Where are you from
A little about your self `ie your education Family life ect
I’m the oldest of seven kids and I just graduated high school. I’m moving to Idaho in a month to start my college education.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I’m currently preparing the sequel to Segolia: Daughter of Prophecy for the publisher. It’s still in the works but hopefully it’ll be ready soon to send in.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing in fourth grade actually. We wrote a lot of short stories and I always thought it was so much fun. But even before that I always loved to make up stories. Some of them just didn’t end up on paper.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I considered myself a writer when I started writing my first book. Before then I’d just been playing around with the idea of writing. In ninth grade, I came up with the idea for Segolia and that’s when I got really serious about writing.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I was inspired by so many different things. In elementary school, the author of a children’s book came into our class. I think that helped plant the idea, as well as a lot of reading. I loved Christopher Paolini, especially since he was so young. It made me hopeful.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I actually have a fairly unique style, as far as point of view goes. I write in first person but the point of view switches every chapter. The chapters are labeled by the name of the narrator. I jump around genres a lot though.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Well, there are two parts of the title. The first part “Segolia” is the name of the realm that the story takes place in. It was my childhood home away from home really. The second part, “Daughter of Prophecy” was a friend’s idea. We were talking about how the main character is the daughter of the person who finds the prophecy. She made the suggestion of “Daughter of Prophecy” and I really liked it.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There are a lot of themes and symbols throughout the novel, but the major one is heroism. It’s all about what it takes to be a true hero and how anyone can stand up and be a hero. Which is why I sign my books with the phrase “find the hero in you.”
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Well, as fantasy, there isn’t a whole lot of realistic stuff in there. The characters are realistic, as well as how they would act, but the story itself is very unreal. It’s like being taken to a different land with dragons and elves and magic.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think a lot of what happens symbolizes events from my life. Nissa goes through what has been dubbed the hero’s journey. I think, even if it isn’t quite so grand, we all go through a journey that could potentially lead us to be heroes.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
Eragon by Christopher Paolini, for sure. I love fantasy and he was so young, too. I grew up on The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings too, so those will always have a close place to my heart. I’ve always loved the Chronicles of Narnia as well. The amount of symbolism there is genius. My all-time favorite is Fablehaven by Brandon Mull. It was the first novel I read on my own.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I think I have two writing mentors. Like I said, Brandon Mull kind of got me into reading and, later, writing. But while I was writing Segolia, author Denise Turner really helped me polish it for the publisher.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I actually just finished a book last night, Tunneling by Pamela J. Peterson. I’m about to start reading Entwined by Heather Dixon, which is about the twelve dancing princesses. I love fairy tales.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Pamela J. Peterson has really caught my eye. I truly believe she’s a modern-day C.S. Lewis.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m working on the sequel for Segolia. If it does well as I’m hoping, it’ll end up being a six book series. I’ve made all the outlines. I’ve also written rough drafts for five other novels.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Denise Turner was an amazing source of support. My writing improved so much with her help. And her amazement at my age was definitely a confidence booster.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
If I could live off my writing, I would be the happiest girl in the world. And now, I can see it happening, too. The publisher says I’m the most promising writer they’ve seen in a long time.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Actually, I did. When I was about fifty pages in, I lost everything in a truck fire. I had to start over completely from scratch. It ended up being a good thing, as my writing improved so much.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I can’t recall a specific moment that I said, “Hey, I’m going to write a book,” but I do think that writing short story after short story in school was the most fun I ever had. I eventually starting writing stories at home.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Of course but as I’ve just began the revision, there isn’t very much written yet.
I was surprised to see that not much had changed in my absence. Everyone, both races, was still just standing around. After Reva had ran off, along with her mysterious red-eyed brother and Stormblast, the Guardians must have taken control pretty quickly. Both races were no long fighting. They just stood around, looking at each other with bristling anger and confusion. They didn’t understand why they were to stop.
I watched from a safe distance, standing behind a tree in the forest just outside the Plains. I didn’t want anyone to see me. If they did, they might ask me what happened. And I certainly wasn’t ready for that.
I searched the Plains for familiar faces, making sure no one had been lost in our fight. I wouldn’t be able to take that. I was falling apart as it was.
I could see Edgeshifter walking across the Plains with Youngseeker at her side. She was in her avatar, fingers touching wound after wound as she healed as many as possible. I almost smiled, despite myself. Edgeshifter always seemed to be working. I wondered if she knew how to rest or if it simply wasn’t part of her vocabulary.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Well, it’s becoming much easier now. The last story I wrote was 150 pages and took me a week to write. But it wasn’t always that way. It took me three years to write Segolia. That was partially due to the fact that about fifty pages in to the story I lost it all in a truck fire. I had to start from scratch.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Either Brandon Mull or Veronica Roth. Brandon Mull is really good at writing something entertaining for kids and adults. He blurs the age group lines. I’ve always wanted to do the same. Veronica Roth is a genius with words. Her books really suck you in, which of course I want to do.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I probably would travel more if I could, but I’m a college student. It would be nice to visit castles for reference and travel across the country. I think it would be good for better writing.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Tate Publishing has their own team of artists. I told them what I wanted and they designed it.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part was having to start over from scratch. It’s not easy writing a novel by no means and it’s even harder when you have to start completely over.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned determination, for sure. It’s really important to never give up because you never know what you can accomplish.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
My advice is don’t ever quit. If I had quit after that truck fire, I would never have finished. You never know what’ll happen if you don’t try.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you! My readers are what have brought me where I am and I thank them for it.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies
I love reading, of course. But I also love kick boxing (when I can find a bag), yoga, stargazing, and standing in the rain.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching
My favorite movie of all time is Lord of the Rings. I’m also a huge fan of musicals. Les Miserables is my favorite. As far as TV shows, I love Arrow, Studio C, and White Collar.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
My favorite food is a buffalo chicken sandwich. My mom makes fun of me because I order it anywhere I can find it. My favorite color changes on a daily basis. Today, it’s purple. I listen to any kind of music, as long as it’s clean. But right now I’m obsessed with Imagine Dragons.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done ?
I actually shudder at the thought of anything else. Writing is too big of a part of me. I will be writing all the way until I draw my last breath.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? if so what is it?
I have two, actually: