|Erica on the left and Christy on the right...|
unless you are looking at their right and left, in which case
Erica is on the right and Christy on the left...
- Tell us the scoop on how you got into writing novels.
I wrote a few short stories during high school and read just about any book I could find. College got in the way and fun reading/writing was gone for several years. After my son was born, I had a few new ideas and started a couple, but never got past about 30 pages. After my niece started talking about all these fantastic books she'd read (yes, 4 of them were written by someone with the initials SM), I started thinking about it again and wrote my first complete book in about six months.
When I was little (middle school age) one of my best friends and I wanted to write a mystery series. (We’d read Babysitter’s Club, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High…lots of series.) I remember writing during sixth grade study hall. I don’t think I wrote again until October 2009. After reading the Twilight saga.
- What genre do you write?
So far, YA and MG. I have a complete YA contemporary and a half-done MG ghost story plus some other started YA and MG contemporaries.
YA. So far I have a 95% completed Paranormal Romance and a 60% completed Contemporary Romance. I have a YA Sci Fi brewing that I am super excited to get started on!!!!
- What authors inspire you?
I really enjoy character-driven novels, which is why I tend to talk about Sarah Dessen a lot.
Before writing, I read a variety of adult novels. Historical fiction, romance, legal thrillers, mystery. I blush when admitting this, but I got started reading YA only AFTER starting to write. (Except for Twilight, of course.) Even more embarrassing, I didn’t read much at all the first eight months of writing. I didn’t make time for it. At this point, I can say that I love characters with a strong voice. My fave YA so far? Kiersten White’s Evie. But I have lots more reading to do.
- How often do you write?
I used to write every day. Now, I edit more than I write, so my numbers are way down. I have a goal for this summer, though.
I started rewriting a novel in February. For a while I wrote TONS just trying to make a contest deadline. Whenever I needed a break, I took three days to read and relax. When I’m constantly editing/revising/rewriting I don’t feel like I’m really writing at all. I’m ready to get back into writing writing again. And soon! Then, I hope every single day for at least an hour.
- Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I'm a pantser, although recently I've felt the need for a support group, because I hit a total dead-end on my WIP.
I’m here for you Erica! A little of both. BUT for my brand new shiny idea I am going to plot that thing out really well. Then I’m hoping it will just write itself. I’m sick of getting stuck ¾ of the way through. I want to know exactly where I’m heading and why from the get-go.
6.Where do you write best, and do you listen to music while you write?
Next week, I'm making my own office area in an alcove behind our kitchen. It's a tiny space completely surrounded by windows overlooking our farm and woods. I hope that works for me. So far, I've been serenaded by SpongeBob and Big Time Rush (I work in the living room with two kids).
In silence. I don’t care where I am. Silence is so rare though. I suppose downstairs in the office—with the door locked. I listen to music when I run and plot, but not so much when I’m actually typing away.
7.What is on your TBR pile?
The Book Thief, The Hunger Games series
It’s huge! Across the Universe, Gone series by Michael Grant, Wake series, Matched, Possession, Shatter Me, and like five more paranormal books that I can’t think of the name right now but I can picture their covers.
8.If Stephanie Meyer and JK Rowling got in a cat fight, who would win?
Mcgonagall (you said cat fight).
What she said.
9.What is your “day” job?
I'm a center manager/teacher of a Head Start center for low-income and at-risk preschoolers.
I’m an elementary school teacher (part-time) and teach reading, writing and math. Then I go home to my adorable five and three year olds. (And our eight year old dog. He’s cute too.)
10.What can you not leave home without? (cell phones are off limits)
11.Mac or PC?
I don't eat many desserts...my mom makes these Mounds bars with coconut that are super yummy, so I'll pick that.
Cold Stone: sweet cream ice cream, oreos, yellow cake and a little bit of hot fudge in a plain waffle bowl
I don't think I could name more than one, so I'll go with Sahara (if only because of the movie)
I don’t have a favorite.
14.Where is your dream vacation?
I don't even have a passport, so anything out of the US seems exotic and dreamy. My husband's always wanted to go to New Zealand, so I'll pick that.
I visited Switzerland while in college. Since I’ve had kids I’m afraid to fly, but I’d love to bring my husband back some day. Option B is Las Vegas. I’ve had the worst craving to go there lately. Can you crave a place?
15.Finally, link us to your website, blog, fb, twitter and anything else you might like to shamelessly plug for yourself
Thanks so much Abby. You are one of the coolest and I’m so glad you’re off of your April break!