1. What genres do you write? Any special influences in your stories?
I write mostly YA and New Adult contemporary fiction. I hold greatest affinity with this genre because it is real to me, and gives me the most motivation. All my stories and characters are fictional, and project little of me. I’ve never liked writing about myself and have always been great at creating characters. It’s more fun to see where my new creations go.
2. Are you a full-time writer?
No. As much as I love to write, I would never want to quit my day job and write full time. Writing for me is more like a hobby, but I do want to be published someday.
3. How do you deal with criticism/rejection?
Criticism is important to me – it shows how other people view my work and more importantly I learn from it. I’m constantly thinking about how my writing appears in front of my readers, so I need feedback. Of course, there are times when I receive criticism based solely on one’s personal view. This means someone hates my work because he or she just does not like the genre. While this can bring me down, I try to take it with a grain of salt. As for rejection, I know that it is going to be expected. Even the bestsellers out there have been rejected, so I just say to myself ‘Try, try again!’ Also it is important to remember that no matter how good your writing is, not everyone will like it.
4. Do you do anything to improve your writing?
Absolutely! I’m a member of several writing groups. Whenever I encounter a new word or phrase, I write it down and later look up the meaning. Like everything else in life, there’s always room for improvement. Of course, I read books related to my genre. I think the best thing writers can do to improve themselves is to read, read, read!
5. What books do you read? Any particular favorites?
Right now, I read mostly books related to my genre for research and help. I’ve always been partial to suspense, literature and western novels. Most of my favourite books are the ones I read back in elementary school. These include “Luke Baldwin’s Vow” by Morley Callaghan; “My Side of the Mountain” by Jean Craighead George; “Fallon” by Louis L’Amour.