Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m a lover of animals and nature. When I’m not writing, you can find me playing games with my highly-energetic kids, riding horses, growing vegetables in my garden, or spoiling my rescue dog. I live in my home state of Michigan with my husband, son, and daughter. I hold a BA in English from the University of Michigan and a JD from DePaul University. I’m an active member of multiple writing groups, including Sisters in Crime and the SCBWI. In addition to Trail of Secrets, my writing credits include an article in Practical Horseman Magazine, and a picture book, Henrietta’s Hoof Polish (forthcoming from Guardian Angel Publishing). I’ve also recently completed a commercial thriller and am currently searching for an agent to represent it!
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Trail of Secrets was published by Fire and Ice in August 2015. It was inspired by my love of horses, my time spent at horse camp as a child and teen, the wilderness of northern Michigan, and my fascination with all things paranormal. I wondered what would happen if a horse came back from a trail ride without its rider? What if no one could find the person who fell off? What other mysteries and questions would surround that situation? I decided to write a book about it.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I do my best writing in the morning, so I try to schedule my writing time between 9am-noon. I love participating in writing challenges, such as NaNoWriMo. The challenges motivate me.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
There are so many authors and books that have influenced me that it’s hard to narrow it down. Whenever I come across a memorable character in a book, I take mental notes of how the author created that character and made him or her believable. Most recently, I was awed by the complexity and development of the main character in Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll. I love the fast-paced writing of Gillian Flynn. I try to emulate her tempo in my books. My writing is also influenced by many non-fiction equestrian books I’ve read.
What are you working on now?
I’m in the midst of writing Book 2 of my Dark Horse series–Barn Shadows. Barn Shadows follows the main character from Trail of Secrets as she returns to Foxwoode Riding Academy the following summer and encounters a new mystery.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I utilize Twitter on a weekly basis. I find it is a good way to connect with writers and readers with similar interests. I also keep my author website up-to-date and use it to market my books, along with my Facebook page, Pinterest, and YouTube.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
You will receive many rejections. Don’t give up. Learn from your mistakes and continue to improve your writing.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
The people who succeed in writing are the ones who don’t give up.
Also, when it comes to marketing, focus on selling one book at a time.
What are you reading now?
On Writing by Stephen King.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’d love to find an agent to represent me and my books.
What is your favorite book of all time?
That is impossible for me to answer. The best book I’ve read this year is All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.