I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin. I’ve been an avid reader with a vivid imagination since I was very young. I’m a strong believer in ghosts and the paranormal, which led to my interest in writing paranormal romance. When I’m not busy writing I enjoy reading and adding to my extensive book collection, taking photographs, cooking, and fighting with my cross-eyed cat Tiger. I still currently live in Wisconsin, not far from where my debut novel, The Haunting Love, is set.
Tell us about your latest book.
The Haunting Love is set in Green Bay, Wisconsin and follows the idea ‘what if you never got to tell that one person how you felt and what if you got the chance to go back and tell that person exactly how you felt?’
Seventeen-year-old Izabella "Iza" De Luca didn't believe her crush, Johnny, could ever like her because she’s curvier than the other girls at school. Meanwhile eighteen-year-old Johnny Becker doesn't believe he has a chance with Iza; the smart, beautiful girl he has fallen for.
It isn't until a fatal car crash traps Iza between the living and the dead that she can muster the courage to tell Johnny how she feels. But not everyone will approve of their unusual relationship; especially a demon named Devlin, who will stop at nothing to have Iza as his own.
The Haunting Love is a story about ghosts, first love, and learning to go after the things you want. You never know what will happen if you just try.
What do you have coming out in the future?
My next novel Finding Elizabeth follows Nate and Elizabeth, two strangers that meet by chance and fall in love during the French Revolution only to be tragically ripped apart. Nate reincarnates more than 200 years later with the sole purpose of finding his lost love. But he will soon learn that finding Elizabeth is the easy part; keeping her is a whole other story.
I’m hoping to self-publish Finding Elizabeth sometime this fall.
What genre do you enjoy writing the most and why?
My preferred genre to write in is paranormal romance for young adults. I write for young adults because at not-quite 23 I’m not sure I’m ready to transition into regular adult romance. I’ve always been interested in the paranormal so I love to write about ghosts, witches, werewolves and more. And I write romance because I believe that if you don’t aspire to find love during your lifetime then what’s the point of life?
Do you ever base your characters on real people in your life?
Definitely, a lot of my characters are loosely based on people I know.
What authors inspire your writing?
I’m inspired by Wendy Higgins, Rachel Caine, Amy Plum, Meg Cabot, and of course my favorite author of all time, Jane Austen.
It isn't until a fatal car crash traps Iza between the living and the dead that she can muster the courage to tell Johnny how she feels. But telling her true love how she feels does not relieve her from her burden. Soon she and her love, Johnny, find themselves in an all-out battle to keep their love alive. Nobody is safe when a demon named Devlin starts messing with everything and everyone they know.
Johnny and Iza will need the help of all of their friends to overpower Devlin. Can their love withstand all of the odds stacked against them or are they doomed from the start?
The initial idea of The Haunting Love, which I started writing in high school, was influenced greatly by a crush I had on a boy at school. I never told him how I felt because I was afraid he would reject me because I’ve never been a size zero. To this day I still wonder what would have happened if I had the gumption to say something to him. In addition I wanted my potential readers to see that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. I wanted them, especially the girls, to realize that whatever you look like, whether you’re chubby or skinny, dark haired or blonde, popular or the school outcast, that everyone deserves to be loved. And that if you look hard enough, there’s someone out there waiting just for you.
What was your road to publishing like? Tell us about it.
I found my publisher, Whiskey Creek Press, through a writer friend of mine. Her first novel was being published through them and I decided to submit The Haunting Love to them in October 2013. They were the third publisher I ever sent my manuscript to and they offered me a publishing contract in January 2014. It was a long road filled with delays (especially after they were bought out by Start Publishing in July 2014) but I learned a lot. The Haunting Love was finally released in ebook, and several weeks later in paperback, in February of this year. I’m so grateful for the experience and being given my start. Next I’d like to try self-publishing through Kindle Direct Publishing for ebooks and Createspace for print books.
Do you read the genre you write for or do you prefer other genres?
I love romance in any form; whether it is paranormal romance or traditional, young adult, new adult, or just plain romance. I fell in love with Jay Crownover’s Marked Men series last year so lately I’ve been on a kick where the main male characters in my book selections have a lot of tattoos and/or piercings. Any book I read has to have some sort of love story to it or I can’t get into it.
What celebrity would you chose to play the main character(s) in the movie rendition of your book?
Not necessarily because of looks, but for Iza I would choose Mae Whitman (from Parenthood, The Duff, and Acceptance). I think she is absolutely hilarious and a great role model for young girls. And for Johnny I would choose Alex Pettyfer (from Beastly and Endless Love) since Johnny has blondish hair and is good-looking and because I think Alex Pettyfer is really attractive.
Which of your characters is your favorite and why?
That’s a tough one. I love all of my characters; the guys are amazing and the girls are in some ways reflective of my personality. But if I had to choose one I’d pick Anton from my upcoming novel, Finding Elizabeth. He’s the villain, and loosely based off a guy I once knew, but by the time I got toward the end of Finding Elizabeth I was almost rooting for him. Not that I don’t think Nate and Elizabeth aren’t perfect for each other, because I do, but I still like Anton.
When did you know you truly wanted to give writing a shot?
In some ways I think I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I’ve always had a knack for making up stories, even to get myself out of trouble. I loved writing short stories as a kid and over time it just developed into me wanting to do it professionally. I’m not saying I didn’t explore other options like being a professional photographer, a fashion designer, or a chef along the way; but hey I can still do those things too. I was just waiting for the right story, and that came to me when I began writing The Haunting Love as a high school junior.