The more I read, the more I just read. It was hard to be critical because I was enjoying the story so much. I started getting upset when I got interrupted because I just wanted to keep reading.
I'm having so much fun with your book.
Love it! You have a very engaging voice.
Q: Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small town in Idaho where potato farming was pretty much the biggest deal ever. My high school mascot was a Russet potato. I placed in a beauty pageant called The Miss Russet Pageant, and got to ride on a float in the Spud Day parade. In the fall, schools closed for two weeks so everyone could participate in "spud harvest." My background really influenced my choice of setting in Powerless. I've probably spent equal time in small towns and suburbia, and in a disaster situation I'd much rather be in the country.
Q: What motivated you to become an indie author?
I think there are a lot of readers out there who are like me - they love end-of-the-world stories so much that they're willing to read whatever they can get their hands on. I want to add a quality story to the genre, but I don't think there are many publishers out there putting out books for these fans. So I'm putting it out there myself, and I really hope people like it.
Q: What do you read for pleasure?
I read just about anything. I gravitate to young adult books, fantasy, post-apoc and dystopian stories. Some of my favorite authors are Guy Gavriel Kay, Robin McKinley, Maggie Stiefvater, Tamora Pierce and Shannon Hale. And when I say "favorite author" what I actually mean is I've read every book they've published.
Q: What is your writing process?
So far what works for me is to write an outline and then completely ignore it. Don't get me wrong, I want to follow it, but my characters have their own ideas. I do really like the principle of 3 act storytelling, so I've got a spreadsheet that helps me figure out how to divide everything up and I stuck to that quite closely in Powerless. This is probably a good topic for a blog post at some point.
Q: Describe your desk.
Desk? I like sitting on a recliner with my feet up and my laptop on my lap. The cat would prefer it if I gave up writing or at least went back to a desktop computer, though. The laptop blocks her out of her favorite spot.
Q: What do you listen to while you're writing?
I actually can't listen to anything - it's too distracting. But while I'm brainstorming and editing I like Collective Soul, Vertical Horizon, Imagine Dragons, Live, Ben Folds Five and a little Foo Fighters and SafetySuit. A few songs from a couple of these artists even inspired scenes in Powerless. I love music!
Q: Are you a prepper?
Not really. In fact, I got part-way through writing Powerless and had a mini-freak out about how unprepared we were for a major disaster. I always imagined we'd hop in the car and drive up to Idaho, but when I finally looked at a map and did the gas mileage math I realized we'd probably end up stranded in the middle of the Nevada desert. Thanks to my brother and his wife we have a super compact 72-hour supply of food. We've got water and a way to boil it - I bought a solar oven a few months ago. I'll be trying it out this summer and blogging about it.
Q: Do you think an EMP could really happen?
I do. It's the EOTWAWKI (translation: End of the World as We Know It) scenario that I think is the most likely. That's why I wrote about it. It's a credible threat and most people don't know about it. In fact, until they read my book, even my mom and sister hadn't heard of an EMP. Understand - I think it's more likely I'll experience an earthquake here in southern California. Or my relatives in Pennsylvania will lose power next winter because of ice storms. We need to get prepared for these kind of things, and then if TSHTF (translation: if things get really bad) we will have a better chance of surviving.
Q: What are you working on next?
When I started writing Powerless I didn't know if I wanted to commit to a multiple book project. That's one reason you'll find Powerless doesn't end with a cliff-hanger. Right up to the end I thought it might just be a stand-alone book. As I was nearing the end though, I realized I wanted to know what would happen next to the characters. The only way I'll find out is if I keep writing about them, so my next project is a sequel to Powerless.