Tell us about your novels?
It all starts with the disappearance of a few students and a teacher from Hidden Lake Preparatory School in Atlanta, Georgia. This event sets the stage for the ELEMENTS OF EAA saga that spans two current series and two future series.
In TEARS OF DESTINY Billy’s story begins the day he finds himself trapped on another world with his best friend, the school bully, and his most-hated teacher. They must work together to unravel a secret as old as time itself. Can he uncover the source of his strange powers and unlock the truth before its too late? Find out in this first book in Billy’s journey.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, SALLY SINGLETARY’S CURIOSITY leads her to investigate Billy’s disappearance. She uncovers a plot that brings her in league with an unlikely crew. They discover a shape-shifter among them parading around as their math teacher. They must link what’s happening in their school to another suspected shape-shifter, a man named Van der Haak, before his insidious plan takes shape.
Ever wonder what it would be like to be a god? Tiamaat wasn’t always the ruthless Queen of Chaos portrayed in TEARS OF DESTINY. She was once an idealistic teen who wanted nothing more than to do the right thing. Follow her journey as she tells all in another chapter of the ELEMENTS OF EAA saga, CONFESSIONS OF A YOUNG GODDESS.
Young Robyn Gonzales is stuck in a prison, but not the type you’d immediately suspect. She goes to school, tries her best, but no one speaks to her. Robyn isn’t a bad student, and she’s not trapped in a cell. She’s unable to communicate with the rest of the world because she has Autism and is trapped within her own mind. An unlikely incident changes everything for Robyn, the day she realize she can speak with another human being. She must discover the reason for this strange connection and face the changes that come with it. Her story is told in ROBYN’S SONG.
Jimmy Figg is SNATCHED from in front of his school by strange, hideous creatures. After years of struggling with disappointment from his parents and teachers because of his ADHD, he learns that it’s this very difference that allows him a chance to fight back against his captors. He must use his gifts to defeat the enemy before they come for more unwilling soldiers on Earth.
What sets your novels apart from other books of the same genre?
Elements of Eaa is an interconnected series of books that weave the overall story together of humanity’s struggle with its distant past and the whims of a very powerful race of beings known as Akaadians. When it’s finished, there will be four interconnected series that will tell a complete story of a struggle spanning eons. While readers can enjoy each series separately, they will find themselves drawn into the other books, wanting to know more about what happens.
I think these books do a great job of exploring the world through the eyes of young people who are more than just a group of spoiled teens. Many books portray teens as helpless and meandering through life, but I feel there are many with more focused goals and are aware of the world around them. Most often, they just lack the tools with which to properly interact with the world.
All of these stories tackle some real world issues, but treat them in a true-to-life manner. Themes in these books are hard-hitting struggles teens face each and every day from disability, loss, homosexuality, relationships, friends, and most importantly the consequences of their own decisions.
How are the books doing so far?
It’s really too early to say. Having found the backing of a publisher, things will definitely change as far as getting these books in the hands of readers. Having self-published the first book, I learned a lot of valuable lessons on marketing and the process of publishing. I’m excited to have a team of people helping me with my work. I think it will improve the quality of the produce and readers will enjoy the books that much more.
Any future releases reader should be aware of?
Many, in fact. You can take a look at the Fiction Page to see all of the books currently available and upcoming releases.
Are you one of those people who don’t own a TV? Do you have any favorite TV Shows? Favorite movies?
[Laughs] I do own a television, but I do not currently have cable. We cut the cord a couple of years ago and have been getting our entertainment on demand through services such as Hulu, Netflix, and iTunes. I have to admit, it has freed up much more time for writing when you’re not just idly watching whatever happens to be on the screen.
At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
My mom has told stories about when I was little I would staple paper together and make books. I guess that it has always been my dream, but I never thought I would be able to do it. I grew up with ADHD so sitting down long enough to write and keep so much stuff in my head seemed impossible. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed as an adult and treated that I ever felt confident enough in my writing abilities.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m a bit of a cross between a pantser and a plotter. I tend to plot out some of the things I want to accomplish in the novel, but many of my scenes flow from a natural progression of my characters. I generally steer them toward the plot and just let them get there on their own. I feel that this really gives my scenes a “life” of their own. Something I am diligent with is creating my characters. I first must really get a sense for who they are before I can write them into a book. This allows me to react to things within scenes from each character’s point of view and give a natural reaction to what’s happening to them. That’s what drives the forward momentum of my books.
Are the names of the characters in your novels important?
Sally Singletary was chosen by my partner while we were brainstorming ideas for the book. It has no real significance other than it was different and had a certain “ring” to it. Some of the characters are named for friends or supporters who have helped to drive this dream forward. Many of my beta readers find their first names in my characters. About a year after it was published, I received an email from a gentleman who wanted to buy the book for his daughter’s graduation from college. The reason? Her name is Sally Singletary. Ironically, she graduated from the University of Georgia in Atlanta, the setting for Sally Singletary’s series.
How do you define success as a writer? Have you been successful?
Success to me is when people can hold my book, read it, and enjoy it. I’m not looking to be the next J.K. Rowling and I’m certainly realistic in the task of publishing. My goal was to get my work into the hands of readers and begin building a fan base. Hopefully, in time, my work will be good enough that it can become a full-time endeavor. Until then, I write when I can and enjoy knowing people enjoy what I’ve written.
Do you have words of wisdom about writing that you want to pass on to novelists and writers out there who are starting out?
The industry changes daily. Don’t make assumptions, don’t take anything you hear to heart. Agents and publishing professionals will tell you all kinds of things. Just remember, they are biased toward the traditional industry. It’s how they’ve made their bread and butter for years. They’re not anxious to see it change. The ones who are most successful, however, are the ones that are embracing the changes and figuring out a way to use it to their advantage. Any advice you get as a writer should be taken with a grain of salt. You never know what will be the next big thing and no one can tell you that your writing isn’t good enough. J.K. Rowling got told that for years. She was turned down by countless agents because her book didn’t fit into a traditional genre and most thought it would never sell. Remember her if you ever get discouraged with your work. If you believe in your writing and you put the time and energy into it that is necessary (writing classes, beta readers, editing, proofing, etc..), then you can expect that someone somewhere will want to read your work.
What should readers walk away from your books knowing? How should they feel?
That, I leave up to my readers. Each person will probably walk away from my books with a different perspective and that, to me, is what writing is all about. I don’t tell my readers what to think and feel. I lead them on a journey. What they take from that journey is up to them.