10 Day Author Challenge

If you are following me on Facebook, if you’re not you can do so HERE, then you know that for the past two weeks I participated in a ’10 Day Get to Know Me Author Challenge’ where I posted something about myself once a day for ten consecutive days as a way to let readers know more about me. I thought I would consolidate those posts and put them here for you all to read 🙂

Day 1DAY 1: What kind of genre do you write?
When I first started writing I thought that I had to pick one style and write just in that style but then I met a bunch of other writers that were multi-genre authors and realized that I could do all the things I enjoyed. A little having my cake and eating it to sort of thing. As a result, I consider myself a multi-genre author who writes Young Adult & New Adult Fiction, Crime/Suspense/Thrillers, Adult Romance, and Native American Fiction. Sometimes it’s hard for readers I think because some may only like one of those genres but I’m hoping that they will still peruse my work and simply skip the stuff they’re not interested in.

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Day 2DAY 2: What’s something cool about what you do?
I am a clinical psychologist by trade that specializes in abuse and trauma. I also work primarily with children and adolescents. Why is that cool info to know about me? Well, in pretty much all of my writing there will be some kind of psychological turmoil that people will need to overcome in order to find their happily ever after, so you can betcha I’m gonna bring it 😉

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Day 3Day 3: Is being a child psychologist helpful in writing YA/NA stories?
I think so. Over the years in my practice I have worked with so many middle school and high schoolers that I kind of know what some of the pressing issues are in the population. I’ve seen firsthand the effects of cyberbullying, teen pregnancies, suicides, gangs, and all sorts of other issues. Granted there is no ‘one’ way that a teen may respond to a situation but at least I have lots of samples for possible ways they may react. Plus, I simply love the way teens process information. It totally fascinates me. All of this I think helps me to create good characters that teens can relate to. And, well, I also have my teen daughter who works with me on my YA/NA fiction so if I put something ridiculous in there she will just give me that ‘look’ and I know a revision is in order … LOL

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Day 4DAY 4: What is your favorite drink?
Hands down, a Caramel Macchiato… Oh, that first sip is seriously like heaven. I am a hardcore Starbucks lover and as a result you will often find a reference to one in most of my stories or at least a coffee shop of some sort. I assume everyone loves coffee as much as I do 😉 So if you ever want to be my BFFL (best friend for life) then hit me up with a Grande Triple Shot Caramel Macchiato and I will love you FOR-EV-ER 😀

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Day 5DAY 5: What do you like about writing Adult Romance?
Oh yes, that is a fun one. If I said writing naughty times would ya think less of me? LOL… just kidding, I think inherently I’m a ‘hopeful’ romantic. I believe in love at first sight, forever and that all-consuming fire for someone. So far I haven’t found all three of those elements in one relationship but it’ll happen, like I said, I’m hopeful 🙂 Seriously though, I do love creating characters, usually flawed in some way, that somehow find a way to make it out of difficult situations primarily through the power of their love for one another because ultimately I believe that if two people love each other then nothing is out of reach!

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6bc47320-db26-47a4-9e46-cd409a6d81c6DAY 6: Where is your favorite place to be?
The beach. I grew up in Southern California and spent lots of time at places like Huntington Beach, which was my fave place to go, but I honestly don’t care what beach I’m at as long as it’s a beach. I have a sandtray in my office and sometimes I just run my fingers through it and remember my toes covered in sand, and the sounds of the waves hitting the shore, the seagulls flying above me and of course the laughter of children. The beach is my go to place to feel peace and tranquility.

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Day 7DAY 7: What do you like about writing Crime/Suspense stories?
It appeals to my OCD mind. There are so many intricate parts to writing suspense. You have to be extremely careful with timelines and events. For example, you have to keep people on the edge of their seat while not giving things away too early and you have to make sure that there are ‘clues’ given early on that people sort of pass over so that AFTER the big reveal they are compelled to go back and check some comment or scene in a previous chapter to see what they missed. The process can be very challenging but when it’s done right then it’s extremely satisfying. Plus, I’m a firm believer that I was a profiler in another life, just kidding, okay, maybe not kidding at all, I seriously think I was 🙂

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Day 8DAY 8: What makes you fangirl?
Oh boy, lots of stuff. I consider myself a fangirl extraordinaire. When I love something, I love it for life. I don’t usually have a lot of time for television but the shows I’m fangirling over at the moment include Shadowhunters (absolutely ADORE this cast and show), Once Upon A Time (love the different take on fairytales and hello ‪#‎CaptainSwan‬ groupie here), and Criminal Minds (loved this show from the very beginning and STILL do). I do tend to be more of a movie buff so my fangirling tends to involve actors or actresses. Being a Twilight fanatic of course I adore Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart and have seen everything either has been in but my current obsession is Idris Elba. I have been torturing my family with anything he does even if it’s just a hook in a music video, ‘I challenge you to a dance off’… LOL … And singers, my gosh, way too many to name. Prince was my all-time favorite singer and very first obsession. I really miss knowing that he’s in the world doing his thang. His death rocked me to the core. Currently though the two singers I’m absolutely gaga over are Bruno Mars and Bobby Long. Two polar opposites but I can’t help it. I do love em! As far as writers all I can say is that I’m addicted to the written word. I love some popular writers of course but I tend to lean towards indie authors which is why I love attending conferences like Indie Bookfest. It gives me a chance to meet lots of people and gather new faves. Last year I found L.E. Perez, Karen Amanda Hooper, Nadege Richards and Don Massenzio. Excited who I will find this year. The last book I read, well, re-read I should say, was Maya Angelou’s ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’

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Day 9

DAY 9: What do you like about writing Native American fiction?
As a Native woman who adores the written word, I found that there’s not an abundance of fictional stories about Native people that are based on today versus our past. And don’t get me wrong, our past needs to be told but being Native in the 21st century has its own set of complications. Of course, there are a few writers that have broken through the mainstream, Sherman Alexie comes to mind, but for the most part there is not a lot out there. The stories I write in this particular category are aimed at giving people a glimpse of the ins and outs of Native people in this day and age. Some stories will revolve around life on the reservation and others the cities. My debut novel which I wrote with my daughter, Thirty Eight, had this in mind as it was a modern tale with the backdrop as a real event aimed at celebrating and honoring our past. One of my other daughters actually gave me a fun idea about a series of novellas centered around a city girl living on the rez. I haven’t worked on it yet but it’s definitely gonna happen. And, just as an FYI, while not all of my stories are about Native people almost all of them will have Native characters in them. There are a lot more of us out there than people realize and I want to reflect that in my fiction.

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Awaken Cover Print VerticalDAY 10: What is in the pipeline for you?
Right now I am planning the release of Helios Awakened which is the first book in The Helios Chronicles. It’s an Adult Romance that follows Andrew Harrison and Madison Ellis as they meet, fall in love and then have to fight for their happily ever after in a world that isn’t as accepting as they hoped. Andrew is a beautifully flawed character who goes through unspeakable things in his past but through love he learns that the world may not be as horrific as he imagined. Madison is a go-getter, she has a plan for her life which doesn’t include falling in love, but once she and Andrew meet the sparks fly, and while she believes that the past is the past and one should be judged by whom they are now, she will find out quickly that others don’t see things the way she does. Helios Awakened will be out on August 23rd which just so happens to be my birthday, so yeah, its a Happy Birthday present from me to you 🙂

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Well, that’s it folks. 10 Days of Author info … LOL … I really liked doing this challenge and I hope that through it you learned a little more about me. Be free to ask me about anything contained in here or any other question you’d like to ask for that matter. I’d love to get to know you better as well 🙂


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