What inspires you to write?
I have a very curious and imaginative mind that runs on overdrive. Therefore, I have so many ideas and thoughts that it is hard to verbally express them. The only way for me to achieve getting them out of my head is by writing it all out. I get my ideas through observation of people, current events and life experiences, religious and political beliefs, and pop culture.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
As soon as I developed a love for storytelling, which started when I was a child. I enjoy being read to and listening to people tell stories. This and my overactive imagination led me to my desire to write.
Are you a full-time or part-time writer?
I am a former journalist who had worked full time. Now, I just write novels on a part-time basis. I am currently a Data and Records Assistant at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa. I also am a mother, so everything feels like a balancing act.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
I became a journalist because I wanted to be in the know of what was happening locally, and it gave me an opportunity to learn about several subjects. I also enjoyed meeting interesting people and hearing their stories. It introduced me to a different style of writing as opposed to creative writing. I also knew that many authors got their start writing for newspapers. As far as genre goes, I’m still trying to find one that I feel the most comfortable with. I have written the romance suspense novel Waves Crashing and the Sci-Fi thriller The Death Firm. I like to challenge myself by trying all different types of writing and exploring different genres. I remember reading somewhere that it is best to stick with one genre, but I have this urge to try all different kinds.
What are some day jobs you have held?
I have been an assistant reference librarian, an obituary clerk, reporter, freelance writer, dietary clerk, activist, and hotel clerk.
What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer?
As a journalist, I have learned that it is extremely important to be accurate, include multiple sides of the story, and be non-biased. Also in some situations, you have to choose your words carefully and always be considerate when writing about delicate situations. As a novelist, I learned that writing the novel is just the start of the overall process. There’s so much more to it. Not many people outside of writers are aware of the publishing challenges. They also may not be aware that authors do some marketing and public relations themselves. They have to reach out to media and do some advertising as well. I have made bookmarks, designed ads and flyers, and reached out to libraries about including my novels in their collection.
If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
Because I have a thirst for knowledge and an adventurous nature, I would love to be either a paleontologist or archaeologist. Growing up, I imagined what it would be like if I was Indiana Jones.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
I would encourage them to read and explore different genres to help them build their vocabulary, learn various writing styles, and figure out what genre they are most comfortable with. Writing a novel is a long, drawn out process. It is extremely important to be organized by creating an outline, doing some research, and scheduling time to write each day. There will be days when you face writer’s block. When this happens, it is a good idea to take a walk, listen to some music, or meditate. This helps me to relax, clear my mind from all distractions, and inspires me to keep on going. Get used to the idea that your work will be rejected. Do not get discouraged. If you strongly believe in your work, figure out how you can improve it and try again. Many times publishers will tell you what they don’t like about it and give you advice. Don’t take it personally.
Can you share with readers a little bit about your latest book?
My latest book is the Sci-Fi thriller The Death Firm. I started writing this novel shortly after the passing of my mother. It was the darkest period of my life. I was overtaken by so many emotions. I always wanted to write a Sci-Fi novel, so I started writing one as a way to veer my mind off of my mother’s death and release some of the feelings and thoughts that I had by writing about them. The Death Firm is about monsters called the Death Firms that were created by the military for security and combat purposes. They are part human, robot, and animal. They escape the military compound and start attacking the citizen of Tucson, Arizona. It is up to a librarian to come up with a solution on how to attack and kill the Death Firms.
Tell us something unique about you.
I was actually a music major before I changed it to journalism in college. I was a vocalist. I sang in choir, took voice lessons, and even made a demo. I competed in singing contests too. I still love singing. I’m a bit out of practice though.