1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
My imagination ran wild as a kid. (Still does!) I was acting out stories early on. As soon as I could write my stories down I did. Later in life I kept journals. I worked on the school newspaper. But I was always writing in some shape or form. I even started college intending to major in Journalism, but I changed it to Psychology before graduating. I did social work and spent many years in the event industry. Then one fateful winter I had this vision of a boy and a girl in an art room, lots of blue paint, and an amazing kiss. And the rest is history…
2. What made you want to write about the topic of abuse in Reason to Breathe?
I have seen much unpleasantness in my life. When I graduated with a degree in Psychology, I was determined to save the world. I worked with teenagers who were “in the system” for a little more than three years, and ended up defeated and heartbroken.
I saw what abuse could do to a person, and how protective that person can be of their abuser, even when it meant his/her own life. So, when I knew Emma was keeping a secret, one she didn’t want anyone to know—but one that kept her trapped, I knew it had to be abuse. It’s what made her need to be perfect, while she remained quiet and alone. And it caused her to live in a constant state of denial. Abuse is a topic that should be discussed more. It happens to more people than you’d imagine. And it can happen in any neighborhood, in any house.
3. What are you working on now?
When it’s further long in it’s creation, I promise to tell you all about it.
4. As a writer, who has influenced you?
I was a huge fan of horror as a teen. Stephen King was a huge influence of mine. He writes such vivid imagery and evokes such fierce emotion. It’s something I definitely aspire to as a writer.
5. What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Know you will never write anything everyone will love. If you set out to do that, you are destined to fail. Write because you love it, and because you have a story to tell. Write because it’s who you are.
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