Do you work to an outline or plot sketch, or do you prefer to let a general idea guide your writing?
I do a little of both. But I have found that working to an outline or a plot sketch hinders my creativity. I really like getting surprised by the ideas I come up with as I write. In fact, I spent about a month outlining The Universe Between Us, and midway, I decided to toss out the first 20,000 words and start anew. After that, I ignored the outline and let my characters take over.
How do you feel about indie/alternative vs. conventional publishing?
At first, I wanted to go the traditional way. I queried many agents and received tons of rejections that had me wondering if I had wasted my time working on my current novel. And I was skeptical about the indie alternative, until I finally gave it a shot. So far, it has been very, very fun. I mean, my work is out there! But at the same time, I do feel I’m not being honest with myself because I still want a big publisher to sign me. I guess we all do, though!
Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?
I’m new to all of this and have no experience whatsoever in marketing. The only technique I have tried is Twitter blasts. Then there’s all the time I put in promoting my work through Facebook, my own blog, giveaways, etc.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
To write for the joy of it, definitely.
Can you share with readers a little bit about your latest book?
My latest book is a dystopian sci-fi thriller that weaves together aliens, empires, conspiracies, power struggles & romance. It’s about a young woman and a coerced alien, both struggling to survive and overthrow the evil Commander before she invades Earth. My main character, Eliza, must choose to overcome her thirst for revenge after she undergoes a traumatic situation or see the aliens eradicate all human life. Anzu, my second protagonist, on the other hand, must choose to either betray his people or die. It’s a delicious, bittersweet, dark story, really.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Oh, the sweet conspiracies and designing my alien empire. You see, for them, the aliens, their society is utopic, but from our point of view, it’s a dystopia. So playing with perception was very fun and allowed me to discover new themes, such as emotion vs. logic, forgiveness in unforgivable situations (for example, murder), LGBT, suicide, and redemption.
What is your next project?
I am currently working on the sequel to The Universe Between Us, which is the second of a trilogy. On the side, I’m writing a middle-grade sci-fi adventure inspired by my seven-year-old son’s wild ideas.
What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer?
Trust what you write and never, ever restrict yourself. Write it. Don’t be afraid.
How can readers discover more about you and your work?