I try not to stifle my creativity by sticking to a brand, so you’ll see paranormal, romance, and fantasy/sci-fi. I also write everything from YA to MG to PB, and have books in each of those genres coming out over the next four years.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I’m terrible with coming up with titles. Just ask my agent. I send her manuscripts and she cringes over my titles. She’s very nice about it though and helps me come up with good titles.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
My characters always come to me named. It’s like meeting new friends. But as far as places are concerned, I stick to places I’ve been, mostly in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. I do like to use fictional towns in those states, though.
Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I’m a plotter. For Touch of Death, I had 24 pages of notes before I started drafting. Every manuscript is different, though. I have some that only have about four pages of notes. But regardless of how much I plan, I ALWAYS let my characters take over and lead me where they want to go. I’m happy to throw away my planning because my characters are much smarter than I am. ;)
Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
I’ve based some characters on myself. Jodi from Touch of Death is very accident-prone, just like I am. I could use bubble wrap to avoid cutting and burning myself on a daily basis.
I’ve also used real events from my own life as starting points, but I’ve never allowed the plot to unfold how things did in my life. I always change it.
Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
I hope not. I have a Kindle and I love that I can get a book in seconds, but nothing beats holding a printed book in your hands and turning the pages.
Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
I’ve been reading and writing for as long as I can remember. I used to write stories and poems for my family all the time. And every Saturday, I’d go to the mall and buy a new book, which I’d start reading while my parents shopped. My mom would have to direct me through the mall or I’d walk into people and displays.
Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
I haven’t yet, but I definitely would. I know a few authors who have so many books out that they have split into two people, so to speak. ;) I hope I get to that level some day.
What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Read, read, and read some more. The best way to learn about writing is by reading great books.
What do you think about book trailers?
I love book trailers. They don’t actually sway my decision to buy a book, but if it’s a book I really want, I’ll track down the trailer.
If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
Rick Riordan! I love him. His Percy Jackson series is my favorite. I want to pick his brain. Becca Fitzpatrick would be the next. Her Hush, Hush series is amazing. And third would be JK Rowling because her success is phenomenal.
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