Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into writing?
I was a shy, quiet kid who wrote short stories as a kid. I wanted to write, but never considered it a viable career so I went another direction, including a past career in graphic design and my current work in marketing. However, I couldn’t get rid of the bug. I have a master’s in English and a professor told me I had talent, which led to me applying to an MFA program. That was in 2008 and it was the first time I started taking my writing seriously. I wrote three novels over the course of my MFA program – TOUCHED, IF I LIE, and TOUCHED 2. The writing thing definitely has a hold on me now.
IF I LIE is about a girl who is condemned as a traitor by her small military town when they think she is guilty of cheating on her boyfriend, a Marine who has gone MIA. What they don’t know is that she could clear her name, except she’s protecting someone.
Where did you get the idea for the novel?
I began with the idea of a girl who was getting condemned for a secret she was keeping to protect someone she loved. I liked the idea of exploring honor and loyalty. I thought it would be a reimagining of The Scarlet Letter. Then, the story began to shift and change. My uncle had been hurt and I’d visited him at the VA Hospital. As a child and a teen, I’d watched another uncle struggle with the aftermath of two tours in Vietnam. My observations about both uncles stayed with me. Everything simmered and stewed for weeks before I knew what Quinn’s secret would be and what the story would be about. In the end, it all came together in a way that surprises me. I didn’t know I had this story in me, but I’m very proud of it.
How has the response been for the book thus far?
People have written me to say they have been really touched or even cried. That’s a huge compliment to an author, and it means a lot. I love hearing from readers about the things that they connected to in the story.
In November you released Touched the first book in your YA paranormal romance trilogy. Can you tell us a little about it?
TOUCHED is a romantasy about a girl who has the ability to heal people with her touch. Unfortunately, every injury or illness Remy heals becomes hers, and she’s grown up using her ability to hide the violence her stepfather inflicts on her and her mother. After a particularly brutal confrontation lands her in the hospital, Remy is forced to live with the father who abandoned her and his perfect family. The story deals with how she adjusts to her new life with all of her old scars. Plus there are people threatening her because of what she can do, and a boy who has powers that put her in danger. TOUCHED has a lot of action and romance.
You have written YA contemporary, paranormal and romance is there any other genres you would like to try?
I’ve thought of trying my hand at a middle grade novel, and I have a couple of ideas for some adult fiction novels. For now, I’m focused on contemporary and paranormal, though.
Thanks for having me on your blog!
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