1) First, tell us about yourself – where you live, your family, and those sorts of details.
I live east of Seattle with my equally nerdy husband. He gets dragged into reading my drafts all the time, though he hasn’t mutinied yet. We share our apartment with three aquariums full of bettas, too few bookshelves, and so many houseplants that my friends claim I’ll turn into the Batman villain Poison Ivy if I’m not careful.
2) How long have you been writing?
I have been writing ever since I could remember. My mom probably still has some of my very earliest stories, complete with horrible grammar and illustrations in crayon. I started writing novels when I was thirteen, and I sold my first novel as a sophomore in college. No matter how many crappy drafts I wrote, or still write, I can’t seem to stop making stuff up.
3) Do you have a favorite place to write?
Beneath linden trees at the riverside, in the sunshine of early summer. I have written many of my favorite scenes there on my trusty little netbook. Although aphids do like to poop on my netbook’s screen periodically. Which is less romantic.
4) Why did you decide to write Shadows of Asphodel?
I had a dream with Wendel in it. The very first scene of the book, in fact. I had planned to write something different entirely for my next book, but let’s just say that Wendel can be persuasive. ;)
5) Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
I can’t pick a favorite! If I had to pick which character I would most want to be myself, that would have to be Wendel. Mostly because I want an army of undead minions to do my bidding, but also because I’d love to burn all my inheritance money on absinthe and fancy hotels.
6) How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
My least favorite character would have to be one of those dumb louts who try to bully Ardis. There are several, and they always find themselves on the receiving end of Ardis’s sword. There’s also a catty mercenary character, Natalya, who I don’t like very much, but she will be coming back in the sequel just because I want to force Ardis to work with her rival.
7) Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
I have beta readers, and I read every draft of every scene out loud to catch as many clunky sentences and typos as possible. I also hired Bryon Quertermous (bryonquertermous.com) to professionally copyedit the book, and he caught a lot of mistakes that I had missed.
8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Gaming, running, gardening, and watching Supernatural are high on the list. I binged so many seasons of Supernatural on Netflix that I’m having withdrawal symptoms now that I have to wait a week for every episode. I’m such a Dean fangirl I have to keep pausing each episode to squee. I’ll admit I totally ship Dean and Castiel.
9) Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
Confession: I don’t read much while I’m drafting. It’s too hard! I need to be fully obsessed with my story’s world and characters in order to imagine what happens next. When I try reading somebody else’s book, it distracts me. But I do read a lot when I’m not drafting. Some of my favorite authors include Libba Bray, Philip Pullman, and Annette Curtis Klause.
10) What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.
Why did you write Ardis and Wendel’s relationship the way you did?
Because I wanted Ardis to take the lead, to be confident with herself, and to learn how to be vulnerable. As for Wendel, he’s arrogant enough to think he doesn’t need to be saved, but when he falls for Ardis, he realizes how wrong he was. I wanted to write a romance where both characters were badass, but also deeply flawed and lonely, and to explore that dynamic between them.