1. What are you working on right now?
I'm currently editing Haunted Stuff: Demonic Dolls, Screaming Skulls, and Other Creepy Collectibles (Llewellyn - August 2014) but hope to be working on an MG project soon. On the side, I'm plotting a middle-grade project on Poe in elementary school. He'll be the only 3rd grader with a full mustache.
My past MG projects involved the Girls' Ghost Hunting Guide, which teaches kids (and adults) how to explore the paranormal through responsible investigations and deductive reasoning...and I manage to sneak in some bad jokes.
2. How does it differ from other works in its genre?
There aren't too many haunted object titles out right now. While there are many ghost story books, haunted objects give a new twist to the old standbys.
3. Why do you write what you do?
I appreciate the quirkier side of life. Writing for the mainstream has never appealed to me, and I try to never take myself too seriously. I think that appeals to a certain demographic who also want to see the gooey underbelly of literature and we're able to connect through books and other mediums. I know that as a kid, I was looking for an alternative to what was safe and/or bland. There were worlds to be explored, terrible jokes to be made, and characters that were passed over for being "weird" in other books. Those characters are my people. With me, they get that second look and let their stories be told with a wink and a sly smile.
4. How does your writing process work?
I let my OCD flag fly when I'm writing nonfiction. I have excel worksheets for chapters and wordcounts, plus interviews, forms, and photograph releases. I start my research as soon as I get off the phone with the editor because I know the clock is ticking and there are things I need to learn to write the best book possible. I usually try to write 3-4 pages a day (plus research) and have it done before my five girls get home from school in the afternoon. I do a lot of self-editing so clean-up later isn't as crazy as it could be though things always need a good shakeout in the following drafts. Some days it's a 500-word day, and others are over two thousand. I know that there will be fluxes in the word count depending on the particular topic I'm researching that week, so give myself a little slack if it's an off day and make it up the following writing session.
For fiction, it's completely different. I've been published multiple times in anthologies with short stories, and I almost always kick it off with some snarky dialog. It's like I wake up saying something rude and keep it going until the chapter is finished. My poor husband is never the wiser that he's dialog fodder. ;)
Thanks for stopping by today! For my next trick, I'll lead y'all astray to authors Jay Faulkner and Tom Torre for their author interviews in the next week or so. Taaaa daaaaaaaa!