I was born and raised in the beautiful micro-climate of the Pacific Northwest where I reside with my husband and two young boys, and since Im a Northwest girl that is where I base most of my stories, with a few exceptions, so I can write what I know.
Ive always had an ungodly attention for detail and an over active imagination, and in January 2009 while snowed in, the two collided and a writer was born. Writing has always been something I was good at, even in elementary school Id have twenty pages written in the time it took the rest of the class to write three. My creative writing teacher always pushed me towards entering contests but I declined, as with all self-conscious teenage girls that were awkwardly tall and the epitome of a tomboy, I didnt believe in my writing enough to follow his advice.
Fast forward four years, and a gem was dropped in my lap; R.A. Salvatore. In four weeks I read all of his Dark Elf books including some series that were based off of his that were done by other authors. The written word suddenly had meaning to me. Reading and writing could be fun, adventurous, and a means of escape. However, how can you write like Salvatore?
Three years later I discovered the Northwest American transgressional fiction novelist, Chuck Palahniuk and his little literary master piece called Choke. His gritty realistic novels made me smile, laugh, question what I just read, and said, you can do this.
However, with all Americans, I was lazy and didnt act on it. So now it is January 2009 and we were having a recording snowfall in Eastern Washington and we were snowed in.
My niece, Rakyia, was eleven at the time, and was complaining that we didnt have anything for her to read, I'm a Salvatore fan and husband is a Brooks fan, so she told me about this book she was reading at school. It was called the Vampire Diaries (I still havent read any of them but the bad brother on the show is hot!)
Rakyia gave me a quick rundown and it sounded boring. However, vampires in high school? Ive never heard of such a thing. I sat down and found a picture on the internet of a pale girl with raven black hair wrapping around her from the breeze and large eyes that were the most haunting color of blue that blended to teal with hints of green in them. Her features were delicate and doll like but there was something about her that made you want to fear her; she was a killer.
That picture, that single, simple, picture inspired Prophecy. In 4 days I had a 30K story written for my niece and she loved it. However, I didnt. I took some of the characters and wrote them out better and started over. Five weeks later Prophecy: Revelation was completed at 247,000 words. Immediately I jumped to the second installment, Contrivance, and the third, Nemesis. But were they any good? I was too scared to ask. My friend at work demanded that I let her read one since she was out of stuff to read, this friend is a grownup with a book collection that rivals any library, and she read Revelation. Four pages in, she walked around the aisle to my cubical and punched me in the arm and told me that this was brilliant.
In twelve weeks I wrote three full books totally more than 600,000 words. There was no way that writing was that easy! That is when I discovered this little thing called WORD COUNT and that my Prophecy Saga was really long in the printed sense, but the stories are quick and addictive and action filled. Annoyed, and being a typical rebellious French Samoan that has always given the middle finger to the man, I sat down and wrote Eternal Consciousness in 9 days at over 84K. And proved that I wasnt a one trick pony-- there werent lycans or vampires in it. After really good feedback from that story, which was from a guys POV, I started bouncing from WIP to WIP. No two were alike and they ranged from YA fantasy to Fiction Crossover and Fantasy Action Romance.
While I had writers block on which of the seven possible endings that I had already written for Immortal Mafia: Daddys Little Girl, I bounced up and down in my cubical buzzing with enough golden liquid crack that Washington is known, for coursing through my system that I couldnt think straight on any of my WIPs and Undiluted Minds was born. I looked at my blank word doc and I swear that the cursor was blinking at me, mocking me, flipping me the bird, because I had writers block. I literally stood up in my cube and started talking trash to the computer, which wasnt anything new for me, to the amusement of my co-workers. To show the blank word doc who was boss, I started typing. At the end of the four hours I wrote at work I had six chapters done and Johanna and Rebecca were begging for more.
I went home and wrote, back to work and wrote, and eight days later I typed out we have undiluted minds. And through the tears, I pressed CTRL+S and felt accomplished for the first time since starting this little endeavor called writing. Micha and Korin were each a part of me that just needed to get out of my head and embrace the world.
So, at the end of the first official year of writing I had 1,281,513 words written in more than twenty-four stories, and completed more than eight. In the first month of 2010 I have completed two more stories; one was started from scratch in Jan and finished in Jan at 80KAcademy of Thaumaturgy: Lies of the Unified House.
Inspiration can hit me at any time and my head is flooded with so many ideas that my IDEA FOLDER is quickly becoming the largest file on my flash drive. Music, languages, art, history, photography, cooking, sports, strong girls that can kick ass, and self sufficient woman are my strongest inspirations.
My goal, in each book, is to have strong women that can handle and take care of things. I dont think that there are enough positive female main characters that girls can look up to. I also try to have at least one homosexual in each book, not that is happens but I try, because I feel that variety is the spice of life, and there arent enough positive gay role models in books for young people to relate to. When I wrote Ninian in Prophecy I didnt think anything of it, then in book two I added Kellan whose parents were completely anti-gay. His story prompted an email from a 15 year old boy in South America, he told me that he was so scared to come out to his family since he was raised Christian and after reading Prophecy he felt more comfortable in his own skin and was able to come out to his siblings which embraced him regardless of his lifestyle choice.
I think that is the goal of all writers, to have their stories touch someones life and their characters register real. I cant even count the number of emails I have from people about Undiluted Minds and how it helped them get over the pain or grief, and that they needed a story like that to help them through life. Somehow I became the Dr. Phil of writing without trying to be. Oh well, fan are the greatest and they are what will keep my books on the shelves.
What else did you want to know? I taught my boys to moon people out the front window and Ive been kicked out of every Wal-Mart in a three state radius. Ive done everything from photography to web design, was a Klingon in Las Vegas and did Roller Derby in Florida.