When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In 9th grade when I turned in a short story I’d written for an English assignment and the teacher called me over after class to say I belonged in AP English. That’s when I knew this wasn’t just a hobby.
What are some day jobs you have held?
I worked at Chuck E Cheese making pizzas and hosting parties, I was a trainee ballroom dance instructor for 6 months and I made magic with The Walt Disney Company for a non-consecutive 3 years.
What have you written so far?
Aside from my debut novelette The Flip Side Of Sad, I’ve written almost 10 books in an LGBTQ book series that I’m currently seeking literary representation for.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
When it came to The Flip Side Of Sad, I bounced between a few different ideas before finally deciding self-publishing was the best way to go, so I could have full control over the launch, covers, illustrations. But for my LGBTQ book series, that I feel has far too much potential to not reach a bigger audience, which is why my goal is traditional publishing for that one.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Just. Keep. Writing. The biggest mistake I made was when I stopped writing while I pursued other career paths. I lost the mojo a little when I finally got back into it.
Can you share with readers a little bit about your latest book?
This book has actually been 10 years in the making.
The Flip Side Of Sad is a story of a bratty popstar named James Letta who fell into fame and certainly let it change him. On his new album, he sings happy, hopeful songs, but he feels anything but. After a full-on prime donna moment, James wakes up inside his album and is met with a Spirit who takes him on a journey through his day and tries to show him the meaning of his lyrics. I would pitch it as “A Christmas Carol meets Teen Beach Movie.”
What made you decide to sit down and actually start writing this book?
This book has actually been 10 years in the making. It was originally a short story I wrote when I was 16, then I happened upon it on my computer and decided to do a whole lot of revising to turn it into this novelette.
Tell us more about your main character. What inspired you to develop this character?
James Letta is the world’s newest singing sensation. Fame has made him a little more cocky and a lot more sad, despite the hopeful lyrics in his songs. He’s incredibly sarcastic, a talented musician when his busy popstar life gives him a minute to enjoy it, and he’s obsessed with this one New York pizza place. P.S. James was originally based off a real-life singer. Any guesses?
Do you listen or talk to your characters?
I love this question because I’m fascinated with the idea of talking to your characters. I watched The Man Who Invented Christmas this past holiday and all Charles Dickens does is talk to his characters, almost hallucinating them being there. It’s something I haven’t done yet, but definitely want to try.
If your book was made into a movie, who would you cast?
Another question I love! For the character of James, I can see Jack Met from AJR or Chandler Massey playing him. As for the Spirit, I’ve always imagined Jen Lilley.