3) Are you aware of any themes that run through your stories? If so, what are they? My book, Her Name, explores the idea of fate versus how much of our own destiny we control. The whole notion of something being “meant to be” is a theme that has carried into a few of my books. It’s a subject I’ve always been intrigued with.
4) What would you like readers to take away from your stories? I’d love for my stories to stay with someone long after they’ve put the book down. To write something that resonates with a reader I think is the ultimate goal of every writer.
5) What inspires your stories? Everything and anything. A few years ago I picked up my little nephew from school. I was waiting in my car and watched as one of the mothers walked toward the school doors. She was greeted by a teacher. They hugged and talked, and appeared to know each other well. So I thought, “What if a married mother fell in love with her child’s female teacher?” That one moment inspired me to write a story based on about fifteen random seconds of my life. Inspiration can come from anywhere. You just have to be open to it.
8) What is your writing schedule? I don’t have a writing schedule. As long as I write something that day, I don’t care when it is. With Her Name, I did most of my writing between eleven and three am. I don’t know why, but most of my ideas came to me during that time.
9) Do you have any other passions besides writing? If yes, what are they? Why? I have a passion for animals. I volunteer at a dog shelter and I absolutely love it. No matter how neglected some of these dogs have been, they are so eager to love. I’m also involved in a group that protests pet stores that sell puppy mill puppies, which is the majority of pet stores. This is definitely a cause I’m willing to put a lot of my time behind because with so many wonderful adoptable puppies and dogs at shelters, we don’t need the cruel and inhumane breeding practice of puppy mills to exist.
11) What is your favorite comfort food? Pizza
12) What relaxes you? Cuddling with my nephew while watching baseball.
15) What is your favorite way to promote? I use social media to promote my book through Twitter and Facebook, but I’m not obnoxious about it. I keep it polite and respectful because I never want to appear as though I am shoving my book down someone’s throat. But I am proud of this book, so, of course I want to share with as many people as I can.
16) Where is your favorite place to write? Why? Really, I can write anywhere, but I do most of my writing at home. If I’m stuck on something, sometimes a change of scenery does some good. There’s a wonderful park near my house with a small lake. I bring a blanket, my dog, and we sit together. It’s so serene and peaceful that by the time I leave, my mind is less cluttered and my writing, clearer.
17) What is your favorite fairy tale? Why? Cinderella. My grandma had a Cinderella book at her house that I’d read all the time, but even at a very young age I knew what I was because I’d imagine myself as Prince Charming.
20) If you didn’t write, what would you do instead? I’d hope it’d be something creative. I love music and so wish I had the talent to do something musically. But if I wasn’t writing, I think I’d be involved in social causes that really help people because like writing, that’s something I have a passion for.
21) If you could have one wish, what would it be? Wow, with risk of sounding altruistic, it really blows my mind that in 2014 there are people in this world who don’t have access to clean water and spend their days hungry. That is insane to me, so my wish would be that no people would experience thirst or hunger, or suffer from diseases caused by lack of sanitation.
22) If you could describe yourself in only one word, what would it be? Complex.
24) Are you a cat or dog person? Do you have any pets and if so, please tell us about them. I am a dog person. I have a Pit-bull mix named Phil and he is my baby. I rescued him at Chicago Animal Care and Control. He has become the topic of many of my blogs. He was found as a stray roaming the city streets of Chicago and I often think about what that had to be like for him. It’s hard for me to imagine because I know he had to be scared and I hate to think of that. But he inspires me so much because when I’m struggling with my life, I look at him, and I know that he never gave up. He made it through cold nights alone until someone found him and brought him to the facility, giving him a chance to find a home. Now, as I look at home snuggled on my bed, I know even the worst situations can have a happy ending.
25) What is the one thing you most want to do that you haven’t yet? I haven’t traveled as much as I want to, so hopefully that’s something I’ll be able to do someday.
27) Please tell us about your most recent release and where we can purchase it. Her Name is about a woman, Madison Andrews, who believes the woman she dreams about is the real love of her life. She dreams of actual moments taken from her real life that were recreated in her dreams to include this woman. The dreams are so vivid that Madison believes they shared a life together and that this woman is her destiny. She searches for this woman, but will it be too late when she finally finds her? Or will fate take control and force the paths of these two women to interconnect in time for them to spend the rest of their lives together?