1. Can you tell us about your writing style?
My writing style developed out of honest critiquing. I didn’t really think I had what it took to write a full-length fiction novel considering the only writing I had done prior was blogging about my personal life. Both are two very different things. But I can honestly say that Red Lory by Dave Newell and Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl both had a lasting impact on how I viewed storytelling and the potential within that story to tell it differently than someone else. I would consider my style artistic and non-conventional. I don’t tell stories in a linear manner. I try to write how the character would speak or process things mentally. I don’t write to just tell you a story, but I want you to visually feel it in the words and emotionally absorb it with how it flows.
The idea for the book came from a childhood friend whose own story inspired the creation of Selah. I watched him grow up away from his parents because of their choice to be missionaries. From there everything else sort of progressed naturally. I don’t think my intentions in the beginning were to write such a heavy story, but my heart apparently had other plans.
(I know this maybe a hard one like picking a favorite kid). Gio. Without a doubt in my mind. He gave me this whole little side story to fall in love with and allowed me to really push and stretch Javier’s limits as a teenage boy. The fact that he doesn’t speak either was such a wonderful experience to write. I mean here we have this nine-year-old boy that doesn’t use words. I had to make you fall in love with a character that never spoke. This was a challenge I thoroughly enjoyed. And I do have a favorite kid. It just changes daily 😉
Yes. I’m a lot of Selah. I don’t think that was my intention, but since I was in her head the most it sort of made it easier to a degree. Although I loved high school I drew on the handful of bad experiences that I did have in order to figure out how she would really feel. Her quirkiness and fun-loving spirit is pretty much all me though. A lot of other aspects though are nothing like me. I tried to find a balance so I wasn’t actually writing myself as a whole into the book.
Not necessarily teen movies of the past, but Indie films for sure. The cover was inspired by that feel you get when you look at a Sundance Film Festival movie poster (their names being featured on the cover was specifically for that reason). Brick was a large part of my inspiration. It helped me flesh out the thematic/repetitious elements that are portrayed throughout the book i.e. telephones wires, shoelaces, the brick wall and the coffee and sticky buns. It also helped me to develop the idea of the childlike settings in a world that is totally lacking the joy and simplicity of childhood. The swing sets, the merry-go-round, a teenagers bedroom, etc.
Oh man. This is hard since I don’t think A-list actors would be able to pull it off. I’d want an indie cast so I’d probably want to go with young, up and coming actors who hadn’t been featured in anything big yet. But if you’re curious as to what “looks” I’d be going for then I’d choose Kate Mara for Selah. Jay Hernandez for Javier. Jesse Eisenberg for Izzy. A nine-year-old Adrian Grenier for Gio (he’s got the perfect eyes for someone who never speaks). I don’t really have an opinion on Nathan. I assume something in the realm of a Paul Walker-ish type would fit the bill.
Yes, I’ve been working on it slowly, but surely. It will start ten years after the end of book two so Selah and Javier will be nearing 30. The book will be told predominately from her pov in the beginning and every so often flash back to what happened to her during those ten years that have passed by. Around 70% into the book we will switch pov’s and be back in Javier’s mind. From his point on it will go into the future about another 20 years. All I can say is a lot happens and it’s realistic. I’m not saying it doesn’t have a happily ever after, because in my opinion it has an epic happily ever after, but it sure as hell isn’t predictable.
Just the two in the Cardboard Hearts Series. After this I have two other books that I’m trying to choose between (both stand alones). One is going back to the YA world and the other is more of an adult contemporary piece, but preferably more literary than romance.
Haha thanks! Let’s see even though I can’t do a lot of it right now with the little ones running about or drooling in Roma’s case, I love to travel. My husband and I would love to move out of the US and live abroad for a few years. But while we are still stateside I’d say I enjoy eating for fun. I like trying out new restaurants and testing out new foods at home. I’d cook everything from scratch if I had an endless budget and the dishes would magically do themselves!