What inspired you to write Between?
I was watching a video with Stephenie Meyer where she was talking about being a stay-at-home mom who had a dream and wrote it down. She made it sound simple and I wondered if I might be able to do the same. Having been through it now, I can tell you that writing a book is not simple, but it is something that you can do if you set your mind to it.
About that same time, I was reading Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series and completely fell in love with Scotland and the history of the nation. I wanted a Scottish hero of my own, so I wrote one!
Your Goodreads bio mentions that you went on a trip to Scotland. Would you like to tell us a little bit about your trip?
Oh, it was marvelous! I’d never been abroad before, though I’d wanted to go since I was in high school. My husband and I spent a week in Paris and a week in Scotland. While in Scotland, we saw Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, the Clava Cairns (an ancient burial site), Culloden Field (where the massacre of 1746 took place), toured the Dalwhinnie whisky distillery and stayed at Dalhousie Castle (which is haunted!).
The highlight of the trip was visiting Eilean Donan Castle, the childhood home of the hero in my story. They didn’t allow photographs inside the castle, but I must have taken a thousand of the outside. Being inside the castle after spending so much time writing about it and imagining it was a dream come true.
Do you have any must-haves while writing?
I really prefer solitude while writing because if people interrupt me while I am in the zone, it really throws me off. I have to come back to reality, focus on them, answer their question, and then try to get back into the story. I listen to piano music while writing (nothing with lyrics because I tend to sing along and it distracts me). Brian Crain is my favorite classical music artist, though I sometimes throw in a little Scottish folk music as well.
At the end of Between there is mention of a sequel to Between, care to share some details about the next book?
Well, I can’t say much since I don’t want to give away any plot points from the first book, but I can tell you that it’s called Hell Transporter. Aiden’s job is to transport souls from earth to heaven, and the second book has to do with his counterpart. I’ve got a cover in mind that is similar to Between’s, but with a red flame instead of blue smoke. I think it’s going to complement the first book beautifully.
I am about one-third of the way through the first draft of Hell Transporter. Once Between is launched, I will turn my attention to getting it finished. But let me just say, the ending… oh, you’ll like that!
When you're not writing, what do you like to do?
I work a full-time job and have two kids, so my free time is mostly spent with my family. I sing in church a couple Sundays a month, which is something I really enjoy. I sing everywhere I go, truthfully. It’s a running joke that whenever I go into a store with music playing overhead, once I get back into the car, I’ll start humming the song I last heard. I am not even aware I’m doing it! Music and writing are intertwined for me, two ways to express my creative side.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
You can spend a lot of time reading books about how to write, how to craft characters, how to build tension, etc. That’s all good and you should do that. Still, the most important thing is to sit down and write the story you want to write. Don’t worry about all that other stuff; you can learn it as you go. Have fun with it.
And when it gets hard (because it will!), remember why you started writing in the first place. It probably wasn’t to earn scads of money or to be on Oprah. It was probably because you had a story in your heart that you wanted to get down. Or maybe it was because you came up with a crazy idea and wanted to see how it would play out. Whatever the reason, let that be the fuel that keeps you going when the words fail you.
Don’t write for validation from others. Write because you enjoy it, because you want to, because you have to. If that’s not true, then rent a movie instead because being an author is not for the weak of heart. Still, if you want it, you can make it happen!
Thanks so much for having me!
And thank you Cyndi for being awesome and coming on the blog. Between is out now so be sure to check it out because as I said yesterday it is awesome! And be sure to check out Cyndi's blog here!