In your own words, please describe your book.
JOE is about a stuttering young girl who has disturbing visions of the future. Our heroine, Joe, foresees that a madman is planning to shoot up the college university she attends. She takes it upon herself to divert the tragedy.
The book is told in eight different perspectives; Joe’s, the psychopath’s, and six ordinary people who will all be in the line of fire come the day of the shooting. The perspectives intertwine, making for a tense countdown that begins the moment you open the first page. Someone once told me that it reads the way the movie Crash is told. That’s not far off.
So, it’s about an extraordinary, strange young lady and her ability, and about a school shooting, but the part that really makes it what it is are the six ordinary people who are potential victims. It’s about the beauty the reader can gleam from their perfectly normal lives when we know they are unwittingly hurdling toward doom.
Hopefully, you’ll be left loving and respecting Joe, understanding but still fearing the psychopath, and empathizing with the people who are just like us.
What genre/genres does your book fall under?
Is this book part of a series?
Yes, the second book in THE JOE KNOWE SERIES is called WHITE SHEETS and it was released recently. If you like JOE 1, you’ll probably like that one too.
What was the inspiration behind your book?
I honestly couldn’t say. A collection of things, I suppose. Isn’t it always? When the idea of Joe as a character came to me, and the foe she would be facing, I just knew it had to be written. Like all of my ideas, I put it away in my head for a while, and when it didn’t go away, but rather, slowly morphed and augmented, I dug into researching the crap out of mass shooters and waited until I felt ready to be the psychopath.
What led you into writing? Was it a lifelong ambition, or the result of some type of turning point in your life?
Both, I guess. I’ve been writing since forever. I mean, I was a true nerd girl from the moment the symbols of the English language began to make sense to me. Both of my parents are avid readers, and it was just something I always did as a child. Like, a butt-load. When my mother gave me the works of Edgar Allen Poe at around the age of seven, I just knew I had to try. Thus, I began writing every night along with my reading. I scribbled out poem after poem and made my mother listen to every single one. It didn’t occur to me to write for money until I was twenty-one, and one of those dreaded but blessed turning points came. The words, even without any monetary gain attached, have always been my fallback.
So far, what has been the greatest moment in your writing career?
The greatest moments always come in the chair, sitting in front of the computer, catching hold of the perfect wave of words and riding them into shore. Those moments when you’re like, “Yeah, man. That’s some good shit right there”, and you just sit back and admire what you’ve created. Other than that, the whole ride has been pretty darn cool. The first book I sold to a stranger was sweet. I cried like a dork and called my mom. The first thousand copies was great, so was hitting 35,000 sold and getting on bestseller lists. All the little messages and kind words from readers. The thoughtful reviews. I could go on and on. I feel very blessed.
Are you self-published or published through a small-press? Can you tell our readers what led up to that and your publishing experience?
I’m primarily self-published, but I did just sell foreign rights to the four books in my ALEXA MONTGOMERY SAGA to be translated and published by a press in Istanbul, Turkey, so I guess that makes me a hybrid. I wanted people to read my work, and didn’t want to keep jumping through hoops, so I began self-pubbing. Once you start being an indie, it’s hard to stop. But I’m jumping through hoops now because I have a particular book that I don’t want to self-pub. We’ll see how it goes.
What are you working on now?
Right now, I’m putting together a book of poetry, and beginning work on a fiction piece that will serve as a sort of social commentary. I hope it will highlight the issues facing millennials today and in the future if changes aren’t made.
In your own words, please tell us about yourself.
I’m a single mother, a philosopher, a do-gooder. I like simple things. Time with family, going fishing, hiking. I’m loyal to a fault, and grateful for everything I have. I play guitar…crappily. I love all music. I hate seeing others suffer, but recognize my own suffering as being somewhat essential in my writing. I’d be happy with just a small house, a garden, and a full bookshelf. But, for my two daughters, I will steal the moon. That’s really what all this is about.
What are some of your likes and dislikes?
I like when my girls bring me seashells and plucked dandelions. I love watching them sleep. I like people who are genuinely good, not just obliging. I like people who are good but do bad things…especially if they’re a hot guy on a dorky vampire show. I would have traded my pinky toes to be Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a kid. I like killing zombies on Call of Duty, and buying t-shirts displaying whatever I’m fangirling over.
I hate rude drivers. I cuss at them loudly. I don’t like stepping in invisible puddles of water with just socks on. I hate when my ice cube trays are empty.
How can readers connect with you?
Tell us one thing about yourself that we wouldn’t know.
I am twenty-five years old, and have decided to dedicate my life to writing so that I can provide well for my children. I’ve no intention of stopping until I get where I’m going, and I wish more people would believe they could do that too.
If there was one thing you could tell your readers, what would it be?
Thank you. Thank you so damn much.