(Jagged Scars #1)
Publication date: May 20th 2015
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Sixteen year old Wendy never knew the world before the Starvation. She’s learned to put her trust in her knives, and her confidence in her fighting ability. When the Skinnies attack her compound, she’s the lone survivor.
Injured and near death, Wendy is rescued and nursed back to health by mysterious strangers. Her saviors offer her a place among them, but trust has never been one of Wendy’s strengths, and suspicion soon leads to evidence that these people might be the group who killed her family.
The decision to get her revenge, and take the settlement down from the inside out is easy. Keeping her distance from those she must befriend in order to make it happen proves to be much more difficult.
What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
This one is easy, and maybe you’re expecting me to say “Finishing my first manuscript!”, but that’s not it at all. While writing isn’t easy, it’s something that I can do. What I struggled for six years to get is my black belt in Shaolin Kempo. I’m a round girl–always have been–and I had to put some seriously hard, physical effort into every single thing I did at the dojo. I can write all day, but ask me to do a push up, and I still inwardly roll my eyes and do them from my knees. So yeah, black belt. I’m pretty proud of that.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors.
Years ago, I was at a little, tiny writing/Sci-fi/Fantasy convention and I went to a class by a guy I’d never heard of. A guy named Brandon Sanderson. His first Librarians book was about to come out, and he was talking about magic systems. I don’t really remember what he said about that. What I do remember is one simple statement he made, “Don’t be afraid to suck.”
I’ve lived by this creed ever since. Don’t expect to be the best author in the room, don’t expect to get everything right the first time, and don’t expect to wow every reader you encounter. What all authors need to do is keep writing. Find some people who will help you get better and listen to them. It’s okay to suck, as long as you’re willing to try again.
Do you read reviews? Do you respond the them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I started out reading my reviews, but quickly gave up. Partly because it’s like an emotional roller coaster with some ups, some downs and often times afterwards I just wanted to throw up. My fix for all of this was to have my husband read them. He then tells me if there are any common threads. For instance, if three or four people say they felt the ending was rushed, then that’s something I should look at.
I remember getting a review of my first novel that said it was horrible and she couldn’t connect with the characters and she didn’t even make it through the book. I was devastated. How could anyone be so mean? In a fit of rage, I looked up her blog to see if she was mean to everyone, or if it was just me. That’s when I found out that she reviews fluffy romances, not action/Sci-Fi/Fantasy stories. No wonder she didn’t make it through, there wasn’t nearly enough googly eyes and sexual tension for her. That’s when I asked my hubby to read the reviews for me. One romance writer hated my book. That’s totally fine, but her feedback isn’t terribly pertinent to me, because I’m not writing Twilight.
What is your biggest failure?
I still haven’t received any death threats for killing off a character. This will happen.
What is your biggest fear?
The dark. No, wolves. No, the lack of toilet paper in the apocalypse.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
Okay, two things here. The mom of one of my best friends growing up wants this on hers, and I think it’s brilliant, “See, I told you I was sick.” I can probably talk my husband into this.
If not that, then something silly. None of the sweet, tear jerking messages that people leave. Those are lovely, but not really me. I’m more like, “Did you turn the lights off before you left?” or, “Be good. There is no try.”
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Flying. Fast. Then I’d figure out some weapons and the bad guys would hate me. Buahahaha!
What is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
I’ve had the opportunity to travel a lot, but I’ve never been to Antarctica. I know it sounds insane, but I totally want to go! Seriously, penguins and the driest place on earth. Plus ice. I’m so there.
What is something you want to accomplish before you die?
Keeping my flower gardens weeded for more than two weeks of the summer. I abhor yard work (don’t hate me) and at some point I’m going to simply pay someone to do it. Lazy? Yes. But it keeps me from wanting to punch more things than usual.
There are plenty of other serious goals, such as: running a 5k (I hate running almost as much as yard work), traveling to all 7 continents, getting a fan letter that tells me that my book/story helped them through a hard time, beating my husband at wrestling without having to resort to pressure points, surviving a 2nd degree black belt test, go into space…the list goes on and on.