What got you into writing?
My vivid imagination, and boredom in school. I wanted to write fantasy where a woman was the central figure. She would be faced with fantastic beings and situations that would test her and show what she could do. Working in Mental Health I found writing was a great way to escape from the stress of my job. The psychotic man that Miranda encounters in the book is not far from some of the patients I worked with at Camarillo State Hospital. Many of the vampire characters were inspired by people I knew while working as an Addiction Therapist near Beverly Hills.
What is your writing routine?
Coffee. Get the cats and dogs relatively settled down then balance my computer on my lap next to our pug. I write daily, and when away from my computer, I write in a small notebook. If I don’t write I feel like I’m letting my characters down, leaving them hanging.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
Coffee. Watch ESPN, hear about how my fav team sucks (could be da Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, or my newly adopted teams, the Seahawks, and the Seattle Storm/WNBA). Turn off ESPN. Then I start reading over the last pages I wrote and the plot begins to evolve. When I can put myself into the minds of the characters, the story seems to write itself. Some of my plot twists have come to me while grocery shopping, or doing volunteer work.
Did you study writing in college, or take writing classes?
I studied human behavior, in and out of the classroom. Later, I would have to write about my patients and clients. I learned to write in psychiatric hospitals, which might explain a lot. I struggled with Miranda’s tale till I met an amazing man, and heard his story. He was handsome, talented, wealthy, and had difficulty dealing with boring, normal life. It was easy to imagine him as a vampire in Miranda’s world.
How many books are in the Miranda Chronicles?
There will be three. They involve Miranda discovering who she truly is and what she really wants.
Who is Miranda? Can you tell me more about her?
She struggles to make sense of a crazy world where people are often not what they appear to be. She holds and sips her precious cups of coffee, as a way to anchor herself. Miranda will stand up for herself and others. She hates bullies. She is of Mexican heritage because of my best friend. She is a really good bullshit detector, with little regard for class distinctions. Miranda loves to surprise people who underestimate her.
What scenes were your favorite and least favorite to write?
It was difficult to write about vampires that I like, taking a life. I loved writing the scene where Miranda’s mother describes Tristan’s home décor as “Gothic Porn”. Also, the scene where Miranda tells off the two most powerful vampires in the world was fun to write. I mean, who doesn’t want to do that?