In your own words, please describe your book.
My new book is Remote: When technology fulfills every dream, reality becomes a nightmare.
It is a 71,000 word novel geared for young adult and college-aged audiences. Yara, the main character, lives as an undergrounder and specializes in nighttime raids against the New State, where people are often more machine than human. Then she meets Joshua, a New State citizen, who doesn’t quite fit her preconceived expectations. As they become closer, Yara realizes how insidious the hold of New State is on the citizens and how few freedoms they have, all replaced by technological illusions. With the help of her father, an underground leader, Yara and Josh join in the rebellion and the plan to take down New State, but nothing goes as expected. The challenges Yara faces throughout the book test her loyalties and ultimately challenge her understanding of humanity.
What genre/genres does your book fall under?
Remote is science fiction and romance while Apocalipstick, my first book, was paranormal romance.
Is this book part of a series?
There is potential for a second book. I have to think about the characters and their futures.
What was the inspiration behind your book?
After reading “The Pedestrian” by Ray Bradbury with my high school Science Fiction class, I began to think about the consequences of technology in our lives. I love science fiction and hoped Remote would open a discussion on the topic of overuse of technology today. Many of my high school students are glued to their cell phones and other devices in and out of class. While the students acknowledge that this isn’t good, they no longer know how to function without a phone in hand.
What led you into writing? Was it a lifelong ambition, or the result of some type of turning point in your life?
I always loved both reading and writing. I still remember getting a good grade on a fiction short story assignment in high school and being so overjoyed that the teacher liked it. When I took creative writing in college, my professor wasn’t nearly as nurturing and I became a high school teacher instead of a full-time writer. Still, writing has always been an enjoyable pastime and part of my life. Most days, writing is relaxing and therapeutic. On rare occasions, it’s a challenge to add any words to paper, but I still enjoy it more than most other activities.
So far, what has been the greatest moment in your writing career?
The day my first novel was accepted for publication. I could not stop screaming and jumping around. My family thought I was crazy.
Are you self-published or published through a small-press? Can you tell our readers what led up to that and your publishing experience?
My publisher is Etopia Press. I loved working with them and my editor was so helpful in refining the draft and making it into a publishable piece of writing. Remote came out on November 21, 2014. It can also be downloaded at Etopia Press, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble for Kindle and Nook.
What are you working on now?
The follow-up to Apocalipstick is with the publisher and I am trying my hand at a mystery novel based on an old historic figure in Connecticut know as The Old Leatherman.
In your own words, please tell us about yourself.
I grew up being the black sheep of the family, but now look conservative. Inside, some things never change and I am still the rebellious teen looking for a creative outlet. Luckily it is writing and not something more destructive like it was in my youth.
What are some of your likes and dislikes?
In terms of books, I’m old school and love a good paperback. While I appreciate the ease of access that eBooks offer, there is something about flipping through pages and seeing your progression through a book that cannot be replaced. I love the feel of a paperback book in my hands. I dog ear the pages, take notes in the margin. There is nothing like having a paperback novel at the beach or while relaxing and reading on the couch. I think e-books are great, especially when travelling, and I download many of them, but I hope they never replace having an actual paperback book with you.
Other likes include hikes, bikes, hoses, and my three cats, along with reading and writing. I can’t leave out my family and friends because they would be a little mad about it.
Dislikes: Crowds and a general lack of time management. I always feel like I have more to do and little time to get it done.
How can readers connect with you?
Tell us one thing about yourself that we wouldn’t know?
Characters form in my head before I start writing the book. The main character of Remote, Yara, was well-defined before I began Chapter 1, and she became my favorite because of her inner strength and strong moral code. During revisions with my editor, I had the chance to go back and think about her in more depth and I developed Yara’s motivations and relationships further. The same happened with Josh, another of the main characters. During revisions, I was able to add more of his perspective into the book. I love how the two of them interact.
If there was one thing you could tell your readers, what would it be?
Don’t listen to what others tell you. Move beyond people’s expectations. I have a friend, also an author, who told me I had to have the title before stating the project. I should never begin a book without one. But that didn’t work for me and stressed me out. The title is the last thing I think about. Instead, I wait until the book is done and then think about the symbols and themes that evolved. The title of my first book Apocalipstick came from my daughter and so did Remote. For Apocalipstick, I was telling her about a scene in the book where the main character, Jenna, puts on her mother’s lipstick for the first time after the zombie apocalypse. She is finally out of harm’s way and has the luxury of remembering the past and looking forward to a possible future. My daughter joked, you should call the book Apocalipstick and the title stuck. So…the writing process is a personal process. Don’t listen to what others tell you. Make it your own.
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