"I love books that I can literally picture myself in. This was perfect. It was like watching a movie, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time."
-Amazon Review by Thomas McBride
"This book is amazing. I couldn't stop reading it! All I wanted to do was read chapter after chapter and hope it wouldn't end."
-Apple Review by Lexifrog
"Without glossing over the atrocious aftermath of a disastrous event, the author somehow manages to leave you with the feeling that these people have a chance to survive, and you're really glad because they feel like your friends. The book also makes a real case for the importance of being prepared in the event of an emergency. Thought provoking, suspenseful and fast-paced, this is a great read!"
-Goodreads Review by J. Hays
It's a good for your heart read."
-Amazon Review by Joe Wright
"Not only did I love the characters and story-line, but I found myself really interested in the many survival skills incorporated within the fast-paced story. I kept thinking, 'Wow, I didn't know you could do that!'"
-Amazon Review by Book Lover
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 Outage. 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 wanted to add a quality story to the genre, and I don't think there are many publishers out there releasing 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 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?
It involves a lot of stalling, organizing clutter and doing other chores I have been procrastinating but would rather do than actually sit down and write. After that, I might play a little bit of Candy Crush or check my email, or peek in on Facebook or book sales. When the routine distractions are done, I write a little and spend copious amounts of time staring at the ceiling or the wall or out the window while I think about what will happen next in the story. Really, it's a wonder any writing gets done at all!
Q: Describe your 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 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 Outage. I love music!
Q: Are you a prepper?
Not really. In fact, I got part-way through writing Outage 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 actually looked at a map and did the 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 sterilize, and we'll hope for the best.
Q: Do you think an EMP could really happen?
Actually, 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 friends back East will lose power next winter because of ice storms. We need to be prepared for these kind of things, and then if the SHTF (translation: if things get really bad, lol) we will have a better chance of surviving.
Q: What are you working on next?
When I started writing Outage I didn't know if I wanted to commit to a multiple book project. That's one reason you'll find Outage 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 was happening in other parts of the country. The only way I'll find out is if I keep writing, so my second book told the story of what happens on Dee's parents' cruise, and the third in the series will return to Dee in Lookout Falls where she'll face new threats. In July, 2015 I'm also releasing a MG/YA fantasy novella set in the world of Muirwood Abbey, as created by Jeff Wheeler. I've really enjoyed writing in a new genre and may try my hand at my own fantasy series at some point.