1.) When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I knew I wanted to be a writer after returning home from a trip to Africa. Prior to that, I was an actress and had a recurring role on a soap opera in which my character was killed off. A relationship that I was in fell apart at the same time. Faced with that, I did what any sensible unemployed actor would do. I took all my money and traveled someplace I’d never been before. I’ve always loved wildlife but it was in Africa where I came face-to-face with some of the most charismatic animals on Earth. I also witnessed the effects of poaching and habitat destruction. I came home determined to have a voice by writing about what matters to me.
2.) What do you love most about the writing process?
I love so many aspects of the writing process but most exciting for me is the research that goes into each book, be it fiction or nonfiction. It’s during this discovery period that a story, and its characters, begin to come to life. What could be more exciting than that?
3.) What do you love most about teaching writing?
What I love most about teaching is the satisfaction that comes when someone in class begins to fully realize their potential. There’s that moment when things begin to click, the writing process makes sense, and their story starts to flow. I’m as excited by their progress as they are.
4.) What are you reading right now?
I just finished reading a wonderful book, GIRLS LIKE US by Cristina Alger. I’ve now begun to read THE RED SCREAM by Mary Willis Walker.
5.) What’s your favorite writing quote?