Frequently Asked Questions
When did you first want to become a published author?
It sounds cliché, but I have dreamed of becoming published as long as I can remember. My 4th grade English teacher (thank you, Mrs. Gheris) taught a creative writing course her class had to participate in—most of my classmates groaned and complained, I silently clapped with glee—where she bound our “books” (which I still have). After that first short story, I was hooked, but it wasn’t until I was in my late twenties I actually started doing something with the stories rolling around in my head.
Where do you get your story ideas?
This is such a hard question to answer because each novel has a different genesis.
While walking through Seattle with one of my best friends, the idea of DEAD DON’T LIE dropped into my mind as a vibrant and vivid scene from a movie. It continued snowballing from there into a full-blown movie in my head. Most of my novels are based in an city/area that I love or have visited: Seattle, Omaha, Alaska, NYC, San Diego…If I can’t close my eyes and see it, I can’t write it.
What’s your writing process look like?
It’s different every day. My life is extremely full at the moment, so I write whenever I can: on my iPhone, in the car driving to the next business meeting, on the computer in the quiet of the afternoon, late in the evening when everyone in the house is asleep — basically, whenever I find a pocket of time, I seize it.
What is the hardest part of writing a book?
For me—editing. I am a firm advocate editing is where the gold happens, however, sometimes it’s difficult to get out of my head and take a step back. I guess if it were any easier, everyone would be doing it. 🙂
Do you ever base your characters on real people?
If I use a name of someone close—like my brother-in-law or best friend—I always ask permission first, especially if that character dies (sorry Ry). Otherwise, none of my characters are based off real people. Why? Because real people sue, and lawsuits are a headache.
What are some writers that inspire you?
The list is long, varied, and very distinguished, but I love reading Brad Thor, J.D. Robb, Allison Brennan, J.T. Ellison, Linda Howard, Catherine Coulter… just to name a few.
What is your favorite novel?
Again, that is a really hard question to answer…There are just too many to list.
Do you listen to music while you write?
Music totally depends on my mood. For DEAD DON’T LIE I created a playlist I loved! For DEAD NO MORE I fixated on a few songs I played on repeat. For my current WIP, silence is the best for my brain thus far.
I want to be an author. Any suggestions?
First and foremost: Don’t give up. Find your voice, find your story, and then sit down and write. It sounds so simple but the more you write, the better you become. Read. Read. Read. I think Stephen King said it best: “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all else: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.” The life of an author is neither glamorous or easy, but if you can’t shake the story rolling around in your head then don’t you owe it to yourself—and those characters—to write it, give them breath, let them come alive?
How do I reach you?