When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I think at some level I always wanted to be a writer. Before I was old enough to pick up a pen I’d tell stories to my mother and ask her to transcribe them. In high school I wrote serialized stories about my friends and the rock stars who loved them. They were highly popular and motivated me to continue writing. It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I seriously decided to pursue publication.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It really depends on the book. Some books take 3-4 months while others could take several years. Some stories can be blurted out on the page, while others need to simmer over months before I can actually sit down and start writing them. If the story is a sequel or part of a series it usually takes less time—as the world and main characters are already fleshed out. World building in a huge part of telling any story—making up the rules, etc.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I write from 9-3pm while my daughter is at daycare. If I’m on deadline I’ll write after she goes to bed as well. I find that having a concentrated writing schedule actually helps me stay productive. If I have too much time on my hands I’ll find other shiny online things to peruse.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I read every line out loud – multiple times until it “sounds” right. I think this stems from my past as a TV producer. Everything I wrote was read out loud and so it was important to not only get the information across but in a way that sounded good. If I’m in a public place I’ll whisper or put my hand over my mouth. Probably looks rather strange!
How long does it take for your books get published?
It depends on the book. Usually approximately a year from when I turn the book in. Maybe a little less. Romance publishers have a shorter lead time, usually, than YA publishers, who prefer the book to be turned in very far ahead of publication.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Everywhere and anywhere. It all collects in my head, gets re-arranged and comes out through my fingers in some kind of mash up. A lot of my books are famous for their jokes or pop culture references. So I have to keep a finger on the pulse of things to stay current.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I wrote my first book length work when I was in my mid twenties. Sadly it was not fit for public consumption. My first published book came out in 2005. I had just turned 31.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Be a mom! Seriously my life has changed a lot since we moved to Austin and I became a mother. Back in NYC I was a TV producer so I spent much of my time interviewing celebrities on the red carpet, going to restaurant openings or cocktail parties, going clubbing or bar hopping—it was all very fast-paced and fun. Now most days I only bother to get dressed to impress the daycare provider. But that’s okay! I love this life ten times more and I consider myself very lucky to be able to make stuff up for a living!
I love to go to movies, travel (Disney World is my favorite place on earth), go snowboarding (though not so much in Texas!), and try new wines.
What does your family think of your writing?
They’ve been very supportive. My in-laws have read all sixteen of my books if you can believe it. I definitely lucked out in the in-law department. But yeah, all my family has always been very encouraging about my career. Especially my husband. He’s best my biggest cheerleader from the day I met him.
Do you have any new projects in the works?
I am working on a brand new series called Dragonbound. It’s a contemporary fantasy. Think of it as Terminator, but with a dragon apocalypse instead of a Skynet/machine one.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That there’s no such thing as writer’s block. You’re going to have days when the words flow and days when they don’t. But you have to press on. You can always edit the bad writing – you can’t edit a blank page. (Nora Roberts said this and she’s so right!)
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve published 16 novels. Dragonbound will be number 17. I love them all in different ways—it’s like trying to pick between children! I do have a particular fondness for the Blood Coven series though. It’s such fun to write—especially the books starring Rayne. She’s so sarcastic and irreverent. She’ll say whatever is on her mind. It’s fun to have that kind of freedom on the page.
Do you have a favorite Character?
As I mentioned above, I love writing Rayne from the Blood Coven series. She’s kick butt and always ready to crack a joke.
Do you like happy endings?
Love them. But I also enjoy teasing readers with a bit of a cliffhanger! Or maybe more than a bit...
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I talk to my readers everyday on sites like Facebook and Twitter. You’re always going to get a lot of interaction when you write books for teens- they aren’t content to just read a book and put it down—they want to live in the world and even help build it. I get a lot of art, stories, videos and role-playing from them that I love. It’s almost as if I have a team on my side. They’re always very complimentary as well and it helps me if I’m having a down day. I can always turn to them and they make me feel better!
Do you like to create books for Young adults or Adults?
I prefer young adults for the reasons given above. There’s just more interaction with teens. They feel everything so strongly—and they are so passionate about the books. It makes me feel like I created something worthwhile.
What do you think makes a good story?
Characters you can fall in love with. Probably any bad plot point is forgivable if you have characters that leap off the page.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be an actress or a pet shop owner (I didn’t know they were evil then!)
Do you have a Favorite band/song/movie
David Bowie is my favorite singer of all time. I also love most 80s new wave bands and goth stuff. I’ve been listening to a lot of the Killers lately. Brandon Flowers is a passionate singer and very inspiring. As for films, I love cheesy horror movies and post-apocalyptic films. One of my favorite movies – though it’s difficult to watch – is Requiem for a Dream.
Do you have a food weakness?
Oreos and marshmallow peeps
Fall and red
Thank you so much for your time and doing our giveaway…You’re awesome!