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Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Honestly, no. I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. When I was in elementary school, I wanted to write and illustrate my own books. As a teen, I started writing my first novel. The urge to tell a story has just always been there.
What is How to Cook Up a Disaster about?
The dinner party from hell? Okay, more seriously: It’s Sadie’s great-grandfather’s 100th birthday party and, being a dutiful daughter, Sadie goes over to her mom’s house to help with the preparations. Of course, things don’t go according to plan. Mom, who’s just shy of nine-months pregnant, goes into early labor and leaves Sadie to take over hosting the dinner (including cooking the turkey). From there, things pretty much spiral out of control. The only thing right about the whole day is the hottie fireman who arrives as a first responder to her 9-1-1 call. If Sadie doesn’t botch up her chances with him, too.
What inspired you to write this novelette?
The parameters for a short story contest. I don’t remember the exact parameters, but as I recall the opening sentence had to go something like, “If [blank] had known then what [blank] knew now, [blank] never would have . . .” I finished the sentence with a list of crazy events and from there, the story was born.
Do you base characters on people you know?
Yes and no. Personality traits and character quirks from people I know will always sneak their way into my characters, but I don’t intentionally set out to create characters based on a specific people I know.
Who is your favorite author, and what intrigues you about their work?
Jane Austen. Her characters are just so real. You feel like you know them or have met them or could meet them one day. Plus, I just adore her sense of humor and wit. I wish I could meet her. I feel like we’d have the most amazing conversations about life and love and everything in between. And we’d laugh until our sides ached.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Don’t give up. Kill your internal editor (or at least lock him/her in a small closet and throw away the key!). And find a critique group (either online or in person). Getting and receiving critiques is the quickest way to improve the quality of your writing and prepare you for the realities of publishing.
What’s next for you?
The next in the DIY Dating series: How to Knit a Tangled Mess. Unless I finish one of my middle-grade novels first. Or there’s that historical time-rift YA romance that’s been bugging me to write it. And, of course, I really need to write the sequel to my literary short story Listen to the Rain. Or…
Where can we find you?