Will you be writing stories for the Fall Away next generation?

Yes! There are six more books coming, and they are all listed on Goodreads if you’d like to add them to your TBR. This way you’ll get updates when I have new information. It will be called the Hellbent series.

The titles are Falls Boys, Pirate Girls, Quiet Ones, Night Thieves, Fire Falls, and Parade Alley. This is the order they will be released, and I have not announced any covers, blurbs, or whose book is whose yet.

I’ll start writing the first book this year, but I don’t expect it will be published until 2021. I’m very grateful most readers have been so gracious and understanding about the wait. They understand creativity takes time and moods are unpredictable. I haven’t been having the ideas I wanted to have for these outlines, so I’ve been letting it simmer.

When they do start releasing, keep in mind they won’t release in quick succession. Books tend to take me several months, and I often take detours with standalones in between installments. This isn’t because I don’t care that you’re waiting. I’m just trying to be happy at my job. I fully understand that the way I work doesn’t work for some readers, so if you can’t wait, I understand and sorry to disappoint. If you do want to read these books but have trouble waiting for installments, I strongly encourage you to wait until the series is complete before you begin.  

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, but at this time, there are no plans to write any more novels as I don’t have more ideas quite yet. As of right now, Nightfall will be my last Devil’s Night novel. Alex is taken care of in that story, and while more books are always possible later on, I’ll be diving into Hellbent, as well as some standalones I’m anxious to write. You can definitely expect bonus scenes and perhaps a novella at some point to touch base with the characters again, but anything bonus will take place before the epilogue in Nightfall. The epilogue in the end, and I do not have nay continuations planned at this time.

Who’s your favorite author?

Erin Morgenstern, Stieg Larsson, Stylo Fantome, Madeline Sheehan, and Marie Lu.

Why can’t I find Until You or Falling Away in print in the US?

A traditional publisher owns the Fall Away series and all paperbacks for those two books have been sold. As far as I know, there are no plans to reprint them at this time. You can do an online search for stock, though. Some bookstores may have them. The website bookdepository.com will also have the UK versions if you like! These are different dimensions than the US versions with different covers, but if you want the paperback, that is an option. Book Depository has free worldwide shipping.

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!

When is Motel releasing?

I will most likely shoot for 2021. After Falls Boys, tentatively.

Will you make your book(s) into a movie?

I love this question. So flattered anyone thinks the books are worthy. The Fall Away series has been sold to a producer, but Hollywood is a finicky place and it takes many stars to align to make movies happen. There is no development to report yet, and there is no guarantee a movie or movies will happen. We all have to be patient.

As for my other works, I’m not in a position to make a movie myself. I’m not a filmmaker, I don’t know any, and unfortunately, we just have to wait for the millionaires to show up and express some interest! Lol. Keep your fingers crossed.

What horror movies would you recommend?

I love horror movies, and Halloween is my mother ship. Love that entire franchise. Yes, even the one with Busta Rhymes.

I prefer slasher flicks and jump scares over psychological thrillers. I recommend Halloween, of course, The Strangers, Friday the 13th, Sleepaway Camp, 13 Ghosts, Scream, The Descent, Hell Fest, and the entire Insidious and Conjuring franchises are brilliant. Except The Nun. Worth seeing once, though.

Hellraiser was great. The next two were tolerable. The rest is shit. Don’t bother.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes can die somewhere dark and alone for all I care, too. I have issues with cannibalism. Except Hannibal Lecter. Absolutely, loooooove him.

And Freddy. Freddy, Freddy, Freddy…I may lose you as a reader for this, but Freddy isn’t scary. He talks too much. I like my psychos silent. As you may be able to tell by now.

If you like horror that’s not really scary and more action-packed, I adore The Purge franchise. Every movie gets better and better, and the TV series is great, too.     

When will we have -insert book title- published in my country?

Like films, publishing houses are unpredictable, too. It’s a waiting game. If we’re lucky, someone expresses interest and contacts us to move forward with possible translation and publication. I can’t determine when, if ever, a book of mine will be published in your country, and if it is, they usually don’t inform me of release dates. Keep an eye on your blog groups. They usually have this info before me!

Where will you be signing this year?

I am only schedule for Love N. Seattle in 2021, but due to the pandemic I’m not confident that event will happen, and I won’t be scheduling more for the time being.

Will you write more stories in the Credence world?

One person in that world (you know who) will crossover for some cameos in the Hellbent series, but I’m not planning any more novels.

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 a book in the Devil’s Night series. I’m not saying this to sell more books. 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.  

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 when Twilight released. (Just stop right there. Don’t shame people for what they like to read, ya hear?) Anyway, after I finished that series, I was reading nonstop. YA, paranormal, romance… I eventually discovered New Adult. I read Easy, Slammed, Beautiful Disaster, but it wasn’t until I read Fallen Crest High that I was really sad there weren’t more books like it. I loved what the author did with high schoolers, 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. I didn’t expect to make any money off Bully, after all. I just wanted to get it 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?

  1. Follow your instincts. You’re not alone. If you like it, there are others in the world who will, too. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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, so if you ever see me bragging that I wrote that much, slap me.
  6. You should feel everything you’re writing. If you don’t, neither will the readers. Stop and re-evaluate.
  7. 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 more simple plots. And yes, I’m going to say it… Hiring ghostwriters to handle some of your workload is something that some 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.  
  8. 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.)
  9. 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.
  10. 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. You’re not them and they’re not you, and neither you or the reader understands what it’s like to be in the other’s shoes. The only difference is they can speak out. You can’t, and it’s frustrating. Keep three things in mind:
    • They bought the book. They get to critique it. That’s the deal. Suck it up like we all had to teach ourselves to do.
    • Some people out there are committed to misunderstanding you. Nothing you say will change anything, so don’t try.
    • 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.

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.

Who’s your celebrity crush?

Christian Bale.

Who’s your girl crush?

Olivia Munn.

What’s your guilty pleasure go-to film?

Showgirls. Don’t ask me why, especially since I live in Vegas and hate Vegas culture. I’m not a gambler or a patron of strip clubs, though I have nothing against them. Just something about that movie that draws me in, though.

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