Tell me about yourself?
I grew up in Virginia on a steady diet of sci-fi and fantasy. I always loved writing and I was (and still am) one of those people who collect notebooks and hate writing in them. I wrote plays in elementary school and emo poetry in middle school (who didn’t?). I kept writing through high school, lost the habit in college, and found it again in my mid-twenties. Finding my way back to writing has been one of the best things I’ve ever done. It literally keeps me sane. Last August I published The Predator Analysis, the fourth and final book of my debut series, The Kepos Chronicles.
When I’m not writing, I plant new varieties of veggies in my garden, play video games, and read the same five books over and over to my kids. And sometimes, if I’m lucky, I get to go to the rock climbing gym.
Tell me about your current Book:
A narrow escape from an alien ship. A planet with a secret. Can she save the entire colony, or has she doomed them all to decimation?
Dione Quinn is a biology nerd, not a fighter, but when a school research trip goes wrong and the Venatorians attack their ship, she doesn’t have much of a choice.
In fact, she has even fewer choices when her best friend, Lithia Min, jumps them to a planet outside the Alliance-protected Bubble. They’ve escaped for now, but they are stranded where no one will find them, and one of her classmates has been injured in the attack. The only thing that can save her is on the uncatalogued planet Kepos.
As Dione discovers the truth about the planet and the lengths to which she must go to save her friends, Kepos presents a problem. One that will force Dione to decide: What is her future worth?
What are you working on now?
I’m planning to put out a series collection of all four books of The Kepos Chronicles later this year.
I’m also working on a new trilogy called The Atlantis Crown. It’s a YA dystopian/dystopian romance trilogy. Think “The Selection” by Kiera Cass meets “The Atlantis Grail” by Vera Nazarian. This new series is fun and relatively light, so it’s perfect for an escape. The first book, The Goddess Games (The Atlantis Crown Book 1) just went to the editor. I’m going to try a rapid release, so I’ll be waiting until I have at least two books ready to go before I start publishing the series.
What is something that people don’t generally know about you?
I was an athlete in high school. I played basketball, field hockey, and lacrosse, and while I wasn’t a superstar, I was pretty good. Even my own friends in high school didn’t know until I convinced them to watch one of my field hockey games. To quote my own father: “I didn’t think you could run that fast.” I think because I was also a nerd people assumed I was bad at sports.
And these might be fighting words, but my favorite Star Trek is Voyager. Janeway is the best captain, though Picard is a close second. Between Janeway and B’Elanna and Seven of Nine, I had a trio of worthy female role models growing up.
What is a favorite lesson you have learned about the business of writing?
Define your own success and set goals. Is success finishing a novel or making six figures? I think it’s important to define one’s own personal idea of success instead of using someone else’s metric. My idea of success probably looks very different from another author’s. It doesn’t matter if you dream big or small because it’s your dream. Once you know what success looks like, so set goals that will help you achieve it. Reevaluate these goals at intervals. Nothing is set in stone.
What is the best piece of writing advice you give to new authors?
Read and write. A lot. Those are the two things that have made me a better author. When I read something I enjoy, I ask myself why I liked it. Was it the writing style? The characters? The plot? By identifying what specifically made me like a book, I can use that element in my own writing. When I listen to a song, I mostly hear the lyrics and melody. When my audiophile husband listens to a song, he takes in the composition. He can tell you what instruments were used, the key, all sorts of stuff I barely notice, like the fact that apparently, the song Ocean Avenue by Yellowcard has an electric violin. I realized that he must analyze music the way I analyze stories. So that’s my advice. Study stories. Study tropes. Figure out why an element works in one story, but not another, then try it in your own writing.