Well, I could give you the official author bio, but that would be boring, right? So, let’s do this: I love chocolate. I even drink Hershey’s syrup out of the bottle when there’s no other chocolate in the house. I like to pretend I’m crafty, so I dabble in jewelry making, crocheting, and anything else my 9 year-old wants to try. I hate it when my feet get hot so the only time you’ll see me in gym shoes is when I’m working out. Music runs in my family. I play keyboard and sing and just this year, I decided I’d teach myself guitar. That’s a little slow going, but it’s fun. I’m not really an out-doorsy person. I’d rather be inside where it’s cool than out in the hot sun. I know, I’m weird. That about sums it up.
Why did you start writing?
Why does anyone start writing? Because we have stories to tell. Through lots of hard work, it’s worked out for me to do it and stay at home with my little one.
How did you start writing?
I guess that depends on what I truly consider my starting point. I used to write short stories as a kid, but it really started when I was teaching middle school and reading all the YA literature available. I kept thinking that I could write as well as many of those authors, so I did.
How did you select your genre?
I’ve always loved YA even before it became a popular genre. Teaching middle school made it a natural thing.
What is your writing day like?
It varies every day. Some days I won’t write at all. Others, I might be able to squeeze in an hour in between interruptions from my toddler. And even other days, like today, I sneak away to a coffee shop and have some uninterrupted time. It just depends on the schedule and what else is going on that a mom of young kids needs to do.
How do you organize your writing (outlines/note cards/post-its)?
I use the triangular plot chart that probably haunted most of our dreams after high school. It starts with the inciting moment, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution. I dump plot points along that line and then I can write at any point during the story.
What’s the most surprising thing a character has “told you?”
If I told you that, it wouldn’t be a surprise for you! I’ll just say that in the sequel to THE BREEDING TREE and the third in the series, Saul’s past clicked for me. When his backstory came together and integrated perfectly with every other character, it was bliss.
Do you have a list of characters that you’re saving for future use? What kind of information do you keep on these characters?
Characters? No. Story ideas, yes. Sometimes I have a title and that’s it. Other times I might have one line of what the story is about. I keep them on a scrap of paper in a writing folder. It’s only once I get into the story that the characters become real to me.
What does your work space/office look like?
It’s a mess. I have a large, Amish-made desk in my kitchen with lots of nooks and crannies. They are all filled, and the rest is covered with my computer, and piles of papers/books, etc.
What is your go-to snack when writing?
It changes based on the cravings. Coffee or tea is necessary. I do like a small dish of chocolate chips near.
If you could only recommend one NOVEL, what would it be? Why?
The Giver. I love dystopian literature. This one makes you think. I love when fiction can make you think.
If you could only recommend one CRAFT book (writing, no crocheting), what would it be? Why?
I don’t really read craft books. I’m a ‘figure it out on your own by looking at a picture’ type person. That said, I have purchased how to fold origami books for my son.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
My writing advice: take time for yourself to write. We get so busy and tend to push it aside. I believe it’s important to do something like this for yourself every once in a while.
Thank you so much for appearing on my blog! Have a blessed day!
When seventeen year old Katherine Dennard is selected to become a “Creation Specialist” in Sector 4, the opportunity sounds like a dream come true. But Kate soon discovers the darker side of her profession – the disposal of fetal organs and destruction of human life. It makes sense, really. In a society where disease and malformations don t exist, human perfection demands that no genetic “mutants” be allowed to live. For Sector 4, “survival of the fittest” is not just a theory – it’s The Institute’s main mission.
When Kate discovers that The Institute is using her DNA to create new life, her work gets personal. In order to save her unviable son, she’ll have to trust Micah and his band of underground Natural Born Rebels. The problem is, if The Institute discovers her betrayal, the next body being disposed of could be hers.