Q1. Why do you write?
Answer: I first started writing a little over a year ago. I'd always wanted to give it a try but it wasn't until finding Wattpad that I actually did. I was going through a difficult time and found myself with some downtime while at work. I finished the story I was reading and wasn't sure what I wanted to start next, so I decided to try and write. Immediately I discovered that writing helped occupy my mind in a way that reading failed to do. Creating characters and bringing them to life became addictive to me. Since that very first day, I have never NOT been working on a story!
Q2. How much research do you do?
Answer: The research involved depends on each individual story. Every story requires at least a little bit of investigating to make it credible. It's important to know something concrete about the location you're writing about, the behaviors of your characters, and the situations you put them in. I don't think it's wise for a writer to skip the detective work, not if they want their story to be accurate and believable.
Q3. How important are names to you in your books?
Answer: To me, naming each character is a very important part of putting them together. I look at it as an extension to their personality or background. If the personality I'm writing about it meek, I will choose a soft-sounding name, something classic and timeless. If the they're mysterious, I'll use something more obscure or daring. If the character is laid-back, I will pick a name that feels comfortable and reflects a good-nature. I hope that makes sense! I take naming characters very seriously.
Q4. What book do you wish you could have written.
Answer: Like every other romance writer I wish I could have written Pride and Prejudice! It's the ultimate "happily ever after" which will never get old. I also enjoy a good twist. My current favorite is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. And The Sixth Sense by M. Night Shyamalan, which is actually a film not a book, blew my mind!
Q5. What is your favorite quote?
Answer: Only one favorite quote? There are so many I find meaningful! One of my current favorite quotes is by Winston Churchill. "Never give up on something you can't go a day without thinking about." It applies to writing and so much more.
Q6. What was it like winning The Write Affair contest sponsored by Wattpad and Kensington Publishing?
Answer: Winning The Write Affair came as a total shock! I stumbled across the contest at the last minute and entered on a whim, never thinking anything would come of it. After the finalists were announced and my story Strawberry Wine was one of them, I figured it was a fluke. After I checked out the other finalists I thought to myself, "What in the world did I just do? I'm never gonna win this thing!" I just knew my story didn't stand a chance, not when it was up against all of those amazing stories...some of which were hand-picked by Kensington themselves. When I received the message telling me my manuscript won and would be published, I seriously went numb! I assumed I had misread it. I stared at that message for the longest time expecting it to disappear, but it didn't. The message directed me to my editor and advised me to get in touch with her for additional details. When I reached her at her NYC office, she assured me I had read correctly—Strawberry Wine did in fact win, and would be published after revisions were made. Little did I know, but the hard work was just beginning! My deadline is quickly approaching and I am both terrified and excited. This journey, so far, has been amazing and I'm looking forward to seeing where it takes me!
Thank you, Thomas, for inviting me to participate in #5Qi ! I have enjoyed reading the interviews posted so far and am excited to see what lies ahead!
Bonus question added. This option was offered to everyone.
#5Qi - August 1st, 2015