Tell us about yourself and your books.:
After working for years as a personal trainer, it occurred to me that something was missing from my life, so one day I picked up a pad of paper and started writing the first draft of my first novel. Three months later, I wrote "the end" on the last page of my manuscript and put it away happier and more complete than I could remember feeling in a very long time. I didn't start submitting my work until the beginning of last year. Since then, I've signed multiple book deals through different publishers. My best-selling post apocalyptic novel, After the Change, (published by MKM Bridge Press) has been introduced into the curriculum at the University of Washington. I've also authored Bronte's Ride (also published by MKM Bridge Press), and the young adult series, Ninja Girl (which is being published this year by Rainier Publishing House. Book One has been adapted into a play and will be performed in Seattle this summer by Earthseed Seattle.)
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Writing is such a personal and intimate thing, that it's hard to say where my process differed from others'. I do most of my first draft work in longhand, which I imagine is becoming less frequent these days. I don't work from an outline. I know some authors do, but it has a negative effect on my creativity. I find the story's able to play out more organically and less predictable if I don't plot it too heavily.
What authors have influenced you?
As soon as I learned to read, I tore through the Goosebumps series. Then, in the third grade, I found a box of dusty Stephen King and V.C. Andrew novels in a closet in my Mom's bedroom. I read The Shining in three days when I was eight. I think I chose that one first because I liked the reflective cover. I used to read every Christopher Pike book I could get my hands on. The entire young adult and horror genres have been major influences on me from early on, and they're what I still prefer to read. Mixing them in my own writing comes so natural that I tend to do it without meaning to sometimes.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Publish wherever you can. Focus more on getting your work out, than making money. Building a resume is so important in the beginning.
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