Chills, thrills, and fantasy
Location: Seattle, WA
Occupation (day job): Content Strategist
Marital status: Yup, I have one
Age: Not saying
Prized possessions: 4 wonderful kids, 1 terrific husband, a cat and a dog
Current status: I started writing my first novel in spring of 2014. Now, I’ve completed two while immersing myself in all the great information out there about writing, publishing, and marketing. Currently querying and plan to self-publish if I can’t find an agent.
Why the Castalia Club? It’s the name of the club in my first novel. And the URL wasn’t taken. Redirecting my personal domain here, so you can find me either way.
First thing you should know, I don’t much like talking about myself. Makes me feel naked, exposed. I’d just as soon stay behind the scenes.
I grew up in California (San Diego) but have lived for over twenty years in Seattle. I work in the tech industry doing a variety of things. I write non-fiction for a living along with building websites and doing online marketing.
More important, I’m a wife and a mother of four fantastic kids. We also have a chocolate lab named Boadi, short for Boadicea. And a cat named Storm, short for Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All. (And if you know that reference, you’ll know more about my tastes.)
Writing experience: I’ve got lots. I worked doing technical writing for many years. Now, I write web copy, ebooks, white papers, and more for clients. For potential mentors, that means I regularly get feedback on my writing from clients and editors and must incorporate and address that feedback.
Like so many writers, I was a voracious reader as a kid (book at the table, a book everywhere I went). I read a lot of classics. I went through an Edgar Allen Poe phase in elementary school. 1984 was my favorite book in middle school. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read it. Faulkner and Truman Capote were high school favorites. I also read tons of science fiction (wanted to be an astronaut) and everything by Stephen King. And I wrote all the time. Poetry was my way of venting my feelings.
As an adult, I tried writing short stories and even a novel, but never got very far. Partially, I had my bar set higher than I knew I could ever reach. And partially, life just intervened. (Rmember, four kids.)
But in April of 2014, I got an idea and it captured me. I ran with it and wrote my first novel. I entered it in PitchWars 2014. Didn’t get a mentor–for reasons I now fully understand. But I did meet some great folks who ended up becoming critique partners. Colleen Halverston, in particular, helped take my writing to the next level.
In addition to great CPs, I availed myself of the many, many valuable writing resources on the internet, joined communities, read several books on writing, and practiced, practiced, practiced. I got an idea for a new book and wrote it over the winter and spring, applying what I’ve learned. I’m currently querying that book and working on a third.
If you’re an agent, editor, or potential CP, you might want to know that I’m a hard worker and kind of obsessive. When I’m on a mission, stay out of my way.
I can take the crit. Give it to me! As noted above, I’m using to getting pointed feedback and using it to improve. I can set my ego aside–and I’m willing to work hard to become a better writer.
I’m a plotter. While I don’t like to plot every detail (takes the fun out of the writing), I plot fairly extensively. For this MS, I used a spreadsheet to lay out my plot and subplots and the character arcs. I laid out the plot points and pinch points. I knew the approximate word count for the novel and made sure, as I wrote, that I hit everything at roughly the right point.
I’m a geek. We’re a family of geeks, over here. Love science. Love tech. Am introverted.
I like it dark, but with a purpose. Well, that Walking Dead gif probably says it. And the nature of my manuscript. While I have no problem with dark, gore, and pain, I also like to make a point, so my books do have themes.