What made you decide to become a writer?
I always thought I would major in journalism but I was pretty good at math and science and my high school counselor told me about scholarship money for women in engineering. I was able to secure those funds to help pay for college, so that’s what I did.
After I worked in corporate America for over a decade, I stayed home to raise my kids, which just happens to be the best job in the world. But anyway, after a bit I thought about returning to work and imagined what I would do if I could?
I had journaled my entire life and dabbled in writing a couple of pieces for my local newspaper. But by now it was pretty clear that I needed to get serious and start writing the stories that had been marinating in my head since childhood. I wasn’t getting any younger and didn’t want to waste any more time or regret not trying.
What was the inspiration for BETWEEN?
My parents divorced when I was a child and had issues with custody. My experience wasn’t the same as Peaches and I was a couple of years younger but a lot of the emotion behind what she is feeling was similar.
What was the inspiration for Rumspringa?
I wanted to write something more commercial that had a unique selling point. I always thought I'd write a historical novel about the Shakers but I didn't want to take the time to do the historical part of the research so I thought about how I could modernize the story. I spent the first half of my childhood in northern Indiana and my maternal great-grandmother grew up Amish, so they are natural interests of mine. Thus, Rumspringa was born.
What is your writing schedule like?
I like to write from early morning to early afternoon. Basically, the silent time in the house when my husband is off to work and the kiddos are in school.
What are you writing next?
I recently self-pubbed the middle grade sequel to BETWEEN called APART. My current work in progress is another YA novel.
What made you decide to go indie with BETWEEN?
I had gotten a lot of nibbles from high end agents and editors in the industry with BETWEEN but the overriding concern was lack of unique selling point in this tight market. After all the hard work I’d put into the piece, it was a shame to just leave it sitting in the drawer. At the very least, I wanted to give my friends and family a chance to read it.
I don’t have a Kindle. How can I get your book?
Not everyone has a Kindle, I know. But the Kindle App is free to download and is available on Windows PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android and Windows 7 phones. Just order BETWEEN off of Amazon and download to your Kindle App. Or you can use Kindle Cloud Reader to read instantly in your browser. It’s easy. Or you can order a paperback copy here.
I have a Nook, will that work?
Unfortunately, no, not at the moment. Due to a third of my earnings originating from the Kindle Lending Library, I have decided for the time being to e-pub with Kindle Direct Publishing Select. This is an exclusive contract that allows my e-book to be lent with Amazon prime members but does not allow me to e-pub through other venues.
What is your advice for aspiring writers?
Take it seriously and carve out time everyday to write. Also, read religiously- anything you can get your hands on. Study how your favorite authors do it. Even study what you didn’t particularly like about a piece of writing. Join a critique group and get feedback on your work and learn to be a good editor and don’t drop the ball when it comes to revision. There aren’t any writers out there who get it perfect on the first draft. I guarantee you won’t be the exception to the rule- it’s like eating right and exercise, there is no other way around it.
I have a manuscript I’ve been working on, could you give me some feedback?
Unfortunately between writing, self publishing, and a family life I don’t have any time to edit other people’s work.
Who are your favorite authors?
That’s a bit like asking who your favorite child is, which is impossible. But I will say that I was inspired to write for children after reading Judy Blume in 4th grade.
What are some of your favorite things?
I love Ben & Jerry's Seven Layer Coconut Bar ice cream which you can only buy at their scoop shops. U2. I love to spend time with my husband and kids in the Rocky Mountains. I like to nap. I chit chat with my BFF on the phone almost everyday. I especially love silence and wind in the trees. Also, I've been known to get super excited over TV episodes of Dance Moms.