Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Officially, I started writing when I was 20. I'd always dreamed of writing a novel but there weren't any serious attempts made at it for a long time. It was just a dream and I was sure it would stay that way.
When I was 20, I set a goal for myself that I would finally get serious about making my dream come true. I made various attempts that will never see the light of day.
But some of my short stories were successful. I managed to sell my first short story for $15. It was to a very small press and the story was terribly cliche but that was my taste of seeing my dream come true. I had a book with my name in it on my shelf.
I haven't looked back since.
It took eight years until I finally published my first novel, "The Spirit Witch," book one in my Bewitchment series. It's been a wild ride so far and I'm still learning so much but I love it.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
"The Spirit Witch" came about for the Open Novella Contest on Wattpad. I chose one of the prompts that had been provided and over the course of three months, I wrote a novella.
Somehow, out of hundreds of entries, I made it to the top 35, which still amazes me to this day.
I polished that manuscript up and had it published three months later.
As to what inspired it, I've always loved witches but I can't find much fiction on them other than Salem witch trials. I want witches from around the world and all walks of life. I want strong heroines who push their limitations and rely on a tightly-knit network of other women for support and encouragement.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I don't think I do. I'm a night owl when it comes to writing. Or I write outside in the summer. But most of the time, I just sit there and stare at my computer screen, trying to figure out where on earth I was going with this one scene….
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Maggie Stiefvater. I adore her Raven Boys series.
Lanie Taylor. I have never been so in awe of a book as I was when I finished, "Strange, the Dreamer."
Rainbow Rowell. She is so relatable and so casual with her writing that I aspire to be that conversational with my own style.
Erin Morgenstern. I read "The Night Circus" years and years ago but it made such a huge impression on me, transporting me to a circus of dreamers, that I've never forgotten it.
What are you working on now?
I'm currently working on the rest of my Bewitchment series. There's a prequel novella that will tell how Charlotte de Winter and Alexander Prescott met, how they fell in love, and how they came to entrust each other with their deepest, darkest secrets. For Charlotte, she's a witch. For Alexander, he is cursed to turn into a monster who takes souls to stay alive.
I'm also working on book two of the series. Charlotte is in search of her sister witches. Book two will focus on another witch, Kali Singh, who is entirely different from Charlotte. She hates her magic and she doesn't want anything to do with it so she ran away to join the circus.
It's worlds apart from "The Spirit Witch" in setting and tone but I'm loving it so far.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Marketing and promotion are my Achilles' heel. I struggle with them constantly. But I'd say that Facebook and Twitter have been the best sites so far. When I post giveaways to either site, books go like hotcakes.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
It's okay to not like your writing sometimes. But don't feel like you have to produce perfection all the time. You're learning. You'll make mistakes. You'll always make mistakes, even after you know what you're doing.
While you're being self-critical of your writing because you want to be better, find something that you do enjoy about your writing. Hold onto that. Above everything else, that joy is what will shine through your writing, for you and the reader.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
1. Butt in chair and write.
2. Don't pay any attention to what other people say or think.
I still struggle with both.
What are you reading now?
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
What’s next for you as a writer?
After the Bewitchment series is finished, I'll still stick with the fantasy genre. I love it too much. Whether my next story will have pirates, vampires or fairies, that's too soon to tell.
What is your favorite book of all time?
"Strange, the Dreamer," by Laini Taylor