You can tell a lot about a person by their favorites so I love to ask . . .
What ‘s your favorite type of ice-cream?
I’m not a huge ice cream eater (like my husband), but when I do eat it, I prefer a flavor that has vanilla as a base and something else mixed in…like cookie dough, Oreos, fruit, etc.
What’s your favorite writing beverage?
Hmm…this totally depends on the day and the weather. It could be anything from water to milk to soda to hot chocolate.
Do you have any favorite writing snacks you like to have on hand?
When I’m deep into writing I don’t usually snack, which is a good thing. If I’m busy stuffing my face, my hands aren’t free to type. Of course, as I’m typing this, I’m stuffing my face with leftover Easter candy…
How did you discover your love for writing?
I’ve always wanted to write. I spent hours a day reading as a child and had quite an imagination. I knew that someday I wanted to create stories like the ones I loved.
When did you begin writing and was your intention to become an author at that time?
For years I knew I wanted to write, but I didn’t dare take the plunge until 2012. Once I finally started writing, I couldn’t believe I’d waited so long to try. At the time I wrote my first book, I didn’t know where it would go. No one knew that I was writing it—not even my husband—until I finished it. I decided to confide in my sister because I wanted her opinion since she likes to write, too. When she didn’t hate it, I decided to start sharing with others.
What was your inspiration for Shadow of a Life and Haven Waiting?
I’ve always loved a good mystery and I enjoy learning about historical events and cultures. Shadow of a Life and Haven Waiting are both based on real events from history. When possible, I use the real people involved and try to portray them as accurately as possible. Sophia Briggs from Shadow of a Life intrigued me and I knew I had to write her a story. The third book in the series (still in the editing phase) has even more real people in it and I had a BLAST researching it.
Do you have any rituals?
Does cleaning count as a ritual? If my house is a mess or there are things hanging over my head like paying bills or making dinner, I can’t concentrate on my writing. I’m a morning person so I try to get up and get my house organized so I can start writing before my daughter comes home from pre-school. Sometimes I’m successful and sometimes I’m not.
How many hours a day to you devote to writing? Do you write every day?
The hours I write vary from one to ten, although those long days are rare. A lot of my writing depends on what else my family is doing. Right now, for instance, my husband is at work and my kids are happily playing together (okay, I honestly have no idea what they’re doing, but they disappeared upstairs and I don’t hear any screaming, so…) so I decided to sit down and write.
How did you come up with the title for your books?
Good question. I’m not sure how they actually came to me. My books are ghost stories and I feel like ghosts are living…yet not living—kind of like a Shadow. That’s where Shadow of a Life came from. With Haven Waiting, Haven is my ghost. She has been Waiting for a looong time to have someone help her finish her earthly business.
What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you and your writing?
I love a good mystery and something that makes me a little uneasy because of the suspense. If I have to think too hard about deep meanings in a book, I’m going to set it aside. When I read, I want to be entertained. As a teen I read the Nancy Drew series and anything by Caroline B. Cooney, Lois Duncan, and Mary Higgins Clark (sadly, no relation). I guess it’s no surprise that I gravitate to writing suspense novels for young adults.
What are you reading now?
Right now I am reading The Gift of Lies by Norma Rudolph, another author from Creative Prose Publishing.
If you could adapt this book, or any of your writings, which one would it be and who would play your main characters.
I’ve been asked this question before, and oddly enough, it changes every time. If this were to happen today, I would want Kathryn Prescott to play the role of Jamie Peters in the series. Dove Cameron would make a great Sophia Briggs in Shadow of a Life and maybe Ansel Elgort for Peter Ashby in the series.
Tell me more about your series. What was the hardest part to write? Is there a message you want your readers to grasp?
The hardest part for me was knowing how much liberty to take with the real events. For example, Shadow of a Life is based on a real-life unsolved mystery. I had to change the characters and circumstances since no one knows what really happened.
Do you have any advice for other writer?
If you’re thinking about trying it, just go for it. If you decide you don’t like writing, that’s fine, but you won’t be left wondering. And if you’re like me, once you finally give in and start writing, the characters carrying on conversations in your head will finally be silenced.
Where can we follow you?
Last question: Flip flops or tennis shoes?
If I absolutely have to put something on my feet, it’s flip flops all the way.
Thank you, Tifani, for stopping by! We have the same rituals for writing. I can't concentrate either if my life is not in order. :) And great advice! Just do it!
Give my girl a follow and do yourself a favor by picking up her ghost books. They are amazing!
Happy Tuesday, y'all.