FAQ and Q&A
It’s hard sometimes when reading text to decipher someone’s tone or meaning because you can’t hear their voice. I guarantee you that my answers are given humbly and respectfully. I am happy that the questions were asked as it gives me a chance to address them.
-I can't believe you broke your neck and now have a tumor in your head! What are you going to do and are you going to stop writing!?
I'm going to keep on keeping on! I will finish my current WIP, though at a slower pace, and then I will start another one eventually. You couldn't keep me away. As for what as I going to do? Well, radiation treatments are first and then we'll go from there. I'm not one to 'rest' and 'take it easy'. Those are dirty words. I want to be back on my feet and back to normal asap! So I'll keep you posted on any new developments. You'll never know how much it means to get your messages and posts of concern. Mwah! I heart you big time.
- How many books with there be in the Significance series?
I get asked this question a lot about all of my series. :) I don’t outline, I don’t plan when I write. Some may find that faulty, but for me the story needs to just flow as it comes and not seem like I’m forming it to fit something. The four books in the series and the novella, Reverence, are all I have planned for that series. But never say never. I hold to that saying and one day...you just never know.
-Is there something about you that your readers might be really surprised about?
I am a seriously sarcastic person. I'm seriously quiet, too. I think speaking just to be talking is weird. I only speak when I have something to say. My sarcasm is my life. It's in my movies, my husband, and pouring out the windows of my home. Even with this 'tumor stuff', sarcasm is my best friend. So come be sarcastic with me.
- Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or was there something else you wanted to do as a career?
Absolutely not! I never thought this would be my life, I didn't even like to read! :) I hated it when we got reading assignments in school and never picked up a book for enjoyment until Dec 2009. Then it's kinda been an obsession ever since. I started writing for fun when I couldn't find any books I wanted to read. I'd read everything there was in the YA section of Borders and everything was the same! :) So I started writing Collide, with no intentions to publish and then Uprising happened, then stealing Grace. That's when I decided to try to publish. And after the 25th time of being told that my books were good but no one would want to read them because they weren't 'trendy' enough for today’s current market, (meaning not vampires and werewolves) I decided to self publish. :)
As far as anything else, I wanted to be a wife and mother and I accomplished those already ;)
-In Accordance there is mentioned a quiche recipe to die for, any chance that such a recipe exists & can u post it?! :P
I love this question! In Accordance, Caleb and Maggie make quiche for everyone. Caleb has an aunt who can decipher what any plant or herb is for and she’s the best cook ever because of it. Well, I don’t have this ability but here’s a recipe that I enjoy. :) Let’s call it...
· 4 eggs
· 2 cups half-and-half cream
· 1/8 teaspoon salt
· 1/4 teaspoon pepper
· 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
· 1/8 teaspoon basil
· 4 ounces softened Feta or Cream cheese
· 2 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
· 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell
Directions - Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Feta, mushrooms and half-and-half. Season with salt, pepper and basil. Place mozzarella in the pie shell, pour egg mixture over cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and bake for 25 minutes, or until crust is golden and filling is set. Allow to set 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
-What inspires you to write the books you do? Do you map out the story in your mind before you start writing a book or do you come up with it as you go along?
My inspiration…I want to say something sweet here like the sunrise or a fire crackling in the fireplace, but honestly it’s just kind of happens. I don’t get ideas in certain situations or around certain people. I literally have to keep a notebook in my purse everywhere I go for ideas. And beside my bed, that’s the worst. I wake up in the middle of the night often and when I’m trying to go to sleep, I can think about nothing but the current book I’m working on. I’m a little obsessive about it and it just stays with me until I’m done. Ideas happen their way into my notebook often at that time. My very first idea came from a dream (Actually Collide is nothing like the dream I had by the time I got done with the story line, so go figure.) So, as far as inspiration, I’m not sure sure I really have any except just everyday life - and then tweaking it a little. :) And nope. No mapping, no outlining. It personally doesn’t work for me and I can’t imagine using them.
-Who was your favorite Backstreet Boy?
Come on. You can't really expect me to own up to that...
-What are Bish and Fiona's abilities? Why didn't you name them in the book?
