Monday, December 9, 2013

A Few of my Favorite Things

A list of my favorite things, in honor of the holidays and the song I can’t seem to get out of my head right now!

~ romantic comedy

First question and it’s a hard one! Of all time? I’d have to say Sixteen Candles. John Hughes at his best. We all had those seemingly unattainable crushes in high school so this one just hits home. It may show my age but it’s a timeless classic!

~ national park

Easy. Yellowstone National Park. I live an hour from both the north and the west entrances. It’s beautiful and eerie. No matter how many times I go, I still find something new, some new part to explore. Of course I try to avoid it when it’s high tourist season…

~ type of weather

I like sun, of course, but I LOVE rainy, dreary days. The kind that make you want to curl up on the couch with a good book or a movie.

~ foreign accent

Scottish or Irish for sure. Gerard Butler can talk to me all day…sigh

~ winter olympic sport


~ part of your love interest's body

I love nice, ropey, muscled forearms. Especially if they are tattooed!

~ breakfast cereal

Cocoa Puffs and Captain Crunch Berries. I’m still a kid when it comes to cereal

~ political figure

Does the Dali Lama count? Sure why not. The Dali Lama for sure!

~ magazine/periodical

National Geographic. I have stacks of them in my house. Never gets old looking at their photos.

~ toy from childhood

Barbie. Had some epic Barbie play times with my sister.

~ tattoo that you have

My fleur de lis. It’s on the top of my right wrist and has a skull in the middle. LOVE it, the artist did an amazing job. Now I have the itch…

~ pie

Banana cream!

~ day of the year

Christmas and opening day of football season

~ genre of music

Always a rock girl at heart!

~ flower

Orchid. I have expensive taste.

~ movie musical

Rock of Ages…amazing music

~ screen kiss

The kiss at the end of Pride and Prejudice (the version with Kiera Knightenly).

~ curse word or phrase to say

Probably best not to say it here!

~ musical 'genius'

Ville Valo – Lead singer for the Finnish band HIM – his lyrical genius just gets me every time. That man has a way with words.

~ 'battle scene' from a movie

The one outside Minas Tirath (spelling?) in The Return of the King, Lord of the Rings. EPIC!

~ music to get your groove on


~ thing about your family

That I can consider them some of my best friends

~ way to travel

Plane, because it’s quicker but nothing beats a good road trip!

~ cause

Humanitarian work

~ candy bar

Not a big candy bar person…I guess maybe a Baby Ruth or Milky Way

~ thing about your work

Day job at a hotel – the people and interacting with them

Writing – being able to create my own worlds and rules

~ horror movie

Mama! Still have a hard time watching that one all the way through!

~ sport to play

Football is fun, without the tackling. Volleyball. Channel Surfing haha

~ band to see live

Godsmack! And surprisingly, Nickelback

~ video game


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Why mermaids? Why fantasy?

Mermaids and fantasy often go hand in hand. One can’t exist without the other. As much as the Discovery Channel may try to convince us otherwise, mermaids are creatures of legend, of myth, as captivating and mystifying as the waters they call home. Before writing this blog post, I struggled to remember where the idea for Into the Deep even came from. The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite Disney movies, always has been, but like so many of those stories, Ariel’s motivations were all rooted in romance, true love. I didn’t want to do anything like that. I wanted a true coming of age story, a glimpse at a girl who has a legitimate reason to fear the sea and to experience the realization that it can make her whole again. Of course there’s a boy, as well as complications. He hates humans, despises what they’ve done to the ocean.

That’s another subject I wanted to bring to the surface…no pun intended…humankind’s constant, uncaring neglect on the thing that gives us life. Whether unintentional or not, no one can deny what we’ve done. Whales hunted to the brink of extinction, fish populations decimated by overfishing, poisoned fish finding their way onto our dinner plates. Fukisima, in Japan, the nuclear reactor affected by the tsunami and earthquake, is dumping tons of radioactive water into the sea every day. Who knows what effect that will have on us in future generations? But I’m NOT going to get preachy! I promise. My point here is what if the ocean one day decides to rise against us? What if the creatures we’ve harmed decide to turn against us? And what if the only one who can save both worlds is a brand new mermaid princess?

So why fantasy? Why do I enjoy writing about things and places that don’t exist? The same reason I like reading about them…escapism. Not to mention, I find it easier to set my stories in a made up land. To date, I have five completed novels—all young/new adult and every single one of them either fantasy or paranormal or science fiction. For some reason, every time I sit down to try and finish one of my contemporary romances or women’s fiction, I fail. Writing about the real world? Not as exciting! Diving into a post-apocalyptic world where demons rule? Yes please! I don’t think I’m alone either. Why else have vampires and werewolves, fairy tale retellings, become so popular?

I have a trick I learned from a writing partner of mine. Look at your plot. What can you do to make it unique, different from every other fantasy/vampire/mermaid book out there? See. That’s the best part of writing fantasy. It’s okay to go a little overboard. You cares if you mess with a typical myth, give it tweaks to fit your story. Fantasy gives a writer true creative flexibility. When I first started thinking I might probably give this author thing a shot, I saw fantasy as this unattainable genre. So I stuck to what I knew, the real world. I thought I’d never be able to write about goblins, demons, aliens, or mermaid princesses. The first young adult novel I wrote was published earlier this year. It’s about a girl who’s a sensitive, who sees ghosts, and has some terrifying encounters with them, kind of a ghost version of Cinderella. That book was the test, dipping my toes into genres that I’d never considered. And guess what? It worked! Into the Deep will always hold a special place in my heart because it was the first book I ever colored outside the lines with, the first of many.

Now I say, “Lines? Who needs lines?”