What writers inspired you to become an author?
Ray Bradbury (The Veldt), Robert C. Obrien (Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh), Richard Adams (A Watership Down). These authors inspired me through their stories that helped me see the world differently. I wrote my first book in 6thgrade (video attached).
If you could travel to any time in history, when would you visit?
During one of my speaking events, one of the people who asked me a question referred to me as a Renaissance woman after I gave him my answer, so I would like to visit a time during the Renaissance.
If you could have dinner with any of your characters, which ones would you choose? What food would you serve?
I would have the Marcello family over for dinner. Since animals don’t exist in their world I would serve them a vegan meal, so as to not shock them.
What gets your creative juices going? Do you write to music, and do you want to share your playlist?
I actually don’t write to music. For me it’s distracting. I need silence to write and when I put my fingers on the keyboard I just start typing. I don’t do anything to get my creative juices flowing. I think this is because I have a full-time job (more than 40 hours a week) so by the time I get home the ideas just flow out after having them backed up in my mind all day.
If you could travel anywhere, on earth or off, where would you go?
Mars, to see if the hype is real. J
What color would you wear if you had only one choice?
Describe your dream writing spot.
At a beach house in the tropics, lounging on the outdoor patio as crystal blue waves massage the sand. There’s a small table to the right of me that holds an ice cold banana shake that chills my throat with every sip, but that’s okay because it tempers the hot kisses from the sun.
When their complicated relationship turns dangerous, they learn that tampering with the boundaries of death comes with consequences. Can Landon save Presley from the insidious spirits who have marked her for death, or was their love doomed from the beginning?
I am a blogger. In addition to my own blog, I blog for several group blogs including the Sweet Americana Sweethearts blog, which I started and administer.
Devon is the main character. Anya Taylor-Joy
Character names are something of an interesting beast, to me. There’s an underlying temptation to lace them with meaning (try to name someone ‘Hope’ without lacing them into the grand meaning of the plot), but I have a particular interest in the sound of the name. As in, does this name ‘sound’ right to the character wielding it and the world they’re a part of.
Within the first chapter of Outcasts of the Worlds, I introduce the trio of Flynn, Jean and Mack. Fairly basic names, within reason, and in the initial chapters to follow, the most notable characters they encounter are a mercenary group trying to capture them, named as Rebecca, Gilroy, Colin, and Doc (fun fact, Doc’s name really is Doc; his parents had very specific hopes for him). So nothing special there.
But by the fourth chapter, we’ve left the Earth which Outcasts begins on, and entered foreign territory. With the advent of other worlds, it wouldn’t make as much sense to stick with Earth conventional names, even if what we consider to be a common name by our culture might be a rarity in a different part of the planet.
As such, I hit something of an odd impasse.
A general rule I’ve relied on when naming a character is just finding something unfamiliar that sounds good. It probably sounds antithetical, but I’m seldom concerned with placing some deeper meaning in a name, and more finding one that fits the tone of a character. I suppose my rationale is something to the effect of thinking that when a parent names their child, they have little more design to place them as the hope of humanity or ensure their name sounds like that of a conniving thief or what-have-you.
Characters that appeared in my book such as Zaja DeSarah or Leria Rujet were named such cause I liked the sound of them.
Now, conversely, some characters had Earth-rooted names, and as Outcasts developed, I wanted to move away from those, while still keeping the spirit of who they were alive. A girl shows up in the fifth chapter of Outcasts originally named Jessica (Jessi for short), and from a desire to keep Jessica close to who she was, her name permutated into Chariska (Chari for short), sounding close enough to the old name that I didn’t feel I was losing track of it, or her.
I don’t know if I can say that Chariska Jerhas will be the same woman that Jessica Jerhas would have been when all is said and done. Things sometimes happen when writing that you don’t plan at the beginning but feel right at the end, and it’s possible the tone of a character’s name can affect that, even without meaning to.
This isn’t to say I’ve abandoned Earth-based names entirely off-world, just that I try to use them sparingly. They can help make a character seem less alien on the offset, which could as easily make them relatable as a different kind of scary. Besides that, and to sum up: the way I see it, John is a common enough name … is it so unthinkable that an alien culture might come to the same syllabically simple conclusion?