What is your favorite part about being a writer?
The finished product! Lol It’s always such a relief to write that final page. But really, I love interacting with readers and hearing the parts of my story that they connect with and why. It's so interesting to see what resonates with people. Usually there's something deeper for that reader in their own life that needs exploring.
You have four kids! Any tricks on balancing kids and writing time?
Man, it's hard sometimes!! I have to accept help, absolutely. I kid-swap every week, which gives all of us moms a break to do errands, maybe take a nap, or for me, get uninterrupted writing time for 2-3 hours. Plus, the kids enjoy playing together so I don't feel guilty that they get to work on their social skills in a new environment. I also utilize nap-time like nobody's business, or sometimes hire my teenage babysitters to play with my kids after school while I hide in my room with my laptop.
Did you always want to be a writer?
I was nine when I started a journal and thoroughly enjoyed any writing assignment from my teachers, whether poetry or short stories--which my classmates complained were NEVER short! Even back then, I didn't know how to reduce the growing plotlines in my head to a couple of pages. Not possible!
But my elementary dream of becoming an author kind of fell to the wayside as I continued into high school. I always liked writing but wasn't serious anymore about getting published. In college, I wanted to work with people in more of a counseling/therapy setting. But then I lost my job at a residential treatment center for youth when the economy tanked in 2008. I suddenly had ample free time and the story of Lingering Echoes come to mind! It's been a fun, unexpected ride since then, and I’ve been able to utilize my counseling background to touch on emotional subjects.
Who is your favorite character out of all your books?
Most people would say that's like picking your favorite kid and they can't do it... but I can! I do love all my characters for different reasons, but Aaron Jackson from Lingering Echoes still has a big part of my heart! He’s athletic and cocky but with enough playful charisma to charm you, and his happiness is contagious. He’s protective and always wants to help. Aaron plays a main role in Vanishing Act, too, which is a good one to read after Lingering Echoes.
What is your favorite childhood book and why, and did it make you to want to be a writer?
I was the biggest bookworm in elementary school. I loved a whole variety from Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables, to Nancy Drew, and even a spooky one called Wait Till Helen Comes. I'm not sure any one book inspired me. I think it was more feedback from my teachers about my writing. I LOVED school and was unashamedly teacher's pet. Lol! But that mix of morally strong characters with an element of mystery can definitely be found in all of my books, so maybe there’s something to the idea of inspiring early minds.