This is an interview posted about me. I think that it is much more descriptive than a blurb I could write.Your first book was published when you were 17 years old. What advice do you have for other young writers?
Don’t you ever, ever give up! Every little step gets you closer to your goal. If you love something, then you won’t ever stop doing it. I’ve had enough rejection letters to paper my walls, but I kept on going because writing was the one thing that got me excited and made me happy. At first, people laughed at me, but remember that success always comes when you keep pushing.
Secondly, build your network. I know it’s silly, but I met my first traditional publisher at blog. Don’t be afraid to stick your nose out there, either. Ask people for help. Yeah, some people may burn you, but some people won’t. Stick through the "No!" to get to the "Yes!"
How do you feel you've grown as a writer since you started out?
I have grown so, SO much. I look at my writing during my first book and cringe. I now know grammar books like the back of my hand, and I talk to my editors after my edits to see what I need to improve on. I’ve actually learned a lot simply by saying, "Hey, I’ve noticed that I’ve had problems with…How do I get better?"
My editors have actually become my best friends because of this.
Tell us a bit about your latest book.
Poachers is about a boy who sees things that other people can’t. They’re shadowy, dark, scary things that hang over him and frighten him to no end. One day, his mother gets sick. He wants desperately to save her, and one of these shadows disguised as a human promises him that she will. She gives him a shriveled fruit that kills his mother. He becomes overcome with guilt and rage and becomes a "poacher." He must learn to forgive himself, and he must learn to forgive the creatures of the shadow world.
How are you promoting the book?
I am blogging and blogging and blogging. It is a writer’s most important resource. I write articles, send out papers, and do whatever I can to get the word out. One of the great things about having books in hard copy is that I’m able to do book signings and visit schools. I have a school presentation planned in November to talk about dreams and my book. I’m terrified but excited.
Who is your publisher and why did you choose them?
Old Line Publishing is my publisher. I did the traditional publisher because, regardless of what is said, I’ve done it both ways and feel that my traditional publishers respect what I have to say. (And I’m grateful to that.) They don’t ignore their authors. Plus, either way you’re going to have to get sales for your book. A big mistake that writers make is assuming that once the book is published they’re done. Selling the book takes just as much work, or even more so, than writing it.
What other projects are you working on?
Right now I am very excited about my book in progress, E is for Eternity. It is a fantastic science fiction book about a machine that can tell the future and eventually destroys the world. I actually found that manuscript, all three hundred and fifty pages of it, stored in some strange place in my processor. I pulled it out and realized that it was possibly the best thing that I’ve ever written. Only I could lose a book that big.
What do you like doing when you're not busy writing?
Not much, honestly. Right now I’m still getting my feet underneath me, so I write during the day and moonlight at another job. I also am in the process of starting a publishing company and am testing the waters on myself. I run daily to keep my body from growing because of my ice cream addiction, but to me free time is a foreign word. I drive my friends nuts. They finish sentences for me.
"Can you come over? It’s Friday," they say.
"No. I can’t. I’m--"
I’m hoping that all of these exhausting, late days will pay off.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
Oh, that’s easy! I love to blog. For example, many people don’t realize that I’ve just published a poetry book of mine, Where All Rivers Meet. I announce things like that via my blog.
I also write about…well…writing at:
Anything else you'd like to add?
Thanks for reading this! Also, thank you to my marvelous host! I really appreciate you allowing me to be here today.