What inspired you to write TEACH ME TO FORGET?
I lost my dad to suicide at 16 and desperately wondered the answer to one simple question: Why? So I wrote about a girl who wanted to die in order to try and understand what my dad went through. I thought if I could understand him, maybe I would figure out why. I like to think I have an understanding now and that I am finally in a place to forgive him and try and forget the pain. It was an amazing experience writing this book.
How many books have you written?
I’ve written lots of half-finished books and 4 full books. TMTF was my third.
How do you revise?
Well, I wrote a blog post about that very thing using only Disney GIFs. You can find it here!
What do you do when you’re frustrated with the writing process.
Besides throw things, swear, and drink? Kidding. I’m kidding. Basically that’s when I know it’s time for a break. Writing when you’re not feeling it can be detrimental to the story and hurt all the progress made up to that point. I’m a huge advocate in listening to your body and mind and when it’s telling you to take it easy, that’s what you do. Once I have my break I always come back more inspired and ready to tackle what caused the frustration in the first place ;o)
How has music influenced you and your writing?
It’s a huge influence to me and to my writing. I wrote a blog post on All The Write Notes about how Pearl Jam saved my life. Without music, I’m not sure I would be a writer. From my first poem to my latest manuscript music is a huge part of what makes it all happen. Music and writing go together like Will and Tessa. Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood or Anna and Etienne.
How do I get an agent?
The most important thing is to finish your book. Find others who will read it and tell you honestly what they thought. Find local writer’s groups, online critique groups. Read all you can in your genre, get out there and meet other writers. I highly recommend twitter as a phenomenal resource. Follow hashtags like #amwriting #amrevising. Follow other writers in your genre and TALK to them. It’s all about conversations. Visit agent blogs and read what they’re looking for. Query agents that match what you’re looking for and make sure to personalize them. For excellent query help check out, Query Shark, and Brenda Drake‘s blog which is filled with great information. Her #PitchWars contest has made many, many writers into published authors. Remember writing a great book is king. All the networking and tweeting won’t matter if your book sucks, so concentrate on great writing first and always.
My book is getting published, will you blurb my book?
First, YAY! Congrats, that’s awesome. Second, I’m open to blurbs, just send me a message or have your agent/editor/publisher contact me or my agent. It all depends on my schedule, but I will certainly entertain all requests.
Can I interview you?
Um, YEAH. I love to meet new people and talk about books! Feel free to message or tweet me ;o)
Do you make appearances at school/book/library events and conventions?
Sure, message me with the details and we can work together to make it happen ;o)
What are you writing next?
I’ve recently finished a new contemporary. I like to say it’s YA Dirty Dancing with bits of Jane the Virgin set at summer camp. It’s about a girl who can’t dance and is sent to ballroom dance camp with her sister (who is an amazing dancer) and falls in love with her instructor. It was such a fun one to write! There’s also another darker contemporary I’m working on but I’m at the very beginning so nothing to tell yet! Stay tuned ;o)