Thursday, March 12, 2015

Blog Tour Interview + Giveaway # 17

1. Why did you want to become a writer?

It started in middle school. My mom taped General Hospital every day and my sister and I watched it with her when we got home from school. I loved the spy storylines best, with Robert Scorpio and Anna Devane and Cesar Faison. One day, I decided I wanted one of the storylines to end differently, and I went into my room and rewrote the day’s episode instead of doing my homework. I was hooked.  From then on, I knew I wanted to become a writer.

2. Who and what is your inspiration?

For The Red Road, my family was the inspiration. So many details of my family’s life are in the story – it really creeped out my mom and dad! I felt a little bad about it, but that’s part of being a writer. You have to make the story believable, and the best way I know how to do that is with real-life details. My dad actually wrote me an email the other day and he began it by saying, “Dear Em.” Em is my heroine’s name – it’s not even my own name! I guess it’s still a bit too real for him. (Sorry, Dad!)

3. What book(s) have you recently read?

I read Diana Gabaldon’s latest, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. I’m also reading Dante’s Inferno and a non-fiction book about the Russian mafia called Comrade Criminal, both as research for my next book. When I need something lighter, I reach for a Don Winslow mystery or my tried-and-true favorite, Elizabeth Peters.

4. How many books have you written?

Five novels – The Red Road is my fifth. I bounce all over the place in terms of genres. I have a comic mystery, a paranormal historical, a romantic suspense, a spy thriller, and a literary drama. You can probably tell by now that I’m a commitment-phobe when it comes to genres! I read everything, and that’s the way I write, too.

5. What advice do you have for future authors?

Be true to the story you want to tell. Don’t worry about what’s popular, what genre everybody else is writing in, or how to market your work. While you’re in the writing phase, nothing else matters but telling the best story you possibly can. Readers know when your heart’s truly in it. Write from your heart and trust your readers to feel that authenticity. You can worry about getting reviews and marketing later, but none of those things will help you if your story’s characters or the emotion falls flat.

6. Where is a strange place you got an idea about what you would include in your book?

I got a couple ideas on a road trip I took in the summer of 2012, just after I finished grad school. My husband I drove from California to New Orleans, stopping at the Alamo along the way because I’d always wanted to see it. The Alamo made it into the book as something Emma studies in her US history class. That’s where I learned the story of the man whose job it was to blow up the Alamo – and everything in it, including the women and children. Thank goodness he didn’t succeed! I’m always on the lookout for little bits of history like that to put in my books.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for hosting my interview on your blog! :)