Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I have written and published two books. Awakening to Life was my first; I wrote it when I was 16 years old and posted each chapter on Wattpad as I went. It was a fantastic experience – it meant I was never lonely, I got constant feedback from readers, and it was a lot of fun! The Wattpad community also kept me accountable by begging for the next chapter as soon as they'd finished the one before. So I learned to write quickly from the get-go. My second book is a contemporary romance and it's published traditionally (i.e. with a publishing house). It's under a different name though, and I like to keep them separate.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Awakening to Life has recently undertaken a rebrand – so I guess that's my latest book, in a way. It was inspired by my love of cancer stories (The Pact, A Walk to Remember, etc) and the fact that my grandma had leukemia.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I often have Grey's Anatomy running in the backgrounds. It's a great show for dramatic moments and it reminds me to add the drama and emotion to my writing. Besides, I can't write when it's quiet.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I grew up loving Meg Cabot, Tamora Pierce and John Marsden. They all write wonderful YA novels that have stuck with me and that I reread often.
What are you working on now?
I'm working on a few different books… I'll have to let you know when one of them is finished! I don't like to talk about a book too much while it's under development, because you never know what will change.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Wattpad has been a massive tool of promotion for me. Awakening to Life received over 9.7 million views before I decided to self publish. It's still on my account as a sample (10 chapters) and a lot of readers find their way to the published version from there.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Read a lot and learn as much as you can. Go to workshops and writers festivals. Get feedback from writers who know more than you do.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
My writing mentor always tells me to add more emotion. Her advice runs through my head every time I write a scene. It pushes me to always go for more.
What are you reading now?
I'm just about to start reading Who's That Girl by Mhairi McFarlane.
What’s next for you as a writer?
More books! I just want to keep writing. Thankfully I've found this passion young, so hopefully I'll have many decades of books ahead of me.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Can I pick a series? If so, it's a multiple way tie between Harry Potter, the Tomorrow series (John Marsden), The Mediator (Meg Cabot), Airhead (Meg Cabot), Song of the Lioness (Tamora Pierce) and Protector of the Weak (Tamora Pierce).
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