What responses to your writing have affected you the most and why?
In my first novel, STAY, I touched on some very serious life issues. Since it was released I have had some very deep and meaningful conversations with readers who were very affected by what I wrote. I never intended to have an impact on my readers and hearing that I have is so rewarding. Most of my reviews have been very positive and I love reading about what my words mean to a reader. Of course I have had to deal with some negativity too and hopefully I’ve grown from it as a writer. That part is never fun.
How do you hope your readers react to the stories you write?
I really just want my readers to connect with the characters I have created and the story I am telling. Anytime I can make a reader feel something emotional it is positive. Of course I want everyone to fall in love with my characters too but what author doesn’t J
Other than writing great stories, what other goals do you have for your life?
I have an amazing family and a very fulfilling life. I honestly am living a dream with this writing journey and am concentrating on getting my third book written!
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Not really. At least I didn’t on this book. I have the whole story arc in my head and just needed to get it onto paper. There were times when I had to stop writing though because I became overwhelmed with what was happening with my characters. They feel like real people to me and it was emotionally draining to write some of the scenes in the book.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
I can’t really think of any in particular. I can tell you that I have been an avid reader my whole life and I read all genres. I really judge a book by its ability to move me. I just need to connect to the story.
How did you go about developing your characters? Are they based on real people?
I am mostly inspired by people I know, places I’ve been and experiences I’ve had. It really is that basic for me. Many of my characters are drawn loosely from people that have been part of my life at some point or another. I am writing fiction, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some people recognize little pieces of themselves in my characters. I’m a very good listener and find inspiration in other people’s personal stories as well.
What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I listen to music the whole time. I have to. It helps set the tone and lets me block everything else out. I have certain playlists for certain themes of the book. Music plays a big part in my books
Shoes. I have to mention the shoes. There are some drool-worthy foot holders in this book. Firstly, thank you for that! I’m partial to some shoeage myself. Are you a shoe person too? If so, what’s your favourite style?
Me, a shoe person? How did you guess? Seriously, I love all shoes and have the closet to prove it. To be honest, I am a beach girl at heart so sandals are my favourite. Nothing beats a perfectly worn in pair of flip flops. I actually shopped for Alexa’s shoes online… for hours. That was fun!
Speaking of ‘drool worthy’… Julian. Did he pop into your mind ready-made? Or did he change as you began to write him into the story?
Julian, Julian, Julian. I’m not going to lie, he came ready-made as I sort of physically modelled him off a particularly handsome and sexy Latin actor. His personality and character developed throughout the book as he interacted with Lexie, and he ended up being way more layered than I had originally planned. You will get to know a lot more about Julian in ‘Hold On’, the sequel to ‘Stay.’
Chocolate. That’s a food, right? If not I will go with Cuban Food.
Favorite ice cream flavour
Peanut Butter and Chocolate. Best invention ever!
Weirdest place you’ve ever been
Hard one. That would have to be a concert in the 80’s or Wal-Mart during the holidays.
Tell us a scary story about yourself
Thank God, my life has been relatively “scary-free.” I will say that publishing a book, one with such steamy content, has been pretty scary though.
Tell a high school blunder story
Has to be the worst haircut EVER I got in 9th grade. It was the 80’s and I was a fan of alternative music. Need I say more?
I would be voted most ______________ and why
Loyal. I’m fiercely loyal to my family and friends. I might also be in the running for most sarcastic. I’ll own that.
It’s a zombie apocalypse. What 3 things do you take with you to survive?
I should go ask my kids, because they’re more familiar with the ZA than I am. Off the top of my head though, I guess I’d take a gun, food and a book on how to survive a Zombie Apocalypse.
If you could be any character in a book, who would you be and why?
Allie in the Notebook. That’s a great love story!
What is on your nightstand?
A water bottle, a blue plate shaped like a fish that holds my jewelry and a lamp.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I can’t remember when I didn’t want to write.
Who or what inspires you to write?
My family, friends and the awesome fans who have totally gotten behind my books.
What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?
It’s not always easy to find the time to do it. It is more of a hobby than a career (at the moment) and I have to fit it in to a very busy life!