What’s your story? How did you get into writing?
I suppose, like most writers, I’ve been “playing & dreaming” since I was very young – 12 or 13. But when I got fired from a long-time job in 2011, I decided to get serious. I started writing, attending conferences, joined Sisters in Crime and really made the decision that I wanted to be doing this, in some way, even if I had to keep a day job for security.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
It sounds trite, but try to write something every day. It doesn’t have to be great. Just write it. Poetry, short fiction, stream of conscious narrative – anything. While you’re doing that, pick up a few books on craft. I like James Scott Bell; Stephen King’s ON WRITING always gets rave reviews. And read – read voraciously, in all genres. Being exposed to how other authors do this writing thing will help you become a better writer yourself.
What are you working on now?
I’ve got so many projects! I’m finishing final revisions on Hero’s Sword 3 and I’ll be starting the first draft of Hero’s Sword 4 soon. I’m waiting on publication of my first Laurel Highlands story (under the pen name Liz Milliron) this summer in a digital magazine; I’ve submitted a second and a third will be published this December in an anthology by my Sisters in Crime chapter. And I’m working on a fourth.
What has been the most challenging part of publishing or marketing your book?
Honestly? Finding time for the marketing. I have a day job again, so doing that, writing, and keeping up with my kids is challenging. Carving out that 15-30 minutes for marketing is tough. And being an author with a very small press, it’s hard to find outlets for promotion.
What has been your favorite part?
Aside from the writing? I like doing interviews. The interviewers generally have good questions that make me think.
Who are your favorite authors?
Oh wow, too many to list. Agatha Christie, CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, JK Rowling, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Hallie
Ephron, Clive Cussler – I need to stop or I’ll be at this all day!
What gave you the idea for your current work?
A combination of my own middle-school memories and my kids, especially my daughter. Technology has changed, but the challenge of discovering your identity, becoming comfortable in your own skin, is still as strong as ever. Kids need to hear that it’s okay not to be just like everybody else – and that it really does get better.
If you could be any character in the book, which one would you be?
I think I’d actually be Roger, the friend/mentor/father figure. He’s the one really guiding Jaycee on her journey. Since I’ve already had my own middle-school angst years, that’s really how I see myself, both as a parent and an author.
What other books have you written and/or are working on for the future?
See the projects question above! But in terms of books, I’m wrapping up Wedding Bells: Hero’s Sword Vol. 3. I’ll be moving on to Lightening Strike: Hero’s Sword Vol. 4 soon, and I’ve written the plan for Fire Storm: Hero’s Sword Vol. 5.
What’s your favorite quote?
“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”
What’s your favorite supernatural creature?
Hmm, hard one. I’ll say werewolves, only because one of my favorite characters in fiction is Remus Lupin from Harry Potter. =)