I’m 17 and the middle child. I have an older sister, Rachel, and a younger sister, Julia. My eldest sister and I are elite athletes in different sports. I’m also home schooled. I lived in Florida for three years and I recently moved to Baltimore. I also spend a lot of time in Colorado Springs at the Olympic Training Center. I guess I’m a nomad!
Tell us about your latest book.
Here’s an interesting fact that I haven’t told anyone: I wrote the first three chapters and prologue of my book on my phone when I was eleven while driving to swim practice. I remember just typing away in the notes app. I rewrote the first few chapters about a year ago, but I’ve kept the prologue the same. Note to parents: it’s not bad to give your kids a phone at a young age!
In Quanx, there is no hiding who you are....
In a land of tribes where people are defined by the color of their eyes, disaster is ready to strike. With peace barely hanging by a thread, the King of Vitchreonyo makes a risky decision. What he doesn't know is that his plan may not end how he thinks....
Then Kale, a fisherman's daughter, is trapped in a tunnel where she makes a shocking discovery. And that discovery may very well lead to the destruction of her entire world. Kale takes up a challenge of following a path forbidden to her in a race to save Quanx from a tribe of conniving dragons. With the help of three uncooperative companions, Kale must steal a dragon egg or die trying. The Stolen Dragon of Quanx is the first novel in The Eyes Trilogy, a compelling new series that will pull you into a fascinating world...and leave you breathlessly waiting for the sequel!
I just published the first installment of The Eyes Trilogy: The Stolen Dragon of Quanx. Right now I’m working on the second one!
From where do you draw your inspiration?
I read all the time. I have read thousands of books. I thought it would be really interesting to look at a book from a creator’s perspective instead of a reader’s!
Do you ever base your characters on real people in your life?
My life experiences are reflected in all that I do. So yes, there are some experiences that are based on people I know. Interestingly, everyone I know is certain they are in the book and tell me which character they think they are!
What authors inspire your writing?
Jennifer Nielson and J.K. Rowling
What kind of books do you like to read?
I have read so many books as I have grown up – some over and over again. I have loved and hated books and both types have influenced me greatly. I think the fantasy fiction books influence me most because they are an escape into an adventurous world.
How have your real life experiences influenced your writing?
My life experiences are reflected in all that I do. So yes, there are definitely scenes and characters in the book that are based off of my life.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Swim. I’m a member of the USA National Team.
What was your road to publishing like? Tell us about it.
The publishing was unbelievably difficult. I never expected it to be so hard or to be so involved. I was really naïve. The editing was torture. I read my book so many times I think I memorized it! I caught even more issues after it was printed. Currently, my second edition is being printed to fix the edits I missed. Wow!
How did you come up with the title of your book?
I was originally stuck between two titles: The Stolen Dragon and Quanx. I couldn’t make a decision, so I just mashed them together!
Is your book a stand alone or a series?
My book is the first installment of The Eyes Trilogy. I’m super excited to finish the next one!
Do you read the genre you write for or do you prefer other genres?
Yes. I love reading fantasy, fiction, action/adventure, and mystery. You can find all these genres in my story.
What celebrity would you chose to play the main character(s) in the movie rendition of your book?
What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
The publishing and the editing were much harder than any of the writing was!
What is the easiest part of the writing process for you?
I really enjoy creating new characters and writing the climax. Since I enjoy it so much, it’s very easy to write.
Which of your characters is your favorite and why?
I think that Paka is my favorite character. I really love writing about her because, just like all the other characters in the book, I honestly have no idea what her backstory is. I’ve been trying to figure it out, but nothing seems right to me. So Paka is a mystery to me. Despite everything that she’s been through, she still has a great sense of humor and a good sense of right and wrong, which is a rare quality in my story.
Who or what are your inspirations/influences?
I love to write, but I write only for myself. I enjoy it so much. My friends who would read chapters and excerpts really wanted to know the ending. It was so fun. Then the publishing came, which was a lot less enjoyable than the first stage. Now it’s marketing which is definitely interesting, but I would still rather write. I never thought about the fact that people wouldn’t just buy my book and read it! I pictured them falling in love with my story like my friends did. I pictured starting a forum where readers would come to discuss the plot and characters. I think that was part of what really inspired me.
How would you describe your writing style?
My novel is written creatively from the mindset of various characters. This is my favorite way to write.
Do you have a careful plan when plotting your stories or do you just go with the flow?
I usually have an outline of where I want the story to go before I start writing, but it’s not very detailed and I don’t follow it all the time. I’ll have a few scenes that I know need to happen, so I make sure that I get those in there, but I don’t stress out about any of it. I find that once I start writing, the characters take hold of the story. I feel like I’m just watching it happen, not actually writing it.
When did you know you truly wanted to give writing a shot?
I started writing young, so I’m not exactly sure. I think I was just born with it!