Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I grew up in Illinois in a community known as the Quad Cities, which, confusingly, is actually five cities in Illinois and Iowa. I graduated from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois in 2014 with a degree in education. I still live in the Quad Cities where I teach English and American literature at a local high school.
I spend way too much time on Pinterest, and I love trying out crafty hobbies like sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and painting. I also love traveling. I have traveled a lot with my family, and I’m looking forward to traveling overseas with a group of students this summer.
Avalon: Princess, which was published in December 2016, is my first book.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is Avalon: Princess. It is the first in a children’s fantasy adventure series. It took me many years to actually published it. I was first inspired to write it when I read an abridged version of Le Morte d'Arthur for a British Literature class in college. I was fixated on this idea that the mortally wounded Arthur was taken to the land of fairies (Avalon) and never seen again.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I wouldn’t say it’s unusual, but my most productive time as a writer is in November when I participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) every year. I love the organization, and I always encourage my students to participate as well.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I have read a lot of books in my life, and I feel that all of them have probably influenced me in some way, but one author and series that affected my life in general would have to be J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was the first book that I actually looked forward to reading on my own as a child, and that love of reading has changed my life for the better.
What are you working on now?
Along with the sequel to Avalon: Princess (Avalon: Crown), I’ve been working on a scifi novel set in the future when an alien race has taken over and is impersonating humans. It’s only when Lizzie finally escapes the laboratory that was her prison for ten years, that she realizes that she’s one of the last humans left.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I love Goodreads. I used it as a reader even before I became a writer.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
It’s probably been said a million times, but keep writing. You write a novel one word at a time.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“If you don't see the book you want on the shelves, write it.” – Beverly Cleary
What are you reading now?
Most recently, I finished reading Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I just started reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.
What’s next for you as a writer?
For now, I plan to focus on the Avalon series.
What is your favorite book of all time?
I’m going to have to refer to the words of Neil Gaiman on this one. “Picking five favorite books is like picking the five body parts you’d most like not to lose.”
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