NAW-When did your literary journey begin? At what age did you discover that you wanted to write?
I was a late bloomer in the writing world and started in my mid 30s. I never wanted to write a book. I was a dreamer. But the dreams kept growing and becoming more elaborate to the point that I had to start writing them down.
NAW- Tell us about your book, ‘Royally Lost.’ How did you get the idea for it?
Royally Lost was born from a riverboat trip I took in Europe. While I loved the trip, I knew most teenagers, including my own, would have been bored and hated it. Royally Lost is about a girl on a family vacation in Europe who meets a guy who, it turns out, is a prince on the run. It’s exciting, unexpected and romantic!
How long did it take to finish the book?
This book took about eight months to write which is pretty good for me.
NAW- Tell us about Becca’s character.
Becca is eighteen and a total rule follower ever since her mom died a few years earlier. Her mischievous brother Dylan, workaholic dad, and stepmom who tries too hard, are also on the trip. Becca resents the fact that they’re pretending to be a happy family. They are far from it.
How did you develop the character?
It was fun to develop Becca’s character from sullen teen to adventurous and risk taker over the course of the book.
NAW- Why did you choose to write young adult fiction?
I didn’t choose to write YA, it chose me. 🙂 I have to write the story in my heart and lately, that means YA, which is fine with me. I love YA!
How difficult (or easy) is it writing for the youth?
I wouldn’t say writing YA is easier or more difficult than other genres. It’s just different. Teens are smart and can handle pretty much anything.
NAW- Tell us about your other works.
My other books include Rock and a Hard Place, Snapshot, Dream Chaser, Love ‘em or Leave ‘em and Snowed Over. They are all contemporary. My most popular book is definitely Rock and a Hard Place. Readers love that book, which has been a lot of fun. I encourage you to check it out.
NAW- Do you carry out any research for developing your characters and your stories? How do you go about it?
There is always research for every book whether it’s getting to know the city the book is set in, or checking accuracy of what it’s like to try to replace a stolen passport in Prague. A lot of research can be done online. I google for a lot of information and have also talked to social workers, police officers, dancers, insurance underwriters, photographers, recording producers, and musicians. It’s a fun part of the job.
NAW- Which authors have influenced you?
I wouldn’t really say any specific authors have influenced me or my writing. I don’t think I write like anyone in particular either. My voice and style are all my own. That said, I love tons of authors and books.
NAW- Tell us about yourself. What do you do when you are not writing?
If I’m lucky, I’m traveling someplace new and fabulous. I love to travel as much as possible. Last winter I didn’t go anywhere, which was a bummer as it was one of the coldest years on record, but this summer I get to travel to Whistler, Seattle, and LA. I’ve never visited any of those places.
NAW – Tell us about your literary journey. How easy (or difficult) was it to get your first book in print?
It wasn’t easy or quick, that’s for sure. My first book, Love ‘em or Leave ‘em, was on submission for more than two years. One editor lost the book for over a year. I sat waiting for his response, and it turned out my manuscript was hiding in a pile in his closet. I’m not nearly so patient nowadays. Eventually it was picked up by Avalon Books and is now in libraries all over the country.
NAW- What are your upcoming projects?
Next up is the long awaited third book in the Jamieson Collection featuring the third brother Garrett Jamieson. I’m so excited for readers to finally see it. It releases May, 2015.