I wanted to leave some things open to your interpretation. We know what Jim and Jen's are, and we know that significant's abilities go together, so I didn't want to answer ever little thing about everything. Just like I didn't say exactly what was going to happen at the meeting with the council with Maggie and Caleb. You know they fight with them, but I want you to imagine what happens, that way it's your own interpretation of it instead of me spelling it all out for you :) Same thing with Collide. I never, ever say in the series if they are angels or aliens or whatever else. You picked in your mind what you wanted the to be and I left it open like that on purpose. It's kind of funny to see the reviews where people call them all different things, because in their mind that's what they seemed to be to them. :)
-Why do you start a new book series when you have 2 unfinished series? Do you get bored with characters ? Just curious....
Good question that I’m glad you asked because I get asked often. And the answer is that when I began to write my books in the last half of 2010, it was for complete fun. I had NO intentions of getting published, I was just sick of reading books that disappointed me. So, I wrote the first 2 Collide books, 80 pages to the 3rd and Stealing Grace in 6 months time. I literally just did nothing but write in my spare time. Many nights up until 4 a.m. and many mornings and days of looking like crap :) Then, when I finally did start looking around at publishing ideas I wrote Significance while I was waiting. I'm a very impatient and impulsive person and if I have an idea it literally just eats at me until I do something about it. So, after I finished that, I immediately began Accordance and got about 150 pages written in it and the idea for Devour crept up so I wrote 70 pages to that one as well. That's when I first got published. So I had some novels started, some finished so I published the ones that were done already and made release dates for the ones not done. Defiance will actually be the first book I've started from scratch since I got published. I just had to finish Accordance, Devour and Catalyst. Whew! There. I hope that helps and I know it seems scatter brained and off the wall but that's how my thinking process works. I can't imagine only having one thing going at a time but, time will tell for future books.
-Favorite music to write to?
Alternative, pop, rock, Indie. You name it. I really love a good solid sound that isn't too crazy and is really fluid.
-If you had the chance to co-author a book with anyone who would it
be and why?
I would have to say....hmmm.... Anyone who is a huge fan of true love. A little disclaimer - If you're not interested in true, real, fighting for each other love that doesn’t quit and doesn’t apologize for it, I would not suggest my books to you because it is a very prominent running theme in all my series and will continue to be :)
-Is there any books you've read that were so emotional that you teared up?
Oh yes!! Tons! I am a big baby when I read :) Is it sad that I cried when I wrote my own books? Because I did. When I was writing the last quarter to Accordance, I cried many times. Also, when I wrote the scene where Katie has the baby in Collide and Sherry cries because she can’t have any, ugh!… Also, Falling From Grace series by S.L. Naeole /Sophie & Carter by Chelsea Fine / Forsaken by Keary Taylor / Demon Kissed by Ivy Taylor / Blood Like Poison 3 by M. Leighton / The Host by Stephanie Meyer (The Worst boohooer ever!) And lately Callum & Harper by Fisher Amelie..ahh.... I LOVED this book. I cried either from happiness or sadness the entire time. Slammed by Colleen Hoover, Wishing For Someday Soon by Tiffany King, Going Under by Georgia Cates
-In Significance, Caleb wouldn’t have died if Maggie hadn’t been at the stoplight because he wouldn’t have been looking back at her. So your whole theory about him saying that she only wouldn’t change anything is because he would have died otherwise doesn’t make any sense.
Ha ha! Come on! Give me a break!! :) (I got this question a few times) They’re teenagers! It’s all about angst! He just wanted a reason to make it all his fault. He’s a protector, that’s what he does, that’s the only reason he said that. We all know it wasn’t a feasible argument, that was the point. It was supposed to show that Caleb was reaching. He loved her so much he was willing to make himself out to be the bad guy if that was what she needed to leave and live her life if she wanted to.
-What's your favorite color?
Teal. My entire office is painted teal.
-What is the first book that you remember reading?
*Coughs uncomfortably* uhum....Twilight. I saw the first two movies and at the end I had to know what happened. That is the reason I started to read at all, but I have read sooo many books to trump that one since. Sorry Twihards. :)
- How could you rip off imprinting from Stephanie Meyer like that?
Well, I didn't :) She didn't invent that word or its use for werewolves or books. She just made it really popular apparently! It's kind of funny that that word wasn't even used in her books that many times. Honestly, I hadn't even remembered that she used it in her books when I started my story. I didn't even remember it until one reader said something in a review after the book was already out. It had been FOREVER since I'd read those books. Like I said, those were the first books I read. They got me into reading, they are the reason I am an author in the grand scheme of things. I am forever grateful to her for that. They were good, I liked them and the movies, but they aren't my favorite. So I kind of had a "doh" moment when I realized what I'd done with that ONE WORD and wondered if I should take it off the market when a couple reviews said "Twilight" in them. But then I realized that every single YA book out there was compared to Twilight and had "Twilight" in the reviews somewhere. My imprinting and her imprinting and whoever else's imprinting in their books isn't the same, and the book is certainly not the same. So I left it up and just decided to see what happens.
