What was your inspiration for AFTERMATH?
I’ve wanted to write AFTERMATH since I was twelve years old, when a girl my age, from my neighborhood, disappeared on her way home from school. It was the first time I truly realized that “stranger danger” was a real thing and that bad things can happen to girls like me, even in safe neighborhoods like ours. Thankfully, the girl was found alive some time later. She’d been held captive in the crawlspace of a man’s house a few blocks from her own. Her family moved away soon after her rescue, but I never forgot about her. I wonder how she recovered, where she is today, and how she’s doing.
I changed the circumstances in AFTERMATH — Charlotte is missing for four years — and the book starts when she escapes. I focus on what I’ve always wondered about the girl from my neighborhood: her journey of recovery. It’s a story of healing, hope, and triumph over tragedy, for fans of ROOM and THE LOVELY BONES.
The RUN TO YOU series is two books, DECEPTION SO DEADLY and DECEPTION SO DARK. Why do I sometimes see six shorter Run to You publications with similar covers but different titles?
A few days after I sent in my contract to my publisher for the two books in my Run to You series, they told me they were going to publish it as a six-part serial. The books were released in six parts, one week apart, in 2014. But so many people demanded the full-length books that the publisher finally compiled the serial back into two complete books in May 2015! Run to You Book One, originally published in three installments as First Sight, Second Glance, and Third Charm, is now DECEPTION SO DEADLY. Run to You Book Two, originally published as Fourth Charm, Fifth Touch, and Sixth Sense, is now DECEPTION SO DARK. The serial installments are no longer available.
I read the RUN TO YOU series as a serial, and I’ve reviewed it on several sites. Will my reviews cross over to DECEPTION SO DEADLY and DECEPTION SO DARK?
Thank you for reading the serial, and thank you for leaving reviews! Your reviews will not automatically cross over to Deception So Deadly and Deception So Dark, so please consider copying your reviews of the serial to the compilations. The more reviews a book has on Amazon, Goodreads, etc, the more those sites will recommend it to other readers. Thank you for helping others discover the Run to You series!
Why did you become a writer?
Reading a book usually takes only a few hours, but some books I love so much that I never want them to end. My time with those beloved characters is so brief, yet I want to spend days, weeks, months, a lifetime with them. The only way to do that, I realized, was to write books myself. Now I get to spend months or even years with my characters as I write their stories.
Where do you get your ideas?
AFTERMATH was inspired by a real life event. But usually, a
what if… will pop up in my head out of nowhere. For the RUN TO YOU series, I was pulling out of a parking space at a grocery store and thought,
What if a girl was the only member of her family without a psychic ability and they were being hunted by a telepathic killer?
Will you describe your writing process?
Before I write one word of my manuscript, I plot as much of it as I can using a combination of Blake Snyder’s Save The Cat beat sheet and Michael Hague’s Six Stage Plot Structure . Then I write the first draft as fast as possible: no editing, no pretty prose. My first draft is a discovery draft, just to see what I have. Trust me, it is not fit for human consumption. After that, I print it out and make notes of all the changes/additions/deletions I need to make, then I re-write it (sometimes almost the entire thing) before sending it to my critique partners. I’ll revise again based on their feedback and my own insights, and repeat as necessary until it’s ready to be sent out into the world.
What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on another dark, ripped-from-the-headlines contemporary YA, a super-romantic YA mystery/thriller with a dash of magical realism, and a New Adult romance. I’m excited about all of them!
Any tips for aspiring authors?
- First and foremost, READ. When you read something you like, figure out why you like it. When you read something you don’t like, figure out why you don’t like it.
- Join a writers’ group (I belong to the Romance Writers of America, but there are lots of groups out there).
- Find critique partners and beta readers who will be honest with you—even if what they say is hard to hear—and consider their feedback with an open mind.
- Learn everything you can about the craft of writing and the publishing industry. But don’t spend so much time learning that you never actually, you know, write.
- And finally, the most important advice of all: Don’t. Give. Up.