Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be?
I've been an avid reader since early childhood. I wrote my first story at age twelve - a gothic romance complete with foggy moors, castle towers and a dashing, dark-haired hero. When I was younger, I didn't necessarily have in mind the notion of becoming a writer, although I've always been drawn to very creative outlets - writing, music, theatre, film, dance, etc. I've had a lot of different jobs, and I always thought that someday I would complete a novel. I started and stopped many times over the years, and then finally decided to go for it. I can honestly say that of everything I've done, this has been the most personally rewarding.
When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
I first considered myself a writer when I published Reckoning. It was one of two completed manuscripts sitting on my desk, but it wasn't until Reckoning was actually available for sale that I sat back and thought, "I really am a writer."
Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?
In addition to the Dark Prophecy series, I also write an historic mystery series set in 1911 London. (The first book in this series will be released in the spring.) Although both series can be challenging in different ways, I think the mystery series is more technically difficult as great attention must be paid to detail and historical accuracy.
What can we expect from you in the future - i.e. more books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
There is definitely more to come! Reckoning will ultimately be part of a four-part series with book two slated for release in the spring. I also plan on continuing the mystery series, although I don't have a release date for the second book in that series. I always have innumerable ideas for future stories floating around in my head - everything from more YA paranormal to adult urban fantasy to historic mystery - it's endless! But I certainly won't be resting on my laurels.
Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
I would never ask a reviewer to re-think their review, or give them a hard time for a bad review. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and different things appeal to different people. That's why there is such a wonderful variety of reading material available. If someone takes the time to read my work and give it an honest review, be it good or bad, I am truly grateful. There's a lot to choose from out there, and even if they didn't like it, at least I piqued their interest enough to pick it up and read it.
How do you come up with the title and cover designs for your book/books? Who designed the cover of your books?
The titles of my books are always the result of an enormous amount of thought and planning. If they're part of a series, I want the titles to work together as a whole as well as being reflective of what each individual book is about. I'll usually have a notepad full of potential titles that progressively get lined through until the final one emerges. As for the covers, they are a collaborative process between the graphic artist and myself. I give them the details of the book and ideas/examples of what I'd like to see, and their creative genius comes up with the rest. For Reckoning, it was actually quite easy. I worked with the wonderful Claudia McKinney at Phatpuppy Art, and within a few days we had finalized the cover.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Once again, these are the result of careful thought and planning. Sometimes I'll know in advance what a character's name will be. I actually keep a notebook of interesting names when I come across them. Other times, I'll search through books, researching origins and meanings until I find the name that fits. It's the same with place names. Obviously, if it's an authentic location (i.e. - London, Denver, etc.) it's not too difficult. But if it's imaginary, it has to sound and feel real. I'll research different languages and cultures and pull elements from a variety of places.
Do you do a basic plot/plan for your book before you actually begin writing? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
It's a combination of both. I have a basic outline for the story, but there are times when the narrative takes on a life of its own and starts forging a path I didn't expect. I actually like it when this happens because, for me, it keeps the story alive, continually moving and changing, just like life.
Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
I plead the Fifth on this one! All names and places have been changed to protect the innocent (or not so innocent). But they always say - write what you know (wink, wink; nudge, nudge).
If you could invite three favorite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
That would be one unforgettable evening. I would invite P.G. Wodehouse, Agatha Christie and Cassandra Clare.
Where can readers follow you?