What is your favorite writing and reading genre?
I’m an eclectic reader—I read anything from romance to sci-fi to thrillers to mysteries—and I think that shows in my writing. When I started writing THE BODY FINDER, I meant for it to be a straight-up paranormal mystery, but by the time I was finished, I liked Jay’s character (the love interest) so much, the book became part romance as well.
Where and how did you get your idea for your books?
Ideas can spark from everywhere. Sometimes someone will just hand me an idea, like my husband did with THE BODY FINDER. And sometimes I just play the “what-if” game while watching the news or listening to a story someone tells me, and then an idea just sort of snowballs from there.
If a movie or TV show would be created for your books, which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead roles for you books?
I think Elle Fanning would make the perfect lead for Charlie in THE PLEDGE. She’s adorable, smart, and tough…not that I’ve been thinking about that!
When did you decide to become a writer?
I fell in love with writing when I signed up for journalism in the 7th grade. At first I thought I actually wanted to be a journalist, but then I realized everything their job entailed—real journalists cover wars and natural disasters and throw caution to the wind for their careers. I’m not really that kind of person. I prefer creature comforts, like warm bed and hot showers and Starbucks.
How did you get your book published? How long did it take for you to get it published?
First of all, it took me FOREVER to get published, but that was my fault. I wrote a book in my early twenties. It was a horror novel that I refused to believe wasn’t the most brilliant book ever written. It wasn’t. So I insisted on rewriting it, off and on, and resubmitting it for years….fifteen to be exact. But once I gave up on that book and wrote a new one (THE BODY FINDER), everything happened pretty quickly, within about a year. (But, if you’d asked me how long while it was happening, I would have told you that it takes FOREVER & EVER!)
Do you ever get writer's Block? If so, which book did you get the worst while writing?
I used to say I never really got writer’s block, until I was writing the third book in The Taking trilogy, THE COUNTDOWN. I put a lot of pressure on myself to get every detail in that book just right. I agonized over it, and I think that actually did “block me” up a little. In the end, the only way to work through it was to sit down and get the job done, but man, that was pretty rough!
What is the average time for you to write a book?
Obviously every book is different, but on average I write a first drat in about 3 months, and then another month or two for revising.
For your own reading, do you prefer kindle or paperback books?
Both! I like the Kindle for convenience, but I’ll never, ever give up real books!
How are the covers made for you book?
My publishers have been kind of enough to send me the cover mock ups and then asks for my input. Usually I love what they’ve done, but there have been a couple of occasions in which I’ve asked for changes or tweaks, and they’ve been awesome and worked with me. I love all of my covers!
What advice would you give writer wannabes and future/young authors?
Write all of the time. Read everything. And, if your goal is to be published, learn the business of writing, because writing and being published are two very different things.
What do you do during your free time, how do you relax?
I spend all of my downtime with my family. They are my happy place!