HAVE YOU WRITTEN IN ANY OTHER GENRES BESIDES YA DYSTOPIAN? WHAT DREW YOU TO THIS GENRE?
Before I started the daynight series, I wrote a teen romantic comedy trilogy for my daughters and their friends.
As for the genre, I have always loved dystopian novels—from the classics like 1984, Brave New World, and A Handmaid’s Tale to more modern works such as The Hunger Games and Divergent. The reason I decided to write a dystopian tale, however, was because I had an idea that stuck with me for months until I started writing. When the ideas start to interfere with my sleep—I start typing.
I got the idea for daynight as I was hiking in one of the canyons of San Diego on a particularly hot day and pondered how hot it would have to get for days and nights to have to be switched. Thera, the main setting for daynight was born, and from there I contemplated what kind of ruler would govern the night and The Second Chance Institute was concocted.
DID YOU CHOOSE TO SELF-PUBLISH OR GO THE TRADITIONAL ROUTE? WHY?
I chose to self-publish. After spending two years writing and editing daynight, I just wanted to get it out there. And I wanted the flexibility to write and work on my own timeline. I have five kids and so self-publishing works well for me.
HOW DO YOU OVERCOME WRITER'S BLOCK?
All the time. I edit. Editing keeps my head in the story, allows me continue to make progress, and see things more clearly. When I just can’t get into either, I’ll read while I am pondering my current scene. The inspiration eventually comes.
DO YOU EVER FEEL FORCED TO WRITE?
When I started writing, it was a form of relaxation and a release. Now, it feels more like work. I have professional editors and proofreaders who keep me on a tight schedule. But, I still take off time when needed to tend to my family. Keeping some modicum of flexibility keeps me sane and keeps writing fun.
DO YOU PREFER EBOOKS, PAPERBACKS OR HARDCOVER?
Ebooks. I read on my phone and can’t bring myself to read paper books anymore.
WHAT BOOKS HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR WRITING?
Some of my favorites or books of all time that have had a big impact on me… Pride & Prejudice, Hunger Games, The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings, Crime & Punishment, Anna Karenina, 1984, Brave New World, The Diary of a Young Girl, The Scarlet Letter, Of Mice & Men, and Lord of the Flies.
WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND WHERE DO YOU CALL HOME? WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE?
I was born in Seattle, Washington. We moved to Delaware on the East Coast when I was six months and returned to Seattle when I was eleven years old. My family and I live in San Diego and love it. It’s paradise (excepting the recent wildfires!), and I can’t imagine living anywhere else right now, although we love to travel and visit places all over the world for short periods of time.
LAPTOP OR DESKTOP FOR WRITING?
Laptop. I carry my 11-inch MacBook Air with my everywhere. I write in the car while waiting to pick up kids from school, at sporting events, at doctor appointments, or at home in my writing cave.
DO YOU EVER WRITE IN YOUR PJ’S?
Not pajamas…but definitely sweats and a sweatshirt.
WHAT ARE YOUR PET PEEVES?
I have too many to list in full but bad driving, whining, repetition, and bullying would be right up there.
ANY PETS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO TELL US ABOUT, SHARE A PIC?
Our latest kitten (Bilbo Baggins)--11 weeks:
Our now ten-month old kitten, Cashmere, when she was a kitten:
COFFEE OR TEA?
Neither. Diet Coke, typically with coconut creamer in it (makes a Dirty Diet Coke).
SLEEP IN OR GET UP EARLY?
I’m a night owl but am forced to get up early and take my young’uns to school. Sigh.
YOUR FAVORITE GADGET?
IF YOU COULD BE ANY FAMOUS PERSON FOR A DAY, HOW MANY PAPARAZZI WOULD
It would be more fun to make one of the Paparazzi a famous person for a day and give them a taste of their own medicine.
DO YOU HAVE AN INTOXICANT OF PREFERENCE FOR THOSE TIMES WHEN YOU ARE WRITING?
Hot Tamales. Those things are evil and should be banned from being produced. I swear they have an addictive substance in them. Unfortunately, I appear to be keeping the manufacturer in business.
WHY DIDN'T HURLEY LOSE ANY WEIGHT WHILE ON THE ISLAND?
Did you have to remind me that Lost is no longer on the air? (falls into deep depression and starts debate with husband about the lack of decent shows on network TV these days) I’m all about complex plots and deep character development, and Lost is a personal favorite for that. As for why Hurley didn’t lose weight on the island--well, obviously, because the show was filmed in Hawaii, and the food there is amazing. Who’d want to diet just to make it appear they were starving for a TV show?
HOW IMPORTANT ARE NAMES TO YOU IN THIS BOOK? DID YOU CHOOSE THEM BASED ON SOUND OR MEANING?
Meaning. Every name in my books has symbolism related to the plot.
JUST HOW FAR IN THE FUTURE IS YOUR TOMORROW?
The world of daynight is set in modern-day society, not in the future.
DID YOU DO ANY SPECIFIC OR UNUSUAL RESEARCH FOR THIS BOOK?
I had to do quite a bit of research on weather patterns and what would happen if temperatures were up to fifty degrees hotter.
QUOTE A CHARACTER, ANY CHARACTER.
“I love you, Kira.”
I pause. It’s funny how once one person says those three little words that it’s that the other will reciprocate, and that both of you will continue to repeat those words. At some point, you stop questioning whether you meant it in the first place, and the words continue to leave your mouth.
GIVE US THE WEATHER FORECAST FOR YOUR TOMORROW.
WHO SHOULD NOT READ YOUR BOOK?
GIVE YOUR BOOK THE BECHDEL TEST
1) It has to have at least two (named) women in it
2) Who talk to each other
3) About something besides a man
There are many named women (Kira, Bailey, Bri, Vienna), and they definitely talk about things other than men.
WHAT SORT OF BODY COUNT ARE WE TALKING HERE?
ON A SCALE OF 1-5 WHAT WOULD YOUR BOOK GET FOR THESE ACTUAL MPAA RATING DESCRIPTIONS
DRUG USE 
SEXUAL CONTENT [3--thematic, not at all explicit]
NON-STOP NINJA ACTION 
MILD PERIL 
SALTY LANGUAGE AND INNUENDOS 
BRUTAL AND BLOODY VIKING COMBAT 
ABUNDANCE OF OUTRAGEOUS GORE 
SEXY DANCING 
IF YOUR MC WAS IN A PRESENT-DAY HIGH SCHOOL HE/SHE WOULD BE A:
MEAN GIRL (Bailey)
HIPSTER/COOL KID + GEEK (Kira)
IF YOUR BOOK WERE RATED LIKE A ROMANCE NOVEL, THE HEAT LEVEL WOULD BE
5) WILD RIDE
5) WILD RIDE
6) BLOOD THIRSTY