1. How do you dream up your characters and situations?
I often get inspired by random ideas—usually something that comes from reading psychological articles or studies, but sometimes random links or web pages can give me an idea. Once I have the concept of a story down (i.e., a priestess who can take away people’s pain), I start to flesh it out and explore it in my mind. Eventually, the story takes shape, but it’s always built around a single idea or concept.
2. What are your quirks, so readers can understand you as a writer more than your advertising spiel.
I’m a third-culture kid (born in Japan to French and Canadian parents), so I don’t really have anywhere I can call “home”. I’ve spend most of my life traveling, engaged in missionary work. I’ve only just begun writing but have found it to be my calling, my purpose in life.
3. How do you develop your characters?
I start by understanding what makes them tick. I never have an “ordinary” protagonist or antagonist—there always has to be something odd or unique about them. By delving into the psychology of the character (half-demon assassin with schizoaffective disorder, thief girl brainwashed into slavery), I can craft both the characters’ personalities and their stories.
I’m listening to David Dalglish’s Dance of Cloaks series, and enjoying it. It’s a very different sort of thief/assassin novel than I’m writing, but a fun one to read.
5. Why do you write and what drives you?
I write to express my innate creativity. I’ve always had a desire to create, to put something unique into the world, and writing allows me to do that. The driving force behind my writing is always helping others to understand me and the world around them better.
6. Who inspires you?
I’m inspired by a lot of writers who draw me in with their stories and help me forget my problems. Brandon Sanderson, Scott Lynch, Joe Abercrombie, David Weber—these are just a few who I’ve found to be highly addicting. I want to make people as addicted to my stories!
7. What inspires you?
I want to share parts of myself, my mindsets, and my beliefs with others. By doing so through the medium of a story, I can package thoughts in a way that people will find appealing. Even if there’s only one sentence in a book that shares the way I think or feel, if people identify with it, it’s worth all the effort.
8. Is there a single thread/ idea/ belief which appears everything you write?
It’s actually a quote I wrote and tattooed on my arm, “There is no evil; only desire and what you will do to obtain it.” I believe that the only thing separating the “heroes” from the “villains” is a single action, a single choice, or the way they go about getting what they want.
9. What book/ story/ movie do you wish you’d written?
I wish I could have written The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. SO descriptive, rich, and intriguing. Such an amazing series—my favorite books of all time.
10. How often do you think of an idea, but see it’s been done? What do you do?
I try to find a new way to tell the story, or approach it from a different angle. Take The Last Bucelarii series, which follows an assassin. Instead of the assassin being a villain, he’s the protagonist (anti-hero). He is as much a victim in his own life because of the voice of the dagger in his mind that drives him to kill. His journey and character growth is totally different from any other assassin story out there. The fact that he is the protagonist and deals with very real mental problems (schizoaffective disorder) makes his story absolutely unique.