What are you working on?
- Pirate Girls (Hellbent #2)!
- After Pirate Girls, I’ll continue working on the rest of the Hellbent series mixed in with some other projects I’ve been planning for a while. I do not have any release dates for any other books. It’s impossible to gauge how long it will take me to write a book, much less something that’s two or three releases away.
Will you write a book for the Devil’s Night children, Alex, Lev/David, the Blackchurch residents…?
It’s always possible at some point down the road (never say never, right?), but at this time, there are no plans to write any more novels. I’m sorry.
Devil’s Night was always just the four romances. That’s all I ever wanted to write. The other characters who developed over the course of the series were just happy surprises, but I understand it’s hard to see glimpses of them and not want more. I appreciate your feelings on that. I ended Nightfall and Fire Night how I did simply because Devil’s Night is a special world. The fun never ends, and I love books that keep my mind going even after I’ve finished them. I wanted to keep the world alive for you. I never intended to write more than that.
We’ll most likely see the original couples again in bonus content, but a spin-off series just isn’t in the cards at this time. I think most of you understand how hard the response on the series was for me. I write too slow, readers are forced to wait too long, and by the time the next installment finally releases, you’ve developed your own ideas on what you think should happen, and when it doesn’t, so many got angry with me. I’m tired of disappointing people, and I think if most of you are honest, you know you don’t want to see the next generation doing the things their parents did. Not really. Right now, they’re safe in your head where I can’t ruin it.
But again, if I ever have ideas I think we’ll both love, it’s always possible. Right now, I’m working on my final series Hellbent, and then I’ll be getting wonderfully lost on some standalones that have been waiting to be written for years. I have characters dying to be heard.
Will you make your book(s) into a movie?
I think every writer would love to have a movie or show based on their work, but it’s not something I can make happen. I don’t know how to make movies, I don’t know anyone who does, and I can’t self-fund something like that.
If a production company comes along and wants to do it (and I am confident they’ll do a good job), I’ll let them! But it’s not a task I’m interested in taking on myself. I like writing books, and trying to teach myself how to write a script and fight for investors is something that would be a significant distraction from writing books, and that’s really all I want to do with my time right now.
Will Devil’s Night characters appear in any of your future novels?
Nothing planned for that. Sorry!
Why are you writing a Fall Away Spin Off and not a Devil’s Night Spin Off?
Good question. In short, I promised the Hellbent series years ago. In the time it’s taken to finish Devil’s Night, I’ve just realized that my standalones are more fun to write and readers respond much better to them. The pressure of series books can be a lot, and when it takes me a while to release installments, I worry about meeting the expectations readers have built up. With Devil’s Night in particular, I disappointed people greatly.
But…I promised Hellbent, so I want to give readers what I promised. And honestly, I am having a lot of fun. Fall Away is just a fun world. Cars and passionate arguments and rain. Always rain lol. None of the things that were so hard for Devil’s Night readers to digest that I liked to write in that series. I hope I’ll make everyone happier, because as always, I hope my best work is ahead of me. <3
Will your books be translated into my language?
I hope! If a book hasn’t been translated yet, that means I haven’t had an offer from a publishing house in your country. I don’t turn down offers! 😉
Do I have to read the Fall Away series before Hellbent?
It will help, but it’s not necessary. The original couples will appear, as will references to their stories and shenanigans, but the Hellbent series is separate with a new plot.
Do I have to read your series books in order or can I skip some?
Unfortunately, my series books aren’t standalones. Characters from previous books are present throughout the series, and development continues to occur in every book. If you choose to skip a book in the Fall Away series, please keep in mind you may miss important points. If you’re confused about something, that’s probably why.
You should not skip any book in the Devil’s Night series. Not even the novellas. I wrote everything under the impression that you’d read everything before it. One grand story is happening in all of the flashbacks in all of the stories, and you will need those puzzle pieces to get the whole picture. Again, should you choose to skip a story, keep in mind you’ll be going in missing information and may be confused.
Will you write books for the Jaeger brothers?
I have a couple of ideas but not one for every brother, and I’d rather not get caught up in any more series after Hellbent. But you can expect another standalone, maybe two, in that world!
Will you write more stories in the Credence world?
Noah will crossover for some cameos in the Hellbent series, but I’m not planning any more novels. He’s just not talking to me yet.
Will you write a book for J.D/Manny, Cam/Kyle, or Jake/Mirai?
Always possible but nothing planned yet.
Where can I get the Devil’s Night original covers?
You might still be able to find some on Ebay or Mercari.
Who’s your favorite author?
Erin Morgenstern, Stieg Larsson, Stylo Fantome, Madeline Sheehan, and Marie Lu.
Where will you be signing this year?
Check my Events page!
Who are your muses for your characters?
Actually, full face muses are rare for me. My Pinterest boards have all the visuals I used during writing, and sometimes it’s just a mood I’m going for. I don’t usually use actors or models in my head while writing. I don’t like to mess with a readers’ mental image.
What’s your favorite book?
Frankenstein and The Night Circus!
Who’s your favorite hero of yours?
