1) I know you are a very, very busy mom these days. Where do you find your inspiration for your novels? Is there a genre that is more difficult than the other to write?
I get inspiration from everything and everywhere. The idea for Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons came from getting a summons for jury duty. But Chosen came from my three-year-old son touching my son's girlfriend's fingers to count. Here came from my thirteen-year-old daughter asking me to write a YA.
2) What made you take the plunge into writing and publishing your first novel?
Writing was a do-or-die decision. I'd talked about it for years and had even attempted it a few times, never finishing. I heard about NaNoWriMo and decided this was it. I either wrote and completed my first book or I gave it up for good. I started November 1 and had no written 69,000 words by midnight, November 30. I finished the book on December 10 and realized I'd finally found a job I LOVED.
Publishing was a different story. I'd endured two years of rejection with three different manuscripts. No one was even remotely interested in Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes. At least my other two books (Chosen and Here) were getting requests and some near signings with agents. Last spring, self-publishing didn't carry the pariah stigma it had a year earlier, so I decided to try it and see what happened. I'm so glad I did! No regrets at all.
3) Have you always wanted to write? Did you ever find it intimidating to begin?
I've written since I can first remember. I loved creating stories in my head and giving them life on a page. But even now, I find it intimidating. Especially when I'm starting a new book and I'm on page one with nothing but a Chapter One at the top and a flashing curser. I always wonder how I'll come up with enough words to make a book, yet I always do. I'm about to finish my eighth book.
4) What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Practice, practice, practice. Which translates into: write, write, write. EVERY DAY. Even if it's just a journal entry. Then get critiqued. I know how hard it is. Trust me, I know. But getting other writer's insights is invaluable. I'm amazed by the number of writers who query agents or decide to self-publish before their work has been critiqued or beta read. *I* wouldn't dream of releasing even a short story without my critique partner reading it.
5) Totally random, but what is your favorite drink from Starbucks?
My love notorious love of Starbucks has followed me here. LOL My favorite drink is a Grande non-fat, no whip mocha. Hot. If it's iced, I get a Venti.
6) Name three of your favorite material things.
After reviewing that list, I think I have issues. ;)