Are you sure? I’m not really all that interesting, but I’ll give it a shot anyway…
I graduated from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, with a B.A. in English Literature and Language and a focus in Drama (but not the icky kind—the Theatre kind). I went one to teach both Theatre and English for nine years all over Texas. I’m now a full-time writer, mother, and wife. And, like the characters in my novels, I come from a tightly knit Irish-Lebanese Texan family that provides me with endless fodder for my writing. (Just kidding, relatives! Okay, maybe not. But I love y’all lots!)
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love writing because it’s something like creating life. You know that sense of fulfillment when you give birth to a child after a long nine months or when a difficult student finally gets what you’ve been trying to teach him or her? It’s like that for me—the idea that I’ve made something from nothing and it is beautiful.
Where do you get your inspirations for your books?
All the inspiration for my books comes from my own life. Without interweaving my own experiences with my characters’ personalities, I think my stories would be less powerful. Chance meetings, memories, and injustice all inform what I choose to write about. I want my stuff to be real and relevant, even if it’s technically fantasy.
Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process?
My writing process always begins with a vague idea. Somehow, over weeks or months, that idea begins to coalesce into a whole and images form in my head. At that point, I write whichever scene from the story that comes to me first – usually something from near the end. Once the near-end is done, I go back to the beginning and write until my muse gives out. I’ll skip around from there to whatever is begging loudest to be written. When all is created and done, I go back and weave all the disjointed scenes together.
What do you find most difficult about writing?
I am a perfectionist and a grammar fascist. Things like a single verb or comma tend to wrap me up like a pretzel. It’s very difficult for me to let go and just write, but I am very slowly learning how to do that. Maybe in another few years…lol.
What genre do you write, and what is your current wip?
I write Young Adult fiction. My first novel—the initial installment of a trilogy—is Contemporary Paranormal with Romantic elements. The upcoming sequel also contains a healthy does of alternative history. My current WIP is a contemporary YA novel dealing with Teen Dating Violence, and it’s been really interesting to live in “the real world” for a while.
What are your future goals?
I only hope that I can change a life or two for the better with what I have to say. My entire purpose when I started writing was to help young people and—hopefully—save them from some of the pain that gained me what little wisdom I’m able to impart.
Can you give any advice to aspiring authors?
Keep writing. Write as much as you can. Don’t be afraid. Rejection is painful but necessary.
And join a critique group. They’re the best weapon in your arsenal and your biggest cheerleaders.
BLURB: Born into a family of Guardians—extraordinarily gifted humans who protect mortal souls—seventeen-year-old Rose Kazin shows no signs of being blessed with the supernatural talents her family has used for generations to fight demons. When she and her father figure, an age old celestial Warrior, are horribly wounded in a demonic ambush, Rose awakens to find a younger Warrior, Ouriel, has volunteered to stand in as her protector. She rails against his presence—and her own heart—but Ouriel seems interested in only one thing: teaching Rose how to protect herself from the demons she was never supposed to fight.
I didn’t notice the demons until one had his arm clamped around my throat.
Choking, I looked around and saw we were surrounded. I didn’t have to think before I reached for the knife at my back. Instinct and training took over, and I slammed my gift from Ouriel into the abdomen of the demon holding me. He dropped to the ground. I turned to stab him a few more times, to keep him out of the fight a bit longer, and then ran for Miriam and Ouriel. My sister was firing off arrow after arrow, sinking as many as left her quiver into demon flesh. But more kept popping in all around us.
I can’t say how many demons I cut and sliced with my knife and nails to get to my sister and my Warrior, but I got through enough to guard their backs. Finally, the three of us stood together, facing down the enemy. Ouriel slipped me his knife, and both of my hands became deadly. Behind me and out of breath, he shouted, “Miriam, get Rose out of here! Run for Ishmael’s house. I will cover you!”
“No way!” I yelled back. “I’m not leaving you!”
Ouriel decapitated two more of the demons rushing him. “You have to!”
“No!” I screamed and took down one of my own, kicking and jabbing her into a bloody pulp.
“We can’t hold them all off,” Miriam panted. “And I must save you at all costs.”
Ouriel spun and, in one fluid move, gored a demon and pushed me through the opening toward Ishmael’s house.