Third grade. I had a teacher who encouraged us to write our own stories. Every child loves making up stories, but I kept it up through school until I was older and actually learned how to focus my attention on telling a complete story.
How does it feel being published?
It's great knowing that others are reading your work. It's not being published that's exciting though; it's being read. The purpose of writing is to share ideas, specifically the ones in the writer's head. Being published is just a stepping stone to sharing that with the world.
When did you decide to be a writer?
In college is when I decided I wanted to actually be a writer and started writing regularly. Of course, those early drafts sucked, but over lots of practice, I improved.
Do you get writer's block? How do you combat it?
Sometimes, but I don't think of it as writer's block. If I'm blocked, there's a reason for it, and often that reason is because something is wrong in the story but I haven't consciously worked it out. Once I have, I can move forward again.
Where do you write? Do you write longhand, typewriter or computer?
I prefer to write with my laptop on my bed. Often the best ideas come during sleep or just before falling asleep, so the bed tends to be my most creative place in the house. And I can have some peace while the family is making noise elsewhere in the house.
Tell us about your Latest Book.
I have a new book coming out Memorial Day (U.S.) week. It's the third book in my popular young adult Starfire Angels series. The title is CRYSTAL TOMB.
The Shirukan aren't the only threat to the Starfire shard Raea bears...
An alien enemy has awakened to reclaim the crystal that was theirs, and those last survivors of a war that nearly destroyed Inar'Ahben aren't afraid to kill anyone who stands in their way.
An ancient monument to a mythical civilization on Earth may hold the key to stopping the new enemy, if the secret of its origins can be unlocked. Raea is running out of time to solve the most puzzling question of human history and resolve the conflict brought to Earth. If she fails, she may lose more than the Starfire...
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Dreams take time to mature. If you want something bad enough, you have to work hard to make it happen. No one is going to just hand you the keys to success. Only you can make that happen.
Also, never give up trying to improve. Perfection is impossible, but making the best better is not.