What is your genre? Why did you choose it?
Hardcore Thriller. Honestly, I didn’t choose it. I didn’t even know what it was. A press that rejected my work told me that my book wasn’t the “mystery” she thought it was. She said it was too “hardcore thriller” and she didn’t like it. I did. So kept the name as a genre of mine. I don’t know if it’s a real genre but, if it’s not, hopefully it becomes one. It’s like “a whole lot of mind game with too much “crazy.”” l write that way. I can’t help it. I just love it. So, in a way, “hardcore thriller” sort of chose me.
Do you work on more than one manuscript at a time?
I get little sprinkles of ideas here and there on another manuscript when I’m working on one, but no I don’t. I’m a terrible multi-tasker. I have to finish one thing before I start another.
Do you work with a writing/critique group?
Yes, and they’re brutal. They would be my family. They are my critique group because they will tell me the truth. They sugarcoat NOTHING. And I mean NOTHING.
My mother actually said to me one time, after reading a draft, “Why are you giving me so much description? I’m not stupid. I know what’s happening! Just tell me the story!”
Can you remember your first reading book?
Hmmm. I’ve read so much between then and now, but I’d say it was likely something from Dr. Seuss. “Green Eggs and Ham” was definitely a childhood favorite.
Do you nibble on snacks while writing? If so, what is your chosen treat?
Yes, Yes, Yes! Absolutely! Though my snacks have grown progressively healthy.
My chosen treat is chocolate candy. Anything chocolate, really. Also, green tea and my homemade smoothies. I’m looking into getting one of those Graze boxes. There’s chocolate in there but it’s a healthier little smorgasbord. If I’m going to be sitting for hours and writing, I think I might need to do that.
Tidy desk or a bombsite? Describe your writing area with us.
Tidy desk. My computer, my notebook beside it, and snacks. I can’t think if there’s too much else on my desk.
Are you published in the traditional manner or self published? Share your journey.
I’m self-published. I aimed for traditional initially. There was a lot of rejection, mostly due to the fact that no one knew how they would market me or where a publishing company could potential put me. My mom was one who suggested self-publishing. We both looked into it further and the rest is history. I’m glad I chose it.
Who would you say has been the three most influential authors in your reading/writing life?
Mary Shelley, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Tolkien. Each one has their own style of writing and, in their own way, each one teaches a lesson through a phenomenal story. That’s what I aim for.
What advice would you like to share with other writers/authors with regard to preparing a manuscript?
In the beginning stages, when you’re drafting, don’t wait to be inspired. Just go. Start writing. The inspiration will come as you edit and prepare the final edition.
If the movie rights to your novels are purchased, who would you like to play your main characters?
I haven’t thought about this for all of my characters, only for a few in particular. For Jennifer, definitely Julianne Moore. She would do a great job. Also, Aja Naomi King, I think, would be a good Leeann Johnson. I love her in How To Get Away With Murder. And DiCaprio for Derek Warren. That character is definitely a Wolf of Wall Street but much crazier.
I was on my way to the supermarket, when … Do you have a tale to tell relating to an everyday, boring event?
Well, my family is one of the most important things to me, particularly spending time with my brothers because we are over 10 years apart. One day, one of my brothers and I were walking. There was some snow still on the ground from the passing storm. He was walking ahead of me. Then I just picked up some snow, formed a ball, and launched it at him. All of a sudden, a five minute walk turned into an hour long snowball fight. We had a blast.
Max E. Stone