So glad I did :)
-Why did you end your series when everyone loves them so much and would have kept reading had you produced more books for them?
I don't want to be one of those authors trying to milk a series just because I can. I end a series when I feel like I see it ending. I don't want to make the story go on just because. I've read series like that, where by the 7th book, I'm only continuing on to find out what happens, not because I'm enjoying the series any longer. I definitely didn't want that for my series.
-UPDATE: There is now a new SIGNIFICANCE book, Undeniably Chosen :)
-If I sent you artwork, would you keep it or trash it?
It would totally go on the wall in my office. I have a few up there already.
-Do you like to torture your characters?
Absolutely not. In fact, I try to go out of my way not to, but sometimes it can’t be avoided. I.e., Bish. Poor Bish!! I love him and hate that he’s had such a hard life. Also, writing Sherry and all the mishaps and things that happened to her was hard too. Especially Merrick’s chapter after Sherry is in the caves…ah! It was so gut wrenching it hurt me to write it. But sometimes it can’t be avoided. I get very attached to my characters. Even when I read books that aren’t mine, I take it all personally and it hurts when bad things happen to those people. That’s one reason I avoid love triangles and always will. I can’t stand it when people cheat on each other, I don’t even enjoy to read about it. So if you enjoy a true love triangle, you won’t find them in my books. Sorry. :)
-How could Sherry be done with College when she’s only 19 years old in the beginning of Collide?
Well, she didn’t finish college. I’ve been asked this several times but I never said she graduated in the book. I said she was in college and she paid for it herself. She was working already but had only finished a semester.
-Who's your favorite character and why?
Well...that's a toughy. Although Caleb is definitely a close follow, I'd have to say Merrick. And the reason is because he was the very first guy I ever wrote down on paper. He was everything I was looking for in books and hadn't found. The way he loves Sherry, all consuming and innocent. All on his own with no persuasion, it's even against the rules of his kind. He respects and cares for her so completely while knowing everything she's ever done her whole life, good or bad. And still loves her unconditionally and passionately. Oh, yeah. Add a Merrick to my cart please. (Not really, my husband is fabulous) :)
-Favorite place to write?
The brown leather club chair in my library. It has an ottoman, too... Oh, yeah.
-Why are all of your books so mushy and sappy??
Well first off, thank you!! :) I am a sappy, hopeless romantic. I don’t want to read any book out there that doesn’t have romance in it to some degree. This is another reason I started writing my own books, because the paranormal genre, although it has the name of romance in it, wasn’t all that romantic to me anymore. There was lots of love triangles and lots of exploring the powers and paranormal aspects of the novel, but for me they took that stuff too far. I like to read and write books that are about love DESPITE all the other things going on around them. The story is the love, the paranormal stuff and drama of their lives is the back plot. The love should be the full front and center story and in my books it is. If it’s too sappy and over the top for you, I’m sorry that it didn’t float your boat but thank you for reading! :)
-It’s ridiculous how the Jacobsons let the Watsons off so easy after they kidnapped Maggie in Significance. A beat down? Really? That’s all?
Well, it was meant to be left open for you to wonder about. The answer to that question is explained in book 2, when Peter tells them about how the council will denounce a clan for the murder of another. The Watsons didn’t kill Maggie, therefore, per the council laws, there was no punishable act. However, if the Jacobsons had retaliated with lethal force, they would have been denounced. It was the plan of the Watsons to not kill her, knowing the Jacobsons wouldn’t be able to do much about it. So in book 3, we will explore the corrupt and hypocritical ways of the council as Maggie and Caleb deal with the consequences of killing two Watsons. It all has a place and a plan in the plot. :)
-Who would win in a fight between Justin Beiber and Harry Styles?
*twists lips* I think the accent would totally be a good distraction. Harry!
-I saw your books were pirated. Are you going to stop writing or stop producing them in certain e-book formats because of it like other authors do?
I have absolutely no intentions in stopping. That would be letting them drive me away from something I love and I won't ever do that, no matter what happens in that regard. I can't understand any author that would.
