Give a one-sentence description of your book. Untethered is a young adult paranormal coming of age novel that explores the world of jealousy, obsession and self-deception.
What is your favorite quality about yourself? My sense of humor is probably what I like best about myself. I’m not a comedian, but I love to laugh and I don’t take offense too easily.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself? I know this kind of goes against what I said was my best quality, but hate how fully and deeply I can hold a grudge. It takes a lot to get me so hurt and angry that I do hold a grudge, but if I get there, watch out – it’ll last years.
What is your favorite place in the entire world? In front of a book. Preferably, in the corner of my couch with a bowl of popcorn on my knees. As a distant second, it’s Chamonix, France sitting in the grass with a view of the Mount Blanc before me.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer? I don’t know the exact moment when I knew I wanted to be a writer, but I remember going to the career counselor in high school and saying that’s what I wanted to do. She discouraged me and said, “You’d do wonderfully as a psychologist. Why don’t you think about that?” Good advice. All writers should spend their first year of college studying psychiatry. It shows you how insane you are to still want to be a writer.
Who or what has inspired your writing over the years? Although I’ve always written, it wasn’t until I moved here to Geneva, Switzerland that I decided to make writing more than a hobby. I joined the Geneva Writers’ Group and found an English-speaking pocket of nearly 200 writers who welcomed me. I’ve worked on the committee organizing events, lectures and conferences. With every new event, I felt more empowered. And then a few of us from the GWG got together to form a small critiquing group. There is no comparison to having a critiquing group with honest, yet supportive, writing friends. They inspire me. They push me. They shove me. And, I believe, they love me. It makes all the difference in the world.
Have you developed a particular writing style? Yes. Complete and utter chaos. I write. I tear the manuscript apart, picking away the fleshy parts and gnawing on the bone. And then I rewrite and move a little forward. And rip apart. And rewrite again. It’s a very long process, but outlines make me nauseous.
Who designed the cover for Untethered? The totally awesome Sue Niewiarowski from N-Design. I know her from the Geneva Writers’ Group and not only is she a cool person, she is fun to work with. What I like about the cover of Untethered is that it doesn’t look like all the other YA covers out there and that it gives a sense of mood. Just from looking at it, you know the book will have a slightly dark edge.
What are your goals as a writer? To write the story I want to tell in the best possible way I can put it on the page. There are a lot of YA books out there with fantastic plot or fantastic writing, but it’s a slight bit harder to find a novel with both. My goal is to have both. It’s what I’m striving for each and every time I sit in front of the computer.
What are five things you cannot live without? Family. Friends. Books. Computer. Popcorn. If I could add a sixth, it would be eyeliner.
Why should we buy Untethered? It’s cheaper than Starbucks coffee but will keep you awake longer. It’s cheaper than a movie but will keep you entertained longer. It’s cheaper than dinner but will keep you satisfied longer. And, because I hope it’s a good book.
Genre - YA Paranormal / Coming of Age
Rating – PG13