1. How do you select the names of your characters?
I have to sit on it for a moment, because I believe the name is the first thing that makes that character believable for the readers. It is highly common for me to Google names and to also think of underused names, but sometimes, a classic name is best for a character.
2. If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
This question makes me want to say absolutely nothing. Probably helping authors on the business side of their work. But that, too, would more than likely kill me, because it would be such a tease. Realistically, since we all have to make a living somehow, I would try to stick to something creative, but I do have a lot invested in business and human relations. I like customer service and believe that businesses need to uphold themselves to a very high standard. A performance manager used to be my dream, so probably that. But this is only after trying all other creative routes first!
3. What is your favorite childhood book?
Sweet Pickles is my first ever book collection, and I learned how to read on my own at three with those books. But below the age of 10, it would have to be the Babysitter’s Club—hands down.
4. What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Shoving other ideas for another book to the side while making it to the end of a current project.
5. What was your hardest scene to write?
Anything with sex. I dread it. It takes a lot of explaining of who is doing what exactly while trying not to use banal terminology. I really want to say, “She came, he came.” The end.
6. Does your family support your career as a writer?
Friends and family—100%! I’m not sure if it would’ve gone differently if I hadn’t paid my dues by going to college and remaining career-oriented first, but for whatever reason, they are.
7. What did you edit out of Capital Encounters?
Stupid paragraphs. Things that made me shiver and ask, “Why?” If it didn’t push it forward, it had to go.
8. Do you view writing as kind of a spiritual practice?
Absolutely! Because it was God-given, I have to serve my purpose and when I do, it feeds my soul. I thought I was happier before, but connecting to your passion which is your purpose takes you to another level.
9. How many hours a day do you write?
I never set parameters around myself in regards to writing unless there’s a deadline. Because I’m a free bird at heart, I can’t work like I’m at a 9-5. It works for other authors, not for me. I listen to my body and mind and stop when real life intervenes or when I’ve given enough for that day. I may move on to the business side of it, which almost brings me just as much pleasure.
10. What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Nothing. I grew up with two older brothers and understand men and how they think. The closest struggle is perhaps a sex scene and describing from a man’s mind how he would interpret a woman’s body and what he’d want to do to her. But even that wasn’t too hard only because the sex was pure screwing. I haven’t reached the making love scene yet. Then I’ll know for sure.
11. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
They all vary. Depends on my head space and how distracted I am at that point in time.
12. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Somehow, you gotta find the balance between what the readers want while being original and compromising only when necessary. In the sense of art, compromising sounds like the last option. I like to stand by my work, but you also want to be smart and perhaps release a project when it stands a chance or when you feel it could make an impact. To risk or not to risk is the question. But I love to be original, never been too good at following.
13. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Only if I had to protect my identity for work and it would clash with making my money. Other than that, absolutely not. I’d want people to know exactly what I’ve done.
14. Have you ever printed out a manuscript?
I remember printing out my manuscript and it went on for what felt like forever. My mom kept saying, “You did all this?” She was used to me flip flopping in life but when she saw that big ole manuscript she never stopped drilling me to get this thing out and into the market ASAP. That’s when she knew something was there.
15. What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Perhaps not studying the process along the way. Some do and some do not, but you can’t afford not to do your homework. The other mistake: waiting and doubting. There will never be the magical moment. The magic only begins when you sit your scared ass in that chair and write.