliced bread. Chances are, it's not as bad as you think. And regardless, finishing a story is the best feeling in the world.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
"You can edit anything but a blank page." I don't remember who said it, but I keep it in mind when I'm just feeling down about the words coming off my keyboard–I can edit even the worst writing later, but there has to be something there to edit.
What are you reading now?
Angel Fall by Coleman Luck. Not my usual fare, but I've heard it so highly recommended. I'm captivated so far! In fact, I should go read some more right now…
What’s next for you as a writer?
After I finish the fairytale novella project, I'll be working on writing the next Firmament book. I've already written the fifth (I try to stay one book ahead) so I'll be working on the sixth, Firmament: No Man. I can't wait! I love my characters.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Ooh, I honestly can't choose a favorite. If we're talking fiction I can name a few… The Oath by Frank Peretti, Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott, Runt the Hunted by Daniel Schwabauer, Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery, and The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis. Just to name a tiny fraction!