Thanks for joining me today, I’m delighted to share with you the start of a new series of blog posts here on my author website.
In these Ask Me Anything posts I will answer questions you have submitted about Zaria, about myself, about writing, etc. The following questions were submitted by Tommy, Nate, Lizzy, and Michele.
Let’s dive in!
Q: Have you ever dreamed about your characters or their world?
A: I day dream about them all the time. I try to be good and write down these snippets as they come to me. I don’t always use them, but I like keeping a record of them. A lot of great ideas come when I am sitting down quietly somewhere and mull over the characters, world, and plots.
Q: If you could meet one of your characters, any one at all, which would you most like to meet and why?
A: I’m such an author when I say this – I’d love to meet any and all of them! If you’re going to force me to choose, I would say Zaria, Aleks, and Christoffer because they’re the leads in the different trilogies which make up the Zaria Fierce Series. I’d like the chance to hug them and tell them I’m not always a mean author. For pure fun: I’d pick Hector. For a pet: I would choose Norwick.
Q: If an evil Fey cast a spell on you that caused you to be able to say only one phrase for the rest of your life, what phrase would you choose? Would you be able to outsmart the evil fey with your phrase?
A: Since I can pick the phrase – I would pick, “I love you.” I think that phrase alone would eventually be able to break such a curse, if the person under its spell truly felt the words for everyone, even towards the curser.
Q: What was your favorite book when you were a kid?
A: So many! I read a bunch of the Sunshine State Award books, which is how I found Ella Enchanted (one of my all time favorite Cinderella stories) and a bunch of series. I read Nancy Drew, Animorphs, Harry Potter, and Encyclopedia Brown when I was younger and Twilight, Mrs. Murphy, Cat Who, Bernie Rhodenbarr, and Stephanie Plum when I was older. I love reading and I am very grateful that I can add my own worlds to those that I grew up on.
Q: Which of your book characters do you think you’re most like and why?
A: It’s a funny thing, being an author. I could pick any character and probably say – this or this about them is me. Zaria is my bookworm happy self. I always carry a book on me. She’s also many things I strive to be – kind, caring, warm, tenderhearted. Aleks is my more practical side that tries to see the big picture and look for the best route to proceed. Christoffer shares a lot of my humor and that of my husband’s as well. Hector is more how I see myself as an adult. Nori is how I think my younger sisters felt about me at times growing up (siblings always seem to pick on each other, don’t they?).
Q: What’s your typical day like?
A: Filled with work during the day, and lots of things in the evenings depending on the day of the week. Tuesdays and Saturdays I do ballet. Wednesdays I eat dinner with the folks and go to church. Thursdays and Fridays tend to be date nights with the hubby. Weekends I spend doing chores and errands. Sundays is church again, lunch with the folks, and evenings spent with friends playing board games. In between all that I slice out time each day to write. I have several word goals that are always active, which keep me motivated and help me track how far along I am in a book.
Q: What’s your biggest challenge while writing a book?
A: The beginning of a trilogy always seems to be the hardest for me, and while a trilogy ending isn’t necessarily a challenge to write down the first time, I always have to go back and think it through slowly as I strive to ensure it covers all the points necessary to wrap up and also leave readers satisfied.
Q: If you were president and could institute a system to help kids be better educated, what would you institute?
A: I think reading and literacy is key for a child – it’s creative, it’s informative, and it’s good to have the comprehension skills which are built from reading as an adult. I would probably build on existing intuitions which support these activities for kids. It’s not always about something new, but adapting what’s in place for the current needs.
Q: Who’s your biggest role model?
A: There’s a lot of people I admire in life. I tend to connect well with older women who fill roles of friend, mentor, aunt, mom, and/or grandma. I find these women to be some of the kindest, most generous people I know and they motivate and inspire me.
Q: What’s your favorite color?
A: Purple! Almost any shade. It’s hard to find a purple I don’t like.
Q: If Zaria were going to make a YouTube channel, what would it be about?
A: Zaria would have a booktube channel and a magic channel, although on her magic channel people wouldn’t realize it was actual magic.
Q: Have you ever seen a real deer or elk up close?
A: I have pet a doe in a zoo. I have seen elk and moose at national parks. I have yet to see them as close as the deer from the petting zoo though.
Q: From your experiences travelling the world, what’s your favorite food from any part of the world?
A: I remember these amazing raspberry popsicles from a trip to Finland when I was eleven. I wanted one every day. I remember dining on red chicken curry in France at the same age (and today it’s one of my all time favorite foods). I remember eating something like egg foo young/quiche in China at fifteen, but I couldn’t tell you what it was, only that I loved it. As I have gotten older, I’ve learned to try more things and over time my palette has expanded and I like a lot of things you couldn’t have paid me to eat as a kid – asparagus, macaroni, sushi, bacon, cheese (that isn’t cheddar), beans, fries, just to name a few.
Q: If you could do anything at all, job wise, what would it be?
A: Write books full time!
Q: What did you like about school, growing up?
A: I enjoyed learning a lot and making friends. Lunch time was always spent reconnecting with everyone from various periods. Favorite classes probably were English, French, and art, but I liked all the science and history and math ones too. I made the honor roll often.
Q: Can you name all the names of all the characters in your book without looking?
A: I’d come pretty close. The side characters that haven’t had a second appearance yet in the series, might be a touch problematic. If you asked me to name everyone who I’ve thought up but haven’t put in the books yet, that would almost be impossible. Luckily, I have an immense spreadsheet with all this detail, and another one with all their physical and personality descriptors. In between books, I generally read or listen to the whole series again so I don’t miss anything or anyone, and I look at all my notes to remind myself where I want to go next.
If you have a question that you would like to ask me, submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment. I look forward to hearing from you.