Where are you from?
Originally, I'm from Welland, Ontario, until I married in 1991. I'm currently residing with my husband and daughter, our dog and two cats in Port Colborne, Ontario Canada.
Tell us your latest news?
My adult fiction, Dial 911-Dead, is finished and will soon be published. A date will be announced shortly. I'm currently writing/illustrating a new children's series, "The Tails' Time Chronicles." I'll be selling it to a publisher soon.
When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing at the tender age of twelve. I decided to write at that time because of my love for the written word. I fell in love with books and wanted to write just like those authors I read.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The moment I put a sentence together and my mom read it.
What inspired you to write your first book?
A dream. I had many, but this one was so clear. When I woke up, I wrote it all down. I grew up loving the fantasy and science fiction world. My dad was an avid fan of these types of movies and books. He loved reading my stories and encouraged me never to give up.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I am both an outliner and a pantser. I've discovered that outlining a story first helps drastically when it comes time to write the book and prepare a synopsis about the book later. It truly depends on the story that I'm writing at the time. Fantasy books, require world-building so I use many notebooks and outline everything.
How did you come up with the title?
For Dial 911-Dead, I wanted to write something that would be a great stand-alone. The world of writing is full of series right now. This particular book isn't very thick and is a quick read. The premise of it is a mockery of the use of cell phones, and that even the dead use them when they can. Because a cell phone is instrumental to resolving the theme of the book, the title was an easy fit. My new children's chronicles, "The Tails' Time Chronicles," was actually outlined years ago, around the same time I wrote my first special edition of Johney Dishwater. I just envisioned a world created for animal characters, crazy adventures, and fun antics. I'm now finishing up the first three books and will send them out for sale to a publisher soon.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
<laughs> ya don't piss off the dead for Dial 911-Dead, and for my children's chronicles, there's a hidden message about how bringing foreign animals/critters into an unfamiliar environment can cause a whole lot of trouble for the existing fauna. There's also sub-messages about friendships and finding inner strengths to combat fears. The whole chronicles tells the reader to be happy with whom they are and not to try and be something they're not.
How much of the book is realistic?
Everything about the book is a possibility. It depends on what you believe, I guess. Same for the chronicles except, well, I haven't heard any animals talk lately, have you. :)
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I worked with architects and within the law professions, so I used my knowledge from these experiences to write my Protagonist and characters he intermingled with in Dial 911-Dead. For Tails' Time, I used to have families that owned farms and would love wandering the land watching and observing all the life that existed there, even the tiniest. I love the outdoors and think we are so fortunate to have such a beautiful planet.
What books have most influenced your life most?
That's a tough one. I want to say all books. I read so much as a kid and even now, I read and review books on one of my blogs sites. I would have to say for fantasy, Stephen Donaldson, Tolkien, Lewis; and, for thrillers: Rice, Graham...
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Tolkien, although Stephen Donaldson is a close second.
What book are you reading now?
The Wyrd Museum... don't ask lol
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Yes, Ransom Riggs
What are your current projects?
Besides what I've already said, I'm currently working on the second book to my trilogy The Echoes Series', Echoes of Madness; and, Book Five of my Iggy Squiggles's series, The Adventures of Iggy Squiggles - The Forgotten Sandcastle Soldier. I have a YA Fantasy standalone I'm outlining too.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
All throughout school, I had the support of teachers and professors. Now, I have great friends who read my work and give me critiques.
Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely. Too late to turn back now lol. I am also a certified freelance writer always looking for work. I love to write.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not really. I like to challenge myself as a writer all the time. This includes writing outside my comfort zone.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
The first day, my mom handed me a book to read all by myself.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure. The Echoes' Series is about a girl who was a twin and a very different kind of sister. She was like her twin dangerous to herself and her sister and parents. Growing up as a family unit was impossible so her parents divorced, each taking a child to raise. The twins thought the other was dead. When Amanda's mother remarried, she married into a home full of serial killers who followed a religious sect. They murder her mother. Amanda who was six years old at the time was determined to stop them from harming anyone else. That's when they killed her, or, at least thought they had. Amanda discovers there is a huge battle raging between the forces of good and evil and when she comes back from the dead, she is sent back different and not alone. She also has a purpose.
Iggy in book five, discovers discarded toy soldiers on the beach and gives them a new fort to guard.
The YA standalone is about Peru and Incan ruins. There's an asteroid heading for the planet. There are children who were born with a special purpose and have the ability to control one element, such as fire, earth, water or air. Then there is a very special girl known as the receptacle, that my Protagonist falls for. The secret society that worships Gia has a purpose for all these girls when the governments of this world turn their backs on everyone to save themselves, they begin collecting these special girls to an ancient place in Peru. When the Protagonist finds out what is going on, he tries to stop their plans and save the one he loves before it's too late.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Managing my time between family and writing. It's tough to find a balance that makes everyone happy.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Tolkien - his ease of world-building, creating fantastical characters..
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet. If I do in the future, then I'll bring my family with me.
Who designed the covers?
I have so far. I do my own illustrations for the Iggy Series too.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Persevere no matter what!
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don't write unless you love the written word. If you do, then constantly take courses and workshops to hone your craft.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you. Without you reading my work, I am not able to do what I do.