What author or book would you say has had the greatest impact on your career as a writer?
Oooh, that’s tricky. It’s hard to choose just one book or author, since so many have influenced me in significant ways, but there are certainly a few that stand out. The Harry Potter series is the reason I got really into reading as a young adult. Nicholas Sparks is the reason I fell in love with literary romance. And Twilight is the reason I started writing as a hobby (and then later turned that hobby into this amazing career). There are many, many more, but those are the most significant. Probably.
All your books are awesome by the way. You write the kind of characters that make you want to fall in love with their story. Who or what inspires them to paper?
Aw…thank you. Honestly, I usually base my characters (loosely) on my friends on real life. I have some seriously amazing friends who are witty, funny, fierce, and passionate—and I love using their personalities as a basic outline for my on-page characters. Except for villains. I don’t really have many villainous friends in real life so I usually create my bad guys from scratch. Haha.
If you could give advice to any upcoming writer, what would it be?
Be FEARLESS! Fear is your worst enemy in this business. It will knock you down, paralyze you, and steal your passion and self-confidence—but only if you let it. There are plenty of things to be afraid of, in any profession, but writing is especially personal and, therefore, particularly terrifying. We writers pour our hearts into our books and then we let others read and criticize them. It’s a crazy exchange and it takes tremendous courage, but I promise it is absolutely worth the frayed nerves.
If you could collaborate with any author past or present, who would it be and why?
Ooh, this is a tricky question, too! Haha. I’d probably have to say Stephenie Meyer. She returned an email of mine just after I’d published my first YA fantasy book and it was so encouraging! She probably doesn’t realize how much her words meant to me, but really, they inspired me to keep writing, to keep trying, and to not give up. So I’d be beyond honored to write alongside her. That would be ah-mazing.
Are you working on anything that you can share?
Yes! Always. Haha. Right now, I’m mostly focusing on finishing the sequel to Sophie & Carter. I’ve been promising my readers this this sequel for years and I’m just now getting around to it. I’m lame. Haha. I’m also working on an MG fantasy series, which is super fun! It’s very colorful and wild. And I may or may not be finishing up a small horror novella. Although, honestly, it’s more of a twisted romance than anything else. Haha. I’m working on other stories as well: a YA fantasy series, a few NA contemporary stories about my Finding Fate characters Ellen and Zack, and a historical fantasy set in early America. Phew! That probably sounds like a lot, but I love it SO MUCH! I have the best job ever.
Chelsea lives in Phoenix, Arizona, where she spends most of her time writing stories, painting murals, and avoiding housework at all costs. She's ridiculously bad at doing dishes and claims to be allergic to laundry. Her obsessions include: superheroes, coffee, sleeping-in, and crazy socks. She lives with her husband and two children, who graciously tolerate her inability to resist teenage drama on TV and her complete lack of skill in the kitchen.