A Full Interview
From the 'Editor Charlene' blog, November 2013:
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing poems since I was 7.
Growing up, I’d start writing a lot of stories, but they never got past the first chapter. When I was about 15, however, I successfully completed a short story with a Back to the Future-type theme. In it, my future kids went back in time to see me as a teenager in high school. Their father in the story was a guy I had a major crush on at the time. I wrote it as a secret triumph! I never told my crush about the story. He moved to another state before I had a chance to go out with him.
The only other stories I finished were the essays and projects for English class, which I always loved doing. I took journalism for a semester in high school and had a lot of fun writing for the school paper, but I had LOT of trouble mustering up the courage to walk up to a teacher and ask them interview-type questions. Because of this, I will never be a reporter.
When I reached my twenties I continued writing poems as major life events happened – marriage, a son, divorce, etc. Once I attained my own level of happiness and finally started maturing a bit, life threw me an unexpected twist: I was no longer a poet. My ability just totally disappeared.
Then in 2011, after several years filled with unsuccessful poetry attempts, a story idea just came to me, so I threw myself into fiction writing.
Is DayDreamer your first novel? If not, please tell us a little about your first book.
DayDreamer is actually my second novel.
My first novel is an adult paranormal romance called Surreal Ecstasy. It is different from DayDreamer in that it has intense adult themes, including dating violence and drug use. The young woman in the story, Morgan, is at the lowest point in her life in the beginning, but she learns to stand up on her own two feet and get rid of all the negative, dragging aspects of her life. Most importantly, she learns how to give herself the strength she requires to give herself the life she deserves.
It’s only when she begins to make this transition that she finds love with an incredible man, Ree, who treats her like gold. There’s a twist in the story when she discovers there’s something paranormal about this man, as well as a lot of other people she meets or have already known!
Tell us about DayDreamer.
I started writing DayDreamer when I was halfway through writing my debut novel. I got emotionally involved with it. The story became so intense that I needed an outlet, a way to balance out that seriousness.
That’s how Kayla came into my life, and why DayDreamer is so light-hearted and clean. I enjoyed writing about her clumsiness and her embarrassing parents.
The paranormal aspect to this story is that the creatures from the ancient Greek myths are posing as humans on Earth. When they mated and had children, those resulting children were called Lyziccs. Since they’re a new type of magical being, no one knows what to expect from these kids.
Kayla is one of these Lyzicc kids. She was adopted by humans, so she doesn’t know very much about her true background. At age sixteen and a half, she has a lot to deal with. She gets her new power that allows her to see other people’s daydreams. She goes on a date with Hale, the boy of her dreams, who turns out to be Lyzicc as well. She meets Collin, another boy from school who doesn’t talk much and seems kind of mysterious.
On top of all this, other people in her life start acting weird. Her mother prefers that Kayla date Collin but her father simply adores Hale. They have absolutely no problems letting the world know their individual preferences.
Kayla is surprisingly talented in dancing, and gives up some of her time to help choreograph for the cheerleading squad. Unfortunately, the head cheerleader has the hots for Hale, and she’s going to be tough competition.
Why did you choose paranormal romance as a genre for your novel?
Honestly, it sort of chose me. I suppose it was mostly because I was reading a lot of Richelle Mead novels at the time. I’m actually reading her newest release right now.
When I began writing, paranormal romance is what the stories naturally became.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
I think there are two main ideas for an aspiring author to keep in mind.
First, never sacrifice your initial inspiration and muse. When your ideas begin to flow, let them. Don’t ever forget the reason you started writing in the first place. If you start writing to please everybody, your work will end up looking contrived, and that’s the last thing you’d want.
Second, listen to constructive criticism, and instead of actually changing your whole writing style, incorporate your newfound knowledge into your writing process. This way, you can retain who you are while learning new skills that can only benefit your writing career. Don’t do everything critics tell you, but don’t ignore them either.
It’s important to be realistic about how readers view you and your work, and to be okay with that. Your audience will find you. Don’t ever write for every single person in the world. Write for yourself.
Do you have any works in progress you’d like to tell us about?
At any given time I have several manuscript files in my flash drive.
I’m writing the sequels for Surreal Ecstasy and DayDreamer. I’m gathering ideas for a sci-fi novel and chick lit. I’m also going to be writing historical fiction with someone, but since I’m going to really enjoy that and take my time, that won’t be ready for a while.
Additionally, I’m thinking about getting my poems published. I don’t actively write poems anymore, so this would be a way for me to officially document my teens and twenties.
My next release will probably Surreal Ecstasy’s sequel, Surreal Enemies.