What is your writing schedule - do you write every day?
Sure: I found her like most other writers do – via blind query. I did a lot of research as to who might be a good fit, then fired off rounds of emails. She was immediately responsive, and I accepted her offer, despite having a few others, within, I think, about a week of sending that initial note.
How closely do you follow book reviews & critiques for your books?
I’d say I follow them closely upon the initial release, and with every passing month, follow them less and less. There’s something daunting about ushering a new book out into the world, kind of akin to a newborn, but eventually, you realize that it’s all going to be okay, and you let go. And then you write another one, and your energies and concerns transfer over to the new project anyway.
I understand you have two children, about the same age as my son. How aware are your kids of what you do? How do juggle responsibilities of being a mother, wife, and writer?
My kids pretty fully understand what it is I do: they’ve seen my books, they’ve come to a signing, and I’ve gone into my son’s school and done a little chat (as much as one can do so with 4 and 5 year olds) about what it means to be an author. They seem to get a kick out of it and practice writing their own books as well, which kind of delights me. I juggle everything by having a great babysitter, being really well-organized and being entirely, 100% okay with saying no to things. I do feel pulled in A LOT of different directions – like any working mom does – and I don’t deny that I’m pretty tired a lot of the time too, so if I’m just not up for something: reading a to-be-blurbed book, attending an event, speaking somewhere, whatever, I just say no. There’s a lot of power in drawing lines in the sand and honoring those boundaries.
What books are you reading right now?
I’m halfway through Husband and Wife by Leah Stewart and really enjoying it a lot.
If you had a young writing protégé, what one piece of advice would you offer?
I always say that aspiring authors need to listen to criticism and take their egos out of the equation. Too many folks – myself including – think that their early/first work is untouchable, when, in fact, it’s far from it. The only way to improve is to figure out where your weaknesses are, and in order to do that, you need to be open to constructive advice. I can sincerely say that if I hadn’t taken criticism early in my career, I never would have been published. Sometimes, you think you know what you’re doing when, if fact, you have no idea.