I’m reading one of your books in my book club. Do you have any resources?
Why yes, I most certainly do. You can find discussion questions on my Book Club page. Thank you for choosing one of my books!
I’m a blogger/reviewer looking for promotional materials. Where can I find them?
Promotional Material, such as my bio, headshot, and book information, can be found here. Feel free to grab whatever you’d like.
Why do you write under two names?
Because I write two different genres of fiction–young adult of the fantastical variety for the general market and contemporary fiction for the Christian market. While I hope that readers of my contemporary fiction will also enjoy my young adult, and vice versa, I want to be clear that readers should expect different things from both.
What can I expect out of your contemporary fiction?
When you pick up one of my contemporary titles, you can expect stories about flawed characters wrestling with matters of life, love, and faith. RT magazine calls my contemporary work exquisite and emotionally charged. So if that’s your flavor of fiction, I hope you give it a try!
What is the Christian market and why do you write novels for it?
Publishing houses in the United States can be lumped into one of two categories: the ABA (American Book Association) and the CBA (Christian Book Association). Most of the big ABA publishers have CBA imprints. For example, many of my novels are published by Waterbrook Press, a Christian imprint of Penguin Random House.
CBA fiction is the genre I started reading voraciously in college. I was obsessed with Karen Kingsbury and Francine Rivers. And my faith is such an integral part of who I am. So when I opened up a Word document one day to write a novel of my own, faith naturally wove itself throughout the story.
What made you decide to write young adult fiction?
I love reading young adult fiction. And I had this idea take over my brain and it refused to leave. Even though industry advice says not to deviate from your author brand, I couldn’t help myself. I had to write this story. So I sat down and started writing. I didn’t intend to share it. I was writing for me, for the fun of it. And man, was it ever fun! It brought my creativity back to life. After I finished, I was itching to share it. So I did. With a few close friends and family members. They enjoyed the stories so much, and I enjoyed sharing them so much, that I decided I should make them available to the public.
Is your young adult fiction also Christian?
No, it’s not. My main characters don’t go on any sort of faith journey. You won’t find any mention of Jesus or the Bible. I do aim to keep them clean (no big swears and no sex) and hopeful and, of course, fun!
Will you be writing more young adult novels besides The Gifting Series?
You bet! In fact, this is the genre I’m currently pursuing. After an extended writing break, I released The Contest in September of 2021 and I have another series slotted to hit the market in the summer of 2022!
What was your favorite book growing up?
Hands down, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. It was the first book that swept me up and transported me into a different world. I absolutely could not put it down. I have so much nostalgia for this book that when I taught 5th grade, I read it to my students each year. The story has so much word play and symbolism that went over my head as a kid, but I can appreciate now as an adult. Plus, the message is beautiful. Don’t let the old-fashioned cover scare you off. It’s such a fun book.
When did you start writing?
In third grade I wrote this epic, life-changing story about Mr. and Mrs. Leaf. In fact, it was so epic and life-changing, my 3rd grade teacher read it out loud to the class and everybody clapped and cheered. Okay, so maybe not. But it was at least good enough to read out loud. And so a love-affair was born. I found something I could do well. From there on out, I wrote all kinds of stories and bless my parents for being so patient, they listened as I read every single one of them out loud (sometimes with an accent).
Do you have any advice for writers?
Yes, I do! In fact, if you are an aspiring writer, please visit my Writer’s Corner.