Where do you get your inspiration from?
Snippets of life. Someone will say something in a conversation, and I’ll take the phrase and build a scene. I’ll see something happening and speculate about what’s going on. For the children’s books, I draw the inspiration from my own life and family.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
For me: marketing. Getting published was cake because I didn’t even approach an agent or publishing house – I was determined to get the first book out on my own. Writing is enjoyable and natural for me. Selling myself is not. I’m not an extrovert, so the marketing is definitely the hardest part of this whole thing!
What marketing works for you?
Word of mouth has been most successful so far, but I know that pool will eventually dry up and I will need to have a wider reach. I’m doing a giveaway on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/67859-the-little-boy-who-was-precious) which means that at least 350+ people have at least heard of my book now. I don’t know how many sales that will generate, but it’s great visibility.
Do you find it hard to share your work?
Not really – I find it hard to hold back. I’ve probably given away more copies of the book than I should have to people who probably would have bought it. When I’ve written a play, I pass it around my friend circles for feedback, and I pound the theatre pavement with a lot more ease than the publishing pavement, meaning I’ve sent my plays everywhere. I write to be read, which means I have to share!
Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?
They are so supportive. I keep telling them, over half the fans on my facebook page are from my parents’ friend list. My husband actually got me my first play reading with The Breakaway Project by secretly submitting my play and surprising me. I couldn’t ask for more.
Do you plan to publish more books?
Yes! I’m actually working on two separate children’s series at the moment. The Little Boy, Who Was Precious is the first book in The Little Boy series. These books are a little softer, a little more lyrical, and the topics are a little broader. The next book in this series will be about the Little Boy and his dog. The next book to come out is part of my Myrlen series. The illustrations will be a little more cartoonish, a little bolder, and the topics much more focused.
What else do you do to make money, other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full time…
I’m the office manager for the Department of Theatre at my alma mater, Hope College, during the academic year. During the summer, I’m the company manager for Hope Summer Repertory Theatre.
What other jobs have you had in your life?
So very many retail jobs!
If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?
I was able to complete my dream-major, Theatre, and continue on to earn a graduate degree in the same field, but if I could go back, I would want to study forensic psychology. When I get my hands on Robert Hare’s books, I just consume them. It’s a really interesting field once you get past the drama that television shows make it out to be.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
If I didn’t have to find a job, I’d move back to Ireland. It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world.
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
I write exclusively on a laptop – preferably by daylight. The last time I wrote by hand, my arm cramped up for a week. My penmanship is awful anyway.
Where do you get support from? Do you have friends in the industry?
I have a lot of friends in the theatre/playwriting industry, so I have a lot of internal support on that side. I’m brand new to publishing, so I’ve found a lot that of support online.
How much sleep do you need to be your best?
All of it. All of the sleep.
Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support?
My husband, for putting up with me going straight to writing/promotion when I get home from my job, and my parents for helping us out financially – otherwise the international move and new baby would have been very difficult to manage on our own.
The Little Boy, Who Was Precious is a story about a child’s first long stay with his grandparents when his parents are away. The little boy, who is so brave against the beasts of his imagination, finds himself strangely lost without his mother and father. It takes a pair of loving grandparents to convince him that he is still the bravest and most precious little boy.
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Genre – Children’s
Rating – G
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