It’s an honor to be here, Lela!
Tell us something about yourself.
I’ve lived in the Cincinnati area for my entire life. It seems that Cincinnati has become part of my identity. (If people ask me where I’m from, I don’t tell them I’m from Ohio even though that’s the state where I live.) I don’t think I could ever live anywhere else—though I do love to travel!
I feel the same way about Alaska. There are many lovely places in the world and I like to visit them, but I always want to come home.
I live with my husband and two rambunctious cats named Thai and Chai. My husband has been incredibly supportive of my writing journey, and if not for his encouragement, I might not have ever completed my first novel.
What was your first story and how old were you?
To be honest? I don’t know. My earliest stories date from when I was in kindergarten. I have no memory of making them. I would put them together myself and draw all my own pictures to go with the story. One was about a bear that went to school. Another one written a few years later was about a sentient pink rainbow that followed people around.
I wish I could remember what first possessed me to pick up a pen and write. What I do know is that I haven’t stopped since. I started writing more seriously in high school and had my first novel, The Land Beyond the Portal, published while in college. In all, I’ve been writing for about 21 years.
Your website says you dabbled in science fiction until you found supernatural. What was your first taste that drew you in that direction?
As a teenager I was very much into Star Wars Expanded Universe novels, Frank Herbert’s Dune series, and Anne McCaffrey’s Pern books, so I assumed that those were the sort of things I would write. For my 20th birthday, my future sister-in-law gave me two Dean Koontz books. I hadn’t read any Koontz before so I was hesitant to read them, but when I did, my mind was blown away. Instead of taking place on other worlds, Koontz’s stories featured extraordinary things happening in our own world.
So I decided I could do that, too!
Stephen King says he writes horror because he was always sure something really scary was hiding under his bed when he was a kid. Do you feel that there is a supernatural world just beyond our sight that most people just don't see?
I do believe that. However, the only things I’ve ever found lurking under my bed are my cats.
So when did you decide to be an author?
Again, I don’t know. I think that the desire to write was encoded in my DNA. I did dabble in various endeavors before deciding that the only thing I wanted to do career-wise was to write.
Tell us about the books.
Servant, my most recent novel, is the first book of The Chronicles of Servitude. Bobby Roland, the protagonist, has been plagued with premonitions of disaster ever since his father’s untimely death six years earlier. Whenever someone he knows is going to be killed or grievously harmed, he’s forewarned about it and has to figure out how to save them. He unknowingly places himself in the line of fire when he rescues the Servant, a man chosen by God to exorcise demons from the possessed. Bobby must ultimately choose between saving others and saving himself. Book 2, Sacrifice, will be released in 2015.
Rage’s Echo was my second novel and is currently unavailable, as I’m republishing it. It will have a lovely new cover and interior! It tells the tale of Jessica, a young paranormal investigator who has the ghost of a murder victim follow her home from an investigation one night. Jerry, the ghost, yearns to move on to heaven but also wants to get revenge on the people who killed him. I had entirely too much fun writing this novel!
The Land Beyond the Portal is also unavailable, but instead of just getting a new cover I’m rewriting it from the beginning to reflect my current writing style. It’s about a teenager named Laura who awakens in a snowed-in house with no memory of who she is. While exploring the house, she finds a room in the basement that transports her into another land. So not only does she have to relearn her identity, she has to find her way back. The Land Beyond the Portal will likely be re-released in 2016.
I’ve also published four short stories. Vapors and Weary Traveler are standalones, Solitude is a prequel to Servant, and Rochelle’s Pizza Run is a short story sequel to The Land Beyond the Portal and appears in the anthology Through the Portal. My fifth short story, There We Will Be, is due to release in the anthology Call of the Warrior on May 25.
What you are passionate about?
My husband. Stories. Mexican food. Learning new things. The internet. More Mexican food. Burritos.
What is something you cannot live without?
Would it be redundant for me to mention burritos here, too?
Not at all. I'm partial to egg rolls myself. Your website also says you believe good should always triumph over evil. How does that work in your way of thinking?
As a Christian, I believe that “good” has greater power than evil. I think our society focuses too much on the evil in our world and too little on the good things. While my stories often show depraved characters committing evil deeds, I will never allow him or her to win in the end. Because how depressing would a story like that be?
I'm going to drop you off for a month in a remote Alaskan cabin. It's summer so you don't have to worry about freezing to death and I'm providing the food and bug spray (an Alaskan necessity). What do you bring with you? What do you do while you're there? And if you bring books, what are they?
I would have to bring my husband. I’d definitely bring a camera because whenever I go on vacation I have to take dozens of pictures. I would probably go exploring and try writing longhand in a notebook. As for books, I’d probably bring a few Dean Koontz and Ted Dekker paperbacks with me. They’re my faves.
Links, author site(s), cover art, author pic, etc.