Author - Artist - Mother - Wife
As far back as I can remember I have always had an overactive imagination. Games of make-believe with friends are some of my fondest memories and these days as I write I often think back to the stories we created during these times of play. The situations we created were much simpler than events that transpire in my novels but I do find myself connecting with the child that I was and the carefree mind that had little worry of being foolish in what she did. More than two decades later I have produced numerous poems, novellas, and novels. My debut novel was published in July of 2020 with the conclusion to the duology published in December of 2020.
I am a self-taught artist who works mostly with acrylic paints. I love to explore different techniques and applications with this medium and find it to be both forgiving and challenging depending on the circumstance. While I enjoy moving out of my comfort zone with painting, I always find that I am drawn back to what I started with and that is telling a story through light. My favourite pieces involve multiple steps to build the paint into a cohesive story that finishes with a layer that is only visible when struck properly by the light. These final images are often referred to as ghosts and are meant to give the story of the painting an extra chapter. Through these stories, I hope to evoke the reminder to always “look beyond the obvious” in everything around you.
I am the mother of two boys (born 2013 & 2014) and a girl (born 2019), the guardian of a spunky one-eyed cat and a jumpy brown tabby, and the wife of an ambitious dreamer. My children are busy and quirky. They bring life to the room with their smiles, their energy, and their laughter. My husband has the mind of an entrepreneur and is the biggest supporter of my life as a creative professional. Without him, I could not do what I do. I’m not even sure that I would be who I am now if not for his influence and encouragement.
"My life is full, it is busy, and I am blessed. "
When did you start writing?
Like many authors, I’ve been creating for as long as I can remember. Often the things I wrote were nothing more than short scenes, situations, or bits of dialogue. I have a small collection of scribbles from my much younger days that I sometimes look at when I need to see how far I’ve come as a writer. I recognize that reading stuff from when you were a child to see your growth might be a bit of a cheat.
When did you write your first full novel or novella?
2002. My first novella, The Perfect Soldier, was a fantasy story that I wrote instead of paying attention in my university classes. Needless to say, I quickly discovered that university wasn’t right for me. Don’t misunderstand me, I think education is incredibly important and my thirst for knowledge has not diminished. I simply found that I didn’t need to sit and listen to lectures when all that information was available to me elsewhere and in a form that I could consume much faster.
How many unpublished or half-finished books do you have?
Half-finished. Zero. I always finish the story. If I didn’t it would eat at me.
Unpublished. That’s a different story. Just because the story is complete doesn’t mean that I think it’s worth spending the time to rework and edit. My current unpublished pile sits at nine.
What is your writing process like? Are you more of a plotter or a pantser?
I fall in between the two. I think most of us do, though some of us will never admit that. As for what my writing process is like…I’d say it’s frustrating and not for most people but it works for me. Check it out below.
What is the most difficult part of your writing process?
Focus. I have three neurodivergent children and we homeschool so moments without my children around are incredibly rare. I know that I am privileged to raise my children as I am and so I work with what I have. Headphones are a must but that just muffles the sounds around me, it doesn’t take it away. (Currently, Scout is singing Old McDonald behind me-other parents probably know what toy I’m talking about.)
Have you ever killed off a character your readers loved?
The common trope with my writing is that the dead often don’t stay dead. Death is often just an extra complication. After all, fantasy allows for the undead. Ghosts, wraiths, soul swapping, living corpses. I know some people consider this a cheat but I’m upfront that my characters don’t always stay gone when they die. If it suits the story, you’ll know that they will return. If it doesn’t, they won’t be back.
Do you play music while you write? What is your favourite?
Music, yes. Music is a must while I work. I’ve always needed controlled sound around me when I work. In this day and age, silence doesn’t exist. If there is any form of electronic in a silent room, I can hear it. The fridge kicking in. The clock ticking. The computer humming. Everything makes a sound. So even before children music was a must.
As for favourite. I don’t have one. Though, I guess I prefer to not hear nursery rhymes and toddler music. Outside of that, I listen to all styles of music.
How do you celebrate when you finish your book?
Truth be told, I don’t. I am always so eager to get into the next novel that I don’t think I even acknowledge what I’ve done. Writing has become a mix of passion and work. I love creating stories for people to read and treating this as a career means that I’m always on to the next project.
I have been told I should learn to celebrate. Someone might have to teach me how I guess.
What’s your favourite writing snack or drink?
While writing, coffee and tea during the day and red wine at night. Not much for snacking seeing as my fingers are busy typing.
While editing I stick to coffee and tea and avoid the wine. During rereads I will often snack on Nibs or popcorn, depending on if I want sweet or savoury.
Does anyone in your family read your books?
Actually yes. My husband reads each of my novels a couple of times before they are published (a fact that would likely shock his high school English teachers) and my mother-in-law is one of my beta readers. My mum and nanny have also read all the published novels, as have several other members of my family. I am fortunate to have a great deal of support around me.
Who has been the biggest supporter of your writing?
My husband. He’s a man who thinks anything is possible so long as you put in the work.
What is the best money you’ve ever spent with regard to your writing?
Formatting programs. I like to tweak formats and be in control of what things look like but I don’t always have a clear vision of what I want until I get it there so hiring out for formatting just wouldn’t work for me. I have recently switched to Atticus and I love and recommend the program.
My Novel Process
🖊️ Story Idea
🖊️ Character Idea
🖊️ Start first draft
🖊️ Start again (around 30-40,000 words)
🖊️ Start again (around 70-80,000 words)
🖊️ Finish first draft
⚒️ Run through spell check & grammar programs
⚒️ Allow to sit for a week
⚒️ Read through & first edits
⚒️ Apply changes
⚒️ Run through grammar program
⚒️ Make adjustments
⚒️ Let sit for a few days (min)
⚒️ Audio edit (make adjustments during)
⚒️ To editor and beta readers
⚒️ Apply changes
⚒️ Read one final time
Formatting & Publishing
📖 Trigger warning list
📖 Book blurb
📖 Frontmatter pages
📖 Backmatter pages
📖 Upload & order proof copy
📖 Submit for preorder