What can you tell us about your new release, Shadow Prophet?
It’s about a man who is being blackmailed into murdering the woman he loves, and it’s seriously the hardest book I’ve ever written, due to the theme. Stakes are high in this one, and there isn’t time to breathe or relax. Shadow Prophet is perfect for readers who need a break from every-day life and who like fast-moving paranormal stories.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
My grandpa! He was an author too – had more than 50 of his own published books under his belt, he ghost wrote countless others, and he had thousands of essays in circulation. He wrote mostly nonfiction, but I still got that writing bug from him.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, The Client by John Grisham, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, and This Darkness Light by Michaelbrent Collings. All fantastic works! I read Jurassic Park when I was 11, then plowed through the rest of Michael Crichton’s books, followed by John Grisham’s. (My grandpa owned them all and let me borrow them, so it’s technically his fault.) They shaped my teenage years!
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
Michael Crichton. And I’d ask him this: WHY THE HECK DIDN’T YOU WRITE JURASSIC PARK INTO A SERIES SO WE COULD HAVE BETTER MOVIES??!?!? The first movie was fantastic… but movies two and three were so disappointing. I really enjoyed Jurassic World and mostly enjoyed Fallen Kingdom, but they weren’t on the same level as Jurassic Park. I know he hated writing sequels, but for crying out loud. Lost World just didn’t have heart in it like Jurassic Park.
In all seriousness, I’d love to pick his brain on writing thrillers with a science fiction/medical slant. My books all have a thriller edge to them (something about the stories I consumed growing up), and he was, in my mind, a master.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
All of it! For a while. And then it gets tedious. Until the next stage starts, and then all of it!
What is a typical day like for you?
It starts off with me desperately try to catch a little more shut eye while the baby chatters in his crib and my two older kids climb on me, asking for breakfast. Then I make breakfast while listening to podcasts (including my own – because you need to study yourself to know how to improve, right? I tell myself that so I don’t feel like a narcissist :-)), and then we do homeschool until the baby goes down for his first nap. Then I usually get caught up on business stuff for an hour or so while walking on my treadmill desk. And then more homeschool and more feeding of the kids, and more business, etc. My day cycles like that until my husband gets home from work, whereupon I immediately sob tears of joy at having another adult in the home.
What scene in Shadow Prophet was your favorite to write?
There are three that were the hardest and the most rewarding. The opening scene, which starts just after Abel, the main character, has murdered an innocent person, then the scene where he sees the woman he’s in love with for the first time after getting “hired” to assassinate her too, and last, the scene where he goes to see the Shadow Prophet to ask for an extension to his contract. They were all incredibly difficult to write, but also cathartic and rewarding.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
“Dreams don’t work unless you do.” I work hard – very hard. And important things slip through the cracks if I’m not careful. I always put my husband first, along with my kids and their education, but business is a close second, and I’m very dedicated to my books and my readers.