Describe your writing style. I call my style “romantic realism.” It’s sort of a blend of the fairy tale nature of the traditional romantic scenario combined with the wrench of actual human behavior. My writing background and influence are in modern fiction and because I have an advanced degree in English, it has more of a literary bent. So, while I’m committed to the HEA ending, it doesn’t always come in a conventional way, because I’m doubly committed to realism. Almost to a fault. Most of the feedback has been overwhelmingly good, where I have readers saying, “I will literally read anything that you choose to write.” But then the people that hate it… really hate it, lol. Which I understand. Because my characters are usually flawed and do and say questionable things. And in the midst of a romance, it can make the resolution emotionally unsatisfying for some readers, who expect to read about the coming together of two likable people that absolutely, positively deserve each other. Meanwhile, others who find the genre to sometimes be a bit stale usually find my style refreshing.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for this book? This was my first ever foray into becoming an author. It started out as an idea for a story. I hadn’t written in years and then suddenly I was getting an idea that I loved so much, that I actually left myself notes about the characters and the plot, and that weekend I had 12K words. In three weeks, Amara’s Calling was finished. Around the second week, I think, I got the idea to do a series out of the secondary characters, which was a great organic moment.
Do you see writing as a career? I do. Even though I don’t make a lot of money at this stage (although I guess that’s relative) and I’ve kind of taken a break from it, it definitely goes far beyond being just a hobby for me. I definitely feel like I’m building something, with each book I finish and release. And it’s something I’m getting better at all the time.
What makes a good story? A very good question. I like to play with this notion a lot. Because there’s a lot of “how to” guides out there, and while formulas are great and I genuinely respect them because extra work sucks, I tend to always end up saying, “no, I don’t cwanna do it like that,” and for some reason, I end up with these really sparse stories. I think I’m trying to strip storytelling down to it’s core elements, but that could be b.s. Haha. I’m just the type of person that when everyone says, “this is how it ought to be done” I’m like, “oh really?” Because I’ve always understood storytelling down to its core. Like, what keeps people reading Twitter threads? It’s not always about this contrived, three acts, “save the cat” thing, and even though I’m “just writing romance,” I’m still a writer, and I’m interested in getting down to the core of what is it about stories that move us.