Danae and I share the same agent. (Update: As of July 2011, said agent closed shop) We also both live in the Inland Northwest and we’ve added snow to our rants on writing and motherhood. Anyway, it is past time I introduced you all to this awesome wordsmith.
What made you stand up one day and say, “I’m going to write a novel.”?
It was during that ungodly snow we had two years ago, and we were snowed in. We had my 10 year old niece over and she was bitching about not having anything to read since I’m a R.A. Salvatore fanatic, and Pher is a Terry Brooks fan. So I asked her “What do you want to read?” She said she was reading something called the Vampire Diaries. Rakyia gave me a quick rundown and it sounded boring. However, vampires in high school? I’ve never heard of such a thing. I sat down and found a picture on the internet of a pale girl with raven black hair wrapping around her from the breeze and large eyes that were the most haunting color of blue that blended to teal with hints of green in them. Her features were delicate and doll like but there was something about her that made you want to fear her. She was a killer.
That picture, that single, simplistic picture inspired Prophecy. In 4 days I have a 30K story written for my niece and she loved it. However, I didn’t. I took some of the characters and wrote them out better and started over. Five weeks later, Prophecy: Revelation was completed at 247,000 words. Immediately I jumped to the second installment, Contrivance, and the third, Nemesis. But were they any good? I was too scared to ask. My friend at work demanded that I let her read one since she was out of stuff to read, this friend is 50 years old with a book collection that rivals any library, so she read Revelation. Four pages in, she walked around the aisle to my cubical and punched me in the arm and told me that this was brilliant.
In twelve weeks I wrote three full books totally more than 600,000 words. I thought that there was no way that writing was this easy! That is when I discovered this little thing called “WORD COUNT” and that my Prophecy Saga was really long in the printed sense but the stories are quick and addictive and action filled. Either way, it just snowballed from there.
What triumphs and challenges have you faced in your writing?
Overcoming the Twilight comparison was very hard. Since I’m a fellow Northwest Girl, I base my shit off of what I know, and I know the Northwest. Because of commercial success of other vampire or werewolf books based in the Northwest, it causes an automatic Twilight comparison. It is beyond frustrating and two pages into any of my work, the notion is thrown out the window, but it is that initial comparison that drives me insane.
What is some memorable feedback that you’ve received from your fans?
Anytime I hear, THIS KICKS TWILIGHTS ASS is a proud moment for me—I’m über petty like that. There has been many moment. I started writing Jan 2, 2009 so this approaching Jan will mark my two year mark, but in these two years, I have gotten emails from people about how UNDILUTED MINDS helped them laugh again after the sudden loss of their young husband, loss of a friend, mother, father, and so forth. Two fans named children after two of the characters from my books and asked for my blessing and permission—slightly awkward. Ninian and Kellan from Prophecy Saga, their story helped a young man in South America come out to his family, and for the first time he felt happy being who he really is. But I think overall are the comments that they love that a woman is strong and doesn’t need the man. That is my thing; strong women that are smart and independent. Hearing girls and women, even men, make the comment that it’s about damn time that a woman kicked some ass in a book, that makes me smile. Even Kennedi, frail and broken, sick and physically weak Kennedi, is mentally strong and it shows outwardly and she is a fan favorite because of it. Strong doesn’t mean they can bench press a damn Buick, it means that they don’t need a sparkling crutch to give them self worth.
Name one thing you’d do/ buy if you became a mega best-seller?
I want to build an environmentally friendly house with a moat around it filled with dragons to eat people.
Tell us a little about your next project.
At the moment I am working on The Damned of Lost Creek: Requiem of the Damned. I am also brainstorming an epic old school styled Fantasy with my best friend and writing buddy Jolyn Palliata; we spent three hours working on the basics for book one of that project yesterday, and she was amazed that I rambled for over 7,000 words in that time. There is also the Hush Anthology that I randomly pulled out of my ass Saturday while I was supposed to be taking a break from writing. It will be a collection of shorter ghost stories, which I’ve never written before, but I have some ideas in my head for it.
“If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer. If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire, for we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!” Shel Silverstein