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.
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.