*What would you be doing right now if you were not an author?
I'd probably go back into film work. I went to film school in Seattle and made commercials for a bit and did some production work on independent films. I'd imagine I'd be back in that world if I wasn't writing.
*5 years ago: what were you doing?
I had just finished the 2010 Playwriting Intensive at the Kennedy Center in DC and I was hard at work on a new play called STUFF about hoarding. I lived in DC and worked in a call center by day. I also ran a lot back then. It was a good time, minus the call center.
*Do you have a certain writing ritual?
Not by choice. I currently write in the mornings due to my day job. Right now, I wake up, make coffee, stretch my arms (I had a seriously bad bought of tendinitis a year ago) and then head up to my office on the 3rd floor and start taking care of business.
*What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
I had a play up for review in a group I belonged to in DC. We had a reading with professional actors. The play was rough but I had no idea what was wrong with it,. That happens a lot to writers. Outside looking in always provides a clearer view. One of the members of the group told me that he wanted to walk out at intermission because he hated the main character so much. Ugh, that was a tough moment.
*Ever fangirled over another author? Who was it?
Virginia Woolf for sure. I even wanted to dress like her for a bit but long dresses just aren't my thing. Her hats were awesome, though.
*Is there an author you'd like to meet?
So many. Virginia Woolfe, August Strindberg, Brocke Clarke, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman–I did see him in person once–Muriel Spark, etc.
*Biggest writing pet peeve?
Forgetting to take breaks. I need to move and sitting is just not that great for long stretches of time.
* Do you read other's reviews of your books?
I do but I wish I didn't. Who needs that kind of pressure? Oh, to live in a writing bubble.
Fictional Character you'd like to spend the day with:
Professor Snape–I have a HUGE crush on him.
Just one? Let's go with mashed potatoes, or just potatoes. I love potatoes. Now I want potatoes.
Fav song and/or singer:
Queen. I spent an entire summer listening exclusively to Queen when I was in middle school. I still try to channel my inner Freddie Mercury on occasion.
TV. Too much of it. Bob's Burgers!!!!!!
Coming Spring 2016
Sixteen-year-old Grape Merriweather has just moved to Sortilege Falls and already she knows something isn't right. A small pack of teenage models, too beautiful for words, holds the town in their sway. The models have no plans on making Grape's life easy. But no matter how cruel they are to Grape and the other “Normals”, no one can stay angry with them for long.
Grape's life changes for the better, or so she thinks, when Mandy, the only “nice” model, befriends her. But that’s when the trouble truly begins. Mandy's friendship places Grape smack in the middle of a medical mystery that has the entire town on edge. One by one, the models fall ill from an incurable disease. Grape quickly realizes that the models' parents are hiding a secret, even as they watch their children die. To save her only friend, Grape will have to find the truth–and that means putting her life in danger.
Fire and Ice Ya Publishing WTSF Page
There's a contest running on Goodreads through June 17. I'm giving away 5 paperback copies – US only:
This is from an early chapter. Grape has an admirer from school, one who is a bit too forward for her liking. She is in her backyard, having just watched her brother sneak off into the woods.
“Fancy meeting you here.”
“Calm down,” the vamp kid from school said, his hands raised in the air like a victim. He had switched his purple shirt for a black one and slicked his curly hair back as well. “It’s cool. It’s just me,” he said and reached out to grab her shoulder.
Grape pushed him hard in the chest, making him stumble backward. “Don’t touch me. What are you doing here?”
He regained his balance and rubbed his chest where she’d shoved him. “I wanted to see where you lived. That really hurt.”
She slit her eyes at him. “I’m glad it hurt. It was supposed to.”
“That’s not very nice.”
Grape grabbed the lawn chair and held it above her head. “Are you a stalker?”
“You’re sneaking around my house at night wearing all black.” She readied herself to swing the lawn chair. It was pretty light and wouldn’t do much damage so she decided to aim for a vulnerable spot—his face.
“No. I just thought... I don’t know. I thought you looked nice.”
“Do I look nice now?” She gave the chair a swing, missing his nose by inches. She hopped back a little and held the chair up high again. He got one warning shot, that was it. The next swing would break his nose.
“I’m sorry. I thought this would be romantic.” He reached into his baggy pants pocket and pulled out an iPod with a little set of speakers attached. “I was going to play a song for you.”
“No. Really, listen.”
He pressed play and an unholy mix of instruments blasted out in a tinny blare. He shut it off quickly. “Wrong song. One second.”
He looked up at her with heartbreak in his eyes. “I just need one second.”
“Shoo! Go! Off with you!” She shoved the chair at his chest, driving him backward.
He gave her one last dejected look and walked around the corner of the house toward the street.
Grape rushed back into the house, chair in hand. She locked the door. If Brad didn’t have his key, then he’d just have to knock and risk alerting their mother to his late-night shenanigans. She was not leaving the door unlocked for that boy to break in and serenade her.
I was born during a blizzard. I’m told it was pretty cool, but I have no memory of that time. I grew up in two tiny towns in Virginia and spent most of my twenties moving around the US. I’ve lived in Virginia, Florida, Missouri, and Washington. I’ve settled down, for now, in Raleigh, North Carolina.
I’m a writer and improviser. I studied acting in college but spent more time rewriting lines than memorizing them. My first play, Fourth Wall, was produced my junior year. Since then, I’ve written several full length plays, one acts, and screenplays. I started writing fiction in my late twenties. Now, I focus mainly on novels but still dabble in theater.
Fun facts about me: There are none. I’m sorry to disappoint you so soon. But, I do love to read, write, and run. My hubby is my favorite person on earth. Dogs are my second favorite. All dogs. Know that. I love orange juice, especially when it’s mixed with club soda. Carbonation is better than alcohol. Jaws is my favorite movie. Everything I’ve said so far is true.