Please start by telling us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a writer and an adventurer, and for me those have always gone hand-in-hand. I’ve driven to meet strangers at 11pm at night. I’ve slow-danced to a Matchbox 20 song at 2am in an airport. I write stories that let me adventure in other worlds. I’m also a hopeless romantic—and of course, falling in love is an adventure unlike any other.
Now tell us a little about your book.
The Dragon’s Curse is a fantasy romance novel, and it was an absolute blast to write. Here’s the short teaser:
Princess Esmerelda, hunted by an obsessed king, struggles to survive and find love in a world where the Gods themselves want her dead.
You’ve written some other stories. Can you tell us a little about them?
I’ve written some weird stories, but the common thread binding them together is romance. I wrote a prequel to The Dragon’s Curse that helped me chart a path through a painful breakup. I’ve published a comedy zombie romance, and a story about a gay ninja who falls in love. I also wrote a comedy porn story for a class assignment, though for my parents’ sakes that one remains unpublished
Do you have a favourite character in your stories?
Out of all the stories I’ve published, Esmerelda is my favorite. Her integrity, her kindness, her brilliant political mind, her sense of adventure; all captivated me. I was completely in love with her while I was writing her
How about a favorite moment?
One of the big themes of The Dragon’s Curse is adventure: life off the beaten path is amazing, even when it’s dangerous. Because even when you’re in danger, you’re fully alive.
Parius (the hero) embodies this, and he thinks the following quote I’ve always loved.
“After their exploits in Farnust, he had made an enemy of a powerful king. He and Esmerelda needed allies in case Bason besieged Larus, and the odds were desperate. If the last few months were any indication, he had at most a couple of days before a monster or a sorcerer tried to put his head on the chopping block, and nothing but his wits to keep him alive.
“And on top of that, a beautiful princess sighed against him. Yes, life was good.”
Are there any authors you particularly admire?
A lot of them! Holly Lisle, for writing amazing books under brutal conditions. J.K. Rowling, for creating a world that captivated me since I was 8 years old. Sarah Maas and Brandon Sanderson, for being true masters of their craft. John Milton, for writing Paradise Lost while he was going blind. Kelly Moran, for writing romances that leave me crying (happy tears). The list goes on….
If you could sit down for a chat with any author, living or dead, who would it be?
J.K. Rowling. Hogwarts has always absolutely enthralled me, and I would love to learn more about it.
Do you have a special place for writing?
I love writing at Barnes & Noble.
What advice would you give someone who is just getting started writing novels?
Two tips. First, read a lot. Read everything—good stories, bad stories, science fiction and romance and political thrillers.
Second, trust your Muse. Your Muse can pull rabbits out of its hat that will leave you amazed. If you need help getting in touch with your Muse, I highly recommend Holly Lisle’s course How to Think Sideways. I don’t get anything for recommending it, but it changed my life and made writing fiction 120% more enjoyable.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m pretty tight-lipped about current projects, because in first draft I’m still exploring the story so it’s hard to talk about. Talking about a first draft is like trying to describe a mountain when you’ve just started climbing it. I don’t honestly know enough about the story to describe it yet. As a favor for reading this far, though, I will drop one tidbit: it’s written in words