Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Detailing my personal experience from the onset of a rare and painful illness at the age of three, I recount my personal journey coming to terms with an ever-shifting conception of 'normality'. The disease having shaped my life in ways most could never imagine, my carefree childhood quickly morphed into a blur of ongoing hospitalizations, increasingly reduced mobility, and overwhelming fatigue and pain. It is not part of a series.
Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
Yes, I sent my first novel Ice Rose – A Young Adult Spy Novel out to agents and publishers.
How long before you got your offer of representation/your first contract? Was it for your first novel?
It took me two years and over 100 rejections for my first novel.
What factors influenced your decision to go with a particular agent or publisher?
Fireside Publications believed in Ice Rose, had enthusiasm, and permitted me to be a part of the process. I was consulted on the cover and shape that the final printed book took.
If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
I made a suggestion of my vision for the cover. My publisher had a graphic designer make two prototype covers. My publisher and I both agreed on which to use.
Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
First, I like to let my stories work themselves out in my mind. I need to have an idea of where the story is going before I start. Second, I take the story events and lay them out in the three act structure. This keeps me focused and serves as my roadmap for my characters’ and story’s journey.
Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
I always have an editor review my manuscripts before publishing. There are always errors that a writer misses. After reading, editing, proofing and staring at the same work, sometimes better words or phrases and errors are overlooked. An editor is an invaluable set of eyes and can help the writer in polishing the work to be the best it can be.
Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
It is a challenge to juggle my time between marketing Searching for Normal - A Memoir and writing Hindsight. Without an audience to read a book, my success of having subsequent books published would be in jeopardy. It takes time management to ensure that there is time set aside for both activities. That said, the actual writing process is rewarding and rejuvenates my energy.
Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
Dance is one of my other passions. I use a wheelchair to navigate the world. I’m proud to be a performer with CRIPSiE (The Radically Integrated Performers Society in Edmonton). http://www.cripsie.ca/
What’s next for you?
I’m working on my next YA novel Hindsight.
Olivia falls for David who has a secret that cannot be exposed to the world. A secret that when revealed will threaten not only her life but also her family. Will she be able to accept his secret and evade the danger that is trying to extinguish everything David cares about?