1. Paperback, hardback, audiobook?
I’m a sucker for hardback! I don’t care how much money it is, I’m here for the aesthetic!
2. Pick a genre, any genre!
Mystery! I like putting a mystery element in my works, even if it’s not the main genre.
3. What is the first book you remember reading?
Frog & Toad, specifically the short story where they’re using their “willpower” to not eat all the cookies!
4. What book shaped your childhood most?
The Tale of Despereaux. I liked the textured pages a lot and it was the first children’s book I read that dealt with darker themes like death, betrayal, feeling scared for the MC, loneliness, etc. It was something I, unfortunately, connected a lot with, but I also use it in my writing today.
5. When did you first start writing?
When I was about eleven on Quizilla! I wanted to express creativity without anyone I know knowing and on a laptop, no one could see it and it was an easy way. I wrote absolute trash romantic fanfiction for fun but a lot of people ended up loving it and I gained a small following. It was the one thing I felt like I was good at and for that reason I continued to hide it until I was eighteen because certain parts of my family have a tendency to squash everything I love.
6. What made you want to write? Does it still hold true?
I wasn’t good at drawing and my family thought the arts was stupid so I wasn’t given the resources to get better. So, I figured the next thing was to write down my ideas and then expand on them.
Yes, it still holds true, I’m still awful at drawing! I mean, awful to an art degree standpoint. Apparently I’m pretty good compared to the average person, but the pompous art industry kind of has me jaded. Art, like writing, is all subjective and you can be someone to lift them up and help them. I never understood what people gain by bringing someone down without providing some sort of way to help them further. It’s something I aim to do with other people’s writing. To me, no writing is bad writing as long as someone’s always willing to learn and grow from it.
7. What book/poem are you most proud of creating?
I’m really proud of my debut novel, The Empress of Fay: Mask of Shadows. It was my first big piece of writing I dedicated to after leaving art school. At first I felt it could be rather juvenile, despite being a YA/NA fantasy book, but what made me hit the publish button on it was that it was a time capsule of what I was going through in my life (discovering I’m aspect, realizing my own S.A., etc) and perhaps others can relate to it.
8. Did you publish your first book or is it for your eyes only?
Yes I did! It’s The Empress of Fay: Mask of Shadows.
9. How many books/collections have you published so far?
Six total pieces of writing. I have two out of four books of The Empress of Fay series out on Amazon and Kobo. I also have smaller short stories and poems published with a variety of small presses, four in total for them. I also have two works to (hopefully) soon be published in 2022 by some small presses as well.
10. What genres do you write in (or hope to)?
I like to explore a bit of everything. I usually write mystery though because it can work well with pretty much any other genre to me.
11. Do you do research for your writing or is it all in your head?
I always try to do as much research as I can. I have a dark historical fantasy in mind but have been putting it off because there’s SO much research involved and I would want to do it justice.
12. To plan, or not to plan your plot?
I love to organize my thoughts so I very much do plan my plot, even if it’s just the summary and the major beats.
13. What route of publishing have you chosen? Do you plan to stick with it?
I’ve done both small press and self-pub. Self-pub works best for me because I love my own way of organization and being my own control freak. I can see why others wouldn’t though, it truly just comes down to preference, in my opinion. I was mulling over the idea of starting my own lit agency for a few years because I see a lot of great work that should get represented and self-publishing isn’t for everyone. Having professional working experience within the publishing and editing industry gave me the inspiration to go forward with it!
14. If you could live inside another author’s universe, which one would you pick? (Ex: Middle Earth, Narnia, etc.)
Scott Pilgrim vs The World … world! Imagine if we could just teleport from place to place and if you punch someone, they turn into coins!
15. Do you currently have a WIP?
Yes, book three in the Empress of Fay series. I’m also converting my former interactive fiction novels into either Kindle Vella releases or regular novels. I haven’t decided yet.
16. Tell me about the character you’ve created who is dearest to your heart.
Probably Ruby from The Empress of Fay. The symbolism of her background is most like mine and we have the same fears and desires.
17. What do you consider your *current* magnum opus?
The Empress of Fay series!
18. Do you have a favourite romance in your books? Or, if yours features no romance, tell us about your favourite character friendship!
Sapphire x Aquarius is my favorite in The Empress of Fay series. Their relationship ended up reflecting what mine and my fiancé’s relationship is, which is something I always wanted to find; fun, goofy, caring, and trusting.
But I also try to make close friendships where they’d die for each other and always support one another. When I was first writing it, it was something I always wanted as well. I moved a lot as a kid so I had a hard time keeping friends. I’m happy to say now that since graduating college, I met some of the best people in my life.
19. Do you listen to music as you write? Recommend a favourite writing song.
Yes and no. I sometimes have to be in the mood to listen to music. Though right now, I listen to K. K. Bashment if I’m in that mood.
20. Do you have any character art for your books, whether by you or another artist? (Be sure to credit/link if you can!)
Ruby is the red fairy, Sapphire is the blue black fairy, and Topaz is the blonde fairy.
Left: Pearl, Right: Diamond.
Left: Emerald, right: Peridot.
21. If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Always be true to yourself and write what you want. Everyone has an opinion, but if you write something that gives you happiness, then that’s winning.
22. Have you entered any writer contests? Tell us about your experience!
I’ve mostly written in for college writing contests. I won the Creative Nonfiction Award at IUP in 2019 that was later published by The Manifest-Station on May 15th, 2021, called Mel’s Declassified College Survival Guide. I also won the Play & Scriptwriting Award in 2019 at IUP for my murder-mystery pilot. It was a script from one of my first interactive fiction novels. Before that, in 2018, I got in third for the same award; an all-female gang feminist noire play.
My experience is that even though I won them, the schools can definitely afford to pay more than $50 and a free book by a rando.
23. Who are your top 5-10 favourite writers?
Roxane Gay, Johnny Sun, Brian Lee O’Malley, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Emily Dickinson.
24. Link us your book/twitter/goodreads or wherever we can best connect with you!