1. You’ve created a range of fascinating characters. Tell us about some of them, and how they came to be.
BananaBoy, the superhero in my children’s book, Sending You Sammy, is definitely my most interesting character with respect to how he was born.
While working at a contact centre I was colouring a picture of Spiderman when I ran out of red colouring pencil. Pausing only for a moment, I picked up the two colours I had the most of and it happened to be yellow and green. Looking beside me to a headline from the local newspaper declaring the devastating rates of childhood obesity, my new character was named BananaBoy.
Then I simply wrote him into an adventure that encouraged readers to eat healthier, enjoy the escape of reading to improve literacy rates and be something boys were eager to read.
My adult characters for Arm Farm and in my short stories of Brain Tales seemed to develop as I wrote their story and lastly, Veronica in Blood Day was created out of the pressure of a deadline and not having an idea as to what to write about.
Taking a lyric I loved from a song I heard and making it my own, Veronica began her discovery process into why she wasn’t born with blood.
2. You’re active on social media and have created collaborative projects among local authors. Do you enjoy the marketing side of authorship? What are some of your favourite activities?
Marketing is an element of writing I don’t think many authors appreciate but do find necessary. When it succeeds I love the process and when it flops I work at unveiling why.
Social media isn’t the only way of marketing but it seems to be where a lot of authors, emerging and best-selling, are resorting to. A cost-effective method of getting your name known, social media allows for more connections and creation of new ideas but it’s still a matter of foot traffic in your local area.
Writing is typically such a lonely career choice, meeting others and setting up joint partnerships and events forms bonds and relationships that blossom into fantastic new ideas. Multi-author events are definitely my favourite as it puts a unique spin on socializing and takes networking to a personal level.
3. Balancing work and family is always tricky, especially for writers working from a very busy household. How do you manage it?
Not very well! With a messy house and an active son, I do much more free writing than I’d like to simply to keep my creative juices flowing and in hopes of creating buzz about what I love to do.
Pressuring myself to write at least one blog post a week, write an article a week for a book site (thenewsinbooks.com), a quarterly cereal review for Canadian Child Magazine (http://canadianchildmagazine.wordpress.com/), I do thrive and fall miserably under the stress of the projects I sign up for.
Realizing balance is key and that my time and talent are worth a lot, I try to limit what I write for free but I do also find it motivates me and forces me to find time to write. Now to switch this demand for time into what I want to write most and succeed with is what I find I struggle with.
4. What writing projects are in the works for you now?
After the successful launch of award winning fantasy short story Blood Day about Veronica, my focus is shifting to complete the novel of the same name. Alongside this I am also working on a non-fiction book focused on gratitude.
Besides my website content writing, these are the two projects I plan to complete this year.