What is your writing process?
I don’t really have one, although I should. I tend to have a lot of trouble focusing. It’s good in the way that I never really have writer’s block, because I always have a new idea, but it’s bad because I have about twenty things in various states of completion at any given time. When I get really into a story, I tend to do nothing but write it. However, that comes and goes for me.
Who or what influences your writing?
I don’t really know if any one person or thing does, but there is an idea that drives me. It’s simply that I want to tell stories that are true to someone. Although I write fiction, and sometimes even fantasy fiction, I still think that the way people interact and the relationships they form play a critical role in storytelling. My biggest literary influences are Salinger, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald, so I suppose that is where much of it comes from.
What do you consider your best accomplishment?
Although I like being a hybrid author and self-publishing allows me a lot of control that I enjoy, I can’t deny that there was something exceptionally fulfilling about getting the acceptance for Bitter Fruits. To have that sort of confirmation that I was actually a decent writer really meant a lot to me. It’s one thing to have your friends tell you they like your books, but to have a publisher agree to take you on is a big deal. In addition, I’ve had a lot of readers tell me they enjoy my work and that means the world to me.
How have personal experiences influenced your writing?
As I said, I feel that my writing should be based in truth. I use pieces of my own life in a lot of what I write, although it’s entirely fictional. I write about college, about New England, about the types of people I know. I don’t foresee myself writing something completely alien. Even my fantasy stems from a concept or theme that is relevant in my real life.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Having someone tell you that they liked what you wrote.
Which authors inspire you?
The Moderns, as I said before, and Courtney Summers.
What is your favorite genre to read? Write?
I love YA fiction and classics. Anything genre-wise, but I love the immediacy of YA and I love the depth of classic literature. I write romance, I suppose, because it needs to be classified, but I struggle to stick to the rules of the genre. For me, as a reader, I tend to be unhappy with the limitations of genre and I feel the same way as a writer. I just write the stories I would want to read.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
The ups and downs. Things will be going along great and then, bam, it’s an utter collapse. It’s a really emotional career and it’s hard to know what the next day will bring. Also, marketing. I hate marketing with a passion.
What is your favorite quote?
My cowriter wrote this in a play he wrote and I agree: “everyone is the hero in his or her own story.” I can’t write characters I don’t care for and I don’t want to see earn whatever they desire. Even the villains. Because, as the quote says, we all play the hero in our version of reality, but to someone else, we could be the monster. Maybe it’s my literary background, but I think the concept of monster and villain is fluid and I like that. It’s like life.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t major in English! Really, though, I wish I had been more focused on the long term in college, because I still don’t know what I want to do with myself!
What would you like to say to your readers?
Thank you. Without you, there are no stories.
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