Where are you from?
All the way across the world for most people. I’m in Melbourne, Australia, the city with four seasons in one day.
Tell us your latest news?
News, as in plural? My paperback for my upcoming novel, DROWNING IN YOU (DiY), is much prettier than the eBook. I should be receiving proofs to approve these paperbacks in a couple of weeks. I can’t believe more than 2,500 people have added *my* book to Goodreads. That enough? (Yes, Rebecca, enough self promo!)
When and why did you begin writing?
I know it sounds cliché but I’ve been writing and making books since pre-school. Back then I would write my own versions of fairy tales such as RAPUNZEL and make a cover and pretty illustrations to go with it.
These days, I’m cautious of copyright and I write my own stuff.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
A serious one? I started my first serious manuscript back in August 2010. I was 19 then. It’s been a long journey but the 2 and 1/2 years writing and wanting to get published have been worth it to learn as much as I know now.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I’d been wanting to do some creative writing for a while but no idea long enough would come to me. Nowadays, like my first idea for a book, I get my ideas from my experiences and putting a “What If” spin on them.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes! It’s quite direct, makes you feel in the moment, and is emotional.
How did you come up with the title?
DiY came along after I’d finished and rewritten a second draft. Writing it, I was emotionally drained, yet beautifully in love, and the idea of metaphorically drowning in someone you love randomly sprung to mind.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Absolutely. Love always wins. Always.
How much of the book is realistic?
Being a perfectionist, I struggle to write extraordinary, unbelievable aspects. I used to be a State-level swimmer and I’m a Type 1 Diabetic so every scenario that occurs regarding both those aspects in my books are all true and correct. ;)
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Always. I can’t write something that I don’t know what feels like. Sure, my parents are alive and healthy and I’ve never been accused of murder but I use scenarios where I’ve felt a similar emotion and draw on that for a particular scene.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Man, my favourite question being foremost an avid reader. I was 9 when I started the HARRY POTTER series and that shaped my childhood. TWLIGHT made me love books again after my horrid teen years where I was afraid to be seen with a novel.
More recent ones that have affected the types of stories I like to write are THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY and BEAUTIFUL DISASTER.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Jodi Picoult! I can’t adequately explain her genius but I’ve never read a book with realer, deeper, fuller characters than hers…and the storylines! Man, she knows how to pen an unputdownable novel.
What book are you reading now?
TEN TINY BREATHS and at 25% into the story, I can tell it’s going to be a 5-starrer. Sooo good.
What are your current projects?
I’m currently working on another New Adult Contemporary Romance. I’m devouring this genre like crazy, so it’s expected I had to write another.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
To be honest, my most supportive group—ever—have been my circle of writing friends and critique readers. I absolutely couldn’t have come this far without them. They are like family to me.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Yay! Here’s my favourite snippet from DiY:
“This isn’t the type of thing I do, confronting a guy I’ve been in love with, confronting rumors of how my mom died and how my father was critically injured.
This isn’t the type of thing I do, finding out if the guy I’m in love with is a murderer.”
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes! Making it interesting to my readers!
Who designed the covers?
Sarah Hansen from Okay Creations designed DiY. She designs many covers that grace the lists of the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon and more. She’s amazing, simply.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The emotions. I don’t just write a “fake” story. Everything that happens is real in my head. I can’t write interesting and realistic stories unless I believe I’m the characters feeling the things that are occurring.
So, being in all those tough situations my characters go through. It’s an out-of-this-world feeling with so much power in your hands: so intense.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I did! I learned about love again and about finding your soul mate. Makes me appreciate having someone care about me, too.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Read, and read more. I’ve spent lots of time figuring out how to best improve my writing and the only way to be better than the books out there is to know your competition. Analyse the bits you love and hate from books and figure out how you can put your own twist on that technique.
You can’t learn to write well unless you pump your mind full of great fiction.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thanks! Sure, I do. Please visit my website/blog. I have all my social media links there to stalk, and I love sharing giveaways, freebies, and lots of book news.
Drowning in You: