Christmas! My upcoming book, Something Just Like This, is very loosely based on How The Grinch Stole Christmas. I wanted to write a holiday book based on a favorite. The story took on a mind of its own, which they often do!
2. When did you take up writing?
I can barely remember a time NOT writing. I’ve always loved reading, and the earliest I can remember writing is around third grade. I wrote stories, poems, and journal entries from the time I was young.
3. How important is setting/place in your writing?
All my books take place in smaller towns or cities. I’ve never lived in a large city, and I like to write what I know. I’m not a big city person. The crowds are too much!
4. Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current novel?
My favorite in Something Just Like This is my main character’s brother, Hunter. He’s going through a lot and wants a second chance in life. Even though he’s not in the book a lot, I liked writing him.
5. What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given?
Don’t listen to other’s advice! Everyone’s journey in writing is their own. You can only follow your heart and your own path.
6. Do you have a schedule for writing?
Yes and no! I tend to work out in the morning, watch The View, eat lunch, and then write for a few hours. When I’m really in a groove, I’ll write for a bit right when I wake up. I tend to never write on the weekends. If I do anything writing-related on the weekends, it’s usually administrative or putting together newsletters.
7. Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it?
I’m a little bit of both. I like to plan out the first few chapters and then let my characters take over.
8. Can you name three of four of your current favourite books or recent reads?
Yes! In no particular order, Three Last First Dates by Kate O’Keeffe, Snowed in with a Billionaire by Karen Booth, Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, and Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris are reads I read over the past year I really enjoyed.
9. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now?
Well, Something Just Like This releases on February 14. Once that release is all set, I’ll be revisiting All That Doesn’t, book 2 in my All That series. I want to revise the first draft and get that off to beta readers and start writing the last book, All That Matters. I want to release both in 2018.
10. What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on their journey?
The only thing a writer can do—write. The more you write, the better you get. And you’ll never get anywhere if you don’t write.
Something Just Like This
Stability? Purpose? Landon is surfing a pleasant wave of both until he’s fired. Devastating news from his sister certainly doesn’t help. At least he has the holidays to look forward to.
When Landon shows up at the mall and Juliette prevents a disaster, he can’t stop thinking about that sweet elf. Juliette doesn’t believe in the spirit of Christmas, but she can’t help but wonder why Landon was in her line that day. Could Landon deserve one of those second chances she’s so unwilling to give?
Excerpt of Something Just Like This
“Huh?” I lift my gaze and my best friend and co-worker Carly stands in the doorway, the smile so bright on her face it almost blinds me. “What do you mean don’t be a Grinch?”
“Oh, you know,” she says as she makes her way into the room, planting herself in my chair. “Like you are every holiday season.”
“I’m not a Grinch.” Maybe I am. I try my best not to show it. It’s possible I don’t have a convincing poker face. Poker was never my game, anyway.
“You most certainly are. Every Christmas party you sulk at the table drinking gin and tonic and refuse to join in on anything. This year, you are in. You’ll be the life of the party.”
“Over my dead body.”
“Shit, Jules, your stiff body would be a better time than you are alive at these functions.”
She’s right, and I know it. Why is she always right? I want to take offense but it’s no secret I’m not Christmas’s biggest fan. I may be the only elf working at the mall that despises it. The elf job isn’t for me, though. I do it for others. That’s festive, isn’t it? Isn’t Christmas about giving? I do plenty of that.
“Leave me alone. And why are you so bubbly? Did you drink a bottle of bubble bath or something?” I grab the container of pens, staples, and paperclips out of the box and place them on the desk. This is much easier to deal with than the picture of my family with our fake smiles.
“Oh, I don’t know.”
She dots her face with her fingertips, moving them around from one side to the other. Why is she acting so weird? “Wait.” I stop when I see it. “Are you wearing an engagement ring?”
She squeals and pops out of the chair, rushing over to show me. Her hand misses smacking me in the face as she shows off her princess cut ring, sparkles and all. “Pretty.”
“Pretty? Are you kidding me right now, Jules? This ring is gorgeous and fit for the fairest princess in the land.”
“Which is you, I assume.”
“What crawled into your pants this morning? Or should I ask who didn’t? Another bad date, huh?”
I shrug, not in the mood to discuss my date with Romeo. No joke. My cousin Dana claimed she found the perfect guy for me, and I said yes to a blind date. His name was Romy, like Mira Sorvino in that movie Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion. I’d only ever heard the name Romy from that movie. It turned out he used Romy as a nickname for Romeo. Yeah. Dana set me up with a Romeo because of course we’d be Romeo and Juliette. Barf. I don’t even spell my name like the Shakespearean character, and the last thing I would ever do is poison myself over a man. Dana had her fun. I did not. She’s never setting me up again.
“Let’s say I got home very early, watched an entire movie, and was asleep by ten.”
“Ouch. That is a bad date.”