Who or what inspired Shipped?
My wife and our honeymoon in the Caribbean. There’s lots of little Easter eggs in the story about her and our trip together. We celebrated our 13thwedding anniversary this month, so it was fun to reminisce about that time in our lives as I wrote it.
Who or what inspired you to start writing?
My high school English teacher, Mrs. Bahrenburg. She had a contagious passion and energy about writing and books and poetry. She read Mary Oliver’s Wild Geesein class (I can still hear her steady, soothing voice in my head to this day), and hypnotized me with those revered lines. Words were never just words after that. They felt supernatural, almost. And I wanted to be a part of the magic.
Who is your favorite character from your books and why?
I can only pick one?? But I don’t want the others to be mad at me LOL I think I’ll have to go with Avery from my first book, Running the Tides. She was the first fictional character I ever wrote, and because of that, she’ll always have a special place in my heart.
How do you approach writing a new storyline?
Obsession and curiosity. I enjoy picking a setting or profession or topic that I’ll need to research. Something that fascinates me to the point I know I’ll get nerdy obsessed with, and get excited about to learn more and write about.
Where do your inspirations for characters and their lives come from?
I pull a lot from real life acquaintances, or people I’ve encountered in life, maybe even for a very brief period of time, who really left an impression on me.
Where is your favorite place to write?
My answer will be probably odd, but it’s in the woods. I live in Vermont and there’s an abundance of hiking and nature trails here, and I find my best writing and plotting is done, not sitting in front of my computer, but outside where my mind can wander as freely as my feet.
What is your writing process?
I’m a pantser, so it’s messy and disorganized. I start with a real crappy and careless first draft, followed by several rounds of meticulous edits I obsess over until I break down and cry into bowls of ice cream. *shrugs* It seems to be working fine LOL
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
I learned to relax. I was very nervous and uptight my first time around, freaking out over minor details. Now, I let the mistakes happen and not let the imperfections in a story take away from the fun of writing.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Taking writing classes. Being a part of a small writing community, and learning, not only the craft and mechanics of fiction, but also how to take and use criticism productively.
What is something memorable you have heard from your readers/fans?
Olivia, one of my MCs in Running the Tides, is bisexual, and a reader thanked me for having positive bisexual rep in my story. I want my books to be, not only inclusive to all identities within the queer community, but done so in a welcoming and affirming way. Their message to me really meant a lot.
What book that you have read has most influenced your life?
Winter Jacket by Eliza Lentzski. It was the first lesfic book I ever read and inspired me to start writing my own stories and start my author journey.
Do you have any new books coming out? If so, what are they about?
Fire and Water. It’s an age-gap romance set in Vermont, between a college professor and a glass blower. There’s a nice sprinkling of ice queen thrown in there too.
How do you take your coffee?