What drew you to write in your genre?
I am sucker for a good love story, so contemporary romance (and women's fiction) was a natural fit for me. I also prefer to write books that are relationship focused and center around the issues and concerns that arise among romantic partners, friends, and family, which the romance genre explores in detail.
What other genre would you like to write in?
I am dying to write a murder mystery with a serial killer being the hero instead of the villain.
What are your most influential books/favorite authors?
Roald Dahl (my favorite author) for his imagination and story-telling skills. Kristin Higgins for her laugh-out-loud humor. Karen Slaughter for her ability to write a thriller like no one else can.
What do you think makes a story memorable?
To me the most memorable stories are the ones that connect with readers on a deep level, transporting them to different worlds and allowing them to experience what it's like to be in someone else's skin, facing challenges they may never know in real life. And yet, the commonality of the story problem draws readers into the central conflict and, in solving the overarching question through the protagonist, changes them.
What do you think is essential in a classroom?
Since I teach the Query workshop, I would a say student's ability to have an open mind and accept constructive criticism and feedback are essential to success. Also, preparedness, both from the instructor and the student. You get out of an experience what you put into it, so showing up for class ready to tackle the material for that session is key.
What did you learn from your favorite and/or best teacher?
I learned that it is okay to fail. If you're not failing, you're not learning. Also, even the best teachers don't know the answers sometimes.
What makes for the most "success" in student?
Perseverance. Publishing is full of rejection—there are requests for partials that are rejected, entire manuscripts that are rejected, agented novels on submission that are rejected by multiple editors. The trick is to never give up. Keep writing. Keep writing. Keep writing. You can’t let rejection derail your process or rob you of the job of creating stories. And that includes receiving feedback in a classroom environment you might not agree with J
How did you come to teach at The Writer's Path?
I was a student of the Writer's Path and now I'm the Query instructor.