I relate so much to the really damaged ones. Damon, Jared, Jax, Kaleb…
Who’s your favorite heroine of yours?
As for the females, I relate to the flawed ones. Ryen, K.C., Tiernan…
How did you start writing?
I started reading as an adult again. A little unhappy in my career, I needed an escape, so I dove into YA, paranormal, romance… I eventually discovered New Adult. I read Easy and Slammed, but it wasn’t until I read Fallen Crest High that I was really sad there weren’t more books like it. I loved the chances the author took with young people starting out in life, and I craved more. My imagination caught fire, and in no time I had a story of my own. Bully.
Over the next year, I wrote and rewrote on nights and weekends while teaching full time. My editor suggested I seek a publisher. She thought the story was good. I didn’t want to wait, though. Finding an agent and publisher can take years, and I just wanted to get the book out into the universe.
About a week later, it had gone damn near viral. I expected a few people would read it, but I never expected the traction it got. I was extremely lucky and pleased.
What advice would you give new writers?
- Follow your instincts. You’re not alone. If you like it, there are others in the world who will, too and no matter what you do, someone will complain anyway. Just do what you want. Write the book you want to read.
- We’ve seen what Author A can do. We don’t need a rinse and repeat. Show us your spin. Your new world. What are you bringing to the table? How are you going to change the reader’s palate?
- Personally, I’m a plotter, not a pantser. Having a plan, an outline, a timeline, a mood board on Pinterest, a playlist, and notes of some sort helps me and drives my direction in the story. Plus, it’s fun. Try being a planner.
- Dream. Your “think time” is part of your writing time. It’s important. Pretend you’re in the story. Fantasize. And then jot down your notes really quickly before you forget! Lol (I often carry a notebook with me or you can use the notepad on your phone.)
- Don’t just vomit words. Sorry to be blunt, but there it is. Some are obsessed with making a daily word count, because they have to be done for their scheduled editor, which I completely understand, but for me, the writing would suffer. If I spit out 10, 000 words in a day, none of it would be useable.
- You should feel everything you’re writing. If you don’t, neither will the readers. Stop and re-evaluate.
- Don’t compare yourself. Books should take time to write. Everyone’s brain works differently. Don’t compare yourself to someone who’s publishing four or five times a year. They might be writing shorter books than you. They may not have a spouse or kids distracting them. They may write different plots. And yes, I’m going to say it… Hiring ghostwriters to handle some of your workload is something that some of those writers do and have been doing for decades. I’m not speculating on whether this is right or wrong. Many readers will not care who actually wrote the book as long as it’s good, but you need to be aware that this does happen, so you’re not too hard on yourself for not being able to keep up. Others may have one or two other people helping them complete their books. It does happen, so maintain perspective.
- Give your character’s birthdays! For the love of God, give them birthdays. Readers will ask. (Unfortunately, you’ll then have to deal with arguments of how the couples aren’t astrologically compatible, so good luck.)
- Worry about marketing later and concentrate on your craft. Nothing sells your book better than word-of-mouth, and it’s free advertising. Readers will sell your book for you if they like it. Make sure they like it. You don’t need to be online, trying to go viral on TikTok. Just write your best book, and if you think you did, then write another one. I didn’t start making enough of a living to where I could support a family until I had a backlist.
- And finally…you may hit rock bottom at some point. You’ll get tired of being critiqued and misunderstood, knowing what you signed up for but unable to cope with the hate for something that was so close to your heart. No one trains us how to negotiate this sharp learning curve. We go from lives of hardly ever being criticized to being critiqued several times a day on multiple forums. People can be cruel, and they get far more personal than necessary. It would be hard on anyone. We’re not superhuman, after all. We loved our story, and when someone rips it apart, it hurts. So when you get there, log off. Get off the Internet. Take it from me. My rock bottom was in 2015, and I should’ve logged off and not looked. Most authors have been readers, but very few readers have been authors. Both of you are looking at the situation from an entirely different perspective. Keep three things in mind:
- They bought the book. They get to critique it. That’s the deal. If it will hurt you, don’t look. You don’t have to.
- Some people out there are committed to misunderstanding you. Nothing you say will change anything, so don’t try. They just want an easy target for their anger.
- Look at your sales. My more “controversial” books happen to be my more successful books. People will say one thing to their friends and then turn around and buy the book to read it in secret. And hopefully, they’ll enjoy it and be a repeat reader. Your sales are the only true indication of how you’re doing. If you’re selling less than the previous book, then consider their feedback. If you’re staying steady or even better, more people like what you’re doing than you’re seeing. Keep doing it.
When you’re ready to quit, remember that you had something to say to the world, and that’s why you’re doing this. Your book will be someone’s favorite. But you have to write it first.
What’s your most embarrassing moment?
There are so many. When I was about 8, though, I was at my grandfather’s gun club for Fourth of July festivities, and it was dusk. I was running over the grass and clothes-lined myself on a rope I didn’t see. Three teenage boys were walking past and burst into laughter. It was devastating.
What’s the best advice you ever got?
“Buy a wine rack and fill it.” -Abbi Glines