-In Significance you say Gran lives long after Grandpa Ray died, but I thought you said Significants couldn’t live without each other?
Well, remember when Caleb tells Maggie that if your significant dies that you feel it? I said they can’t live without each other but if the other one isn’t alive anymore, then they aren’t significants anymore. They can't be separated if they are both alive. Gran living past him is unprecedented because they usually die near the same age. But. Grandpa Ray died unexpectedly as said in Significance. There’s more books to come people! Let the story play itself out!! :) And Caleb questioned Grandpa Rays' death if you recall…… Hmmm….
-Who's your favorite author or YA series?
I classify a favorite to be something I find myself going back to look and read over and over again. I have lots of books that I absolutely loved but there's certain books that I go back to often. Those would be Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead, The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, Callum & Harper by Fisher Amelie, Emerge by Lila Felix, Slammed by Coleen Hoover, Falling from Grace series by S.L. Naeole, Reckless Magic Series by Rachel Higginson, Twisted by Amity Hope.
-You go to a Mexican restaurant. Beef or chicken?
Chicken unless there's the option for steak. And pile on the guacamole because I know you made it fresh in the back. And if you don't have salsa and chips to bring to the table? I'm out. Peace.
-In Significance, Caleb tells Maggie there are only three humans that have imprinted with an Ace; Maggie, Gran and Philippe. But didn’t Sikes’ wife tell Maggie that she couldn’t give her an offense mark because she had been a human?
-What are 10 random facts about yourself?
1. When I was a baby, Reba Mcentire's (THE Reba) bus broke down on the road by our house. My Dad and Uncle fixed it for her. I was in a baby swing and she said I was the 'cutest thing'. True story.
2. I love olives, green and black. LOVE! When I was a kid, I used to get jars of olives at the store instead of candy. Don't judge me!
3. I hate math. LOATHE IT! It disgusts me.
4. I sincerely disike to drive.
5. I listen to music everywhere. Bath, kitchen, especially in the car.
6. When I'm not writing I read about 3 books a week.
7. I've been married since 2001 to the best guy in the world and I'm not just saying that. He knows what give and take means and I love him more than anything. If imprinting were real, I would have so imprinted with him ;)
8. I'm addicted to candy corn, earrings, and body spray.
9. My favorite activity other than reading and writing is taking my 2 boys somewhere they've never been.
10. Going to the doctor is my least favorite thing to do. I'd rather sit at home with no electricity all day than go to the doctor. I'm a waitingroomphobic. ;)
-Do you have any advice to upcoming authors who are looking into getting published?
Absolutely and I get asked this question all the time!
1. I think you should just decide for yourself about how you want to publish. This has been truly rewarding and I don't have anyone to answer to but my fans and myself, and it wouldn't be that way if I was under a traditional publisher so....think about it first. Just because everyone says that self publishing is taking the easy way out doesn't mean that it's true or easy. If you can get published traditionally, it's something to think about. This has been a rewarding and humbling and awesome time since my first book came out, but it's hard to do all by yourself.
2. Edit, edit, edit….and then edit some more!!! :)
3. Don’t follow the flow of the genre stereotypes. Be your own person and just have fun with your story. Believe it or not, readers don’t want to read something they have already read 10 times but with just different names and places. They want something different.
4. Promote yourself! No one is going to do it for you. You have to set out and spend the man hours getting your name out there. Contact reviewers and bloggers about reading your book, like pages and help promote other authors and most of them will do the same for you, do giveaways and offer to let blogs do giveaways for you as well. Connect with your readers on all the social media outlets.
5. Book bloggers are the key to your success. And I’ve met the most incredible people who run book blogs. It’s a win\win situation when you let a blogger review your book. The fact that they are just awesome and sweet and helpful is just icing on the cake. :) Book bloggers ROCK!
6. Most important of all. YOUR FANS ARE THE REASON YOU CAN DO WHAT YOU DO. TALK TO THEM! COMMENT AND SEND RESPONSES TO THEM, DO GIVEAWAYS AND THANK YOUS! SHOW THEM YOUR APPRECIATION. Without these people, you would be nothing and they deserve your time and effort after they have helped support you. This is a job, no matter how fun and awesome writing is, and you have to put in the time. I personally have sent authors emails and posted on their walls and not heard back. It shows me they don’t have the time to worry about me, and I never forgot that about them either. YOUR FANS ROCK AND DON’T YOU DARE FORGET IT!! :)