Sara and I have been online friends for a couple of years, but we bonded at Realm Makers 2015 while talking about writing as moms of young kids–our oldest kids are months apart, and while I was pregnant with my second, she had her second baby with her at the conference. Black Tiger is her debut novel, and after reading the blurb, it is definitely on the top of my TBR list. Enjoy the interview! 🙂
*Tell us a little bit about yourself/your novel:
I grew up in Ecuador as an MK (missionary kid) but now live among the endless cornfields of Indiana. I have a terrible addiction to coffee. *Takes sip of Pumpkin Spice Latte while typing.* I’m obsessed with dinosaurs, and still consider paleontology a possible career choice for myself. I have two young children and a husband who can tell you everything about Star Wars. (I mean EVERYTHING.) I’m also the author of the upcoming dystopian series Black Tiger. Black Tiger takes place in futuristic Kentucky and features a girl, Ember, who grew up in an orchard, is taken to the most elite city, and learns some big secrets about herself—secrets that give her the power to affect the rise or fall of her country.
*What’s the funniest/weirdest thing you’ve ever had to research for a story?
Research? What’s that? Isn’t the point of writing stories in the FUTURE so that you DON’T have to do research? ;P Kidding, of course. I can’t really think of anything funny that I’ve researched. Since my lead in Black Tiger lives on an orchard, I had to research orchard stuff, like when do you prune the trees? (Answer: winter time.) Also, I know absolutely nothing about fashion or clothes designs, so I had to do a little research on Victorian Era dresses after a beta reader pointed out that petticoats aren’t, in fact, supposed to show. #thankGodforbetareaders
*Where do you usually write? Can you show us a picture/describe it?
We recently moved out to a little house in the country, and unfortunately don’t have my own personal office anymore. *sad face*. BUT I do have a writing corner, which is kind of more… quaint? rustic? whimsical? (peculiar?) Not sure what the perfect adjective is to put here, but you get the idea. Unfortunately, it’s more of a holding place for all my book stuff. I do most of my writing outside, on a little picnic table where I can keep an eye on my kids while they play.
*Do you have a strange quirk or habit while writing or preparing to write?
So… before kids, I had a whole routine that took, like, an HOUR to set up before I even started writing. I would make my tea/coffee (cuz every writer needs a hot drink close by, no matter the weather.) I would go so far as to light candles, put Enya on Pandora, and throw on “writing clothes” (i.e. sweatpants and t-shirt). It was bliss. Now I’m lucky if I even get an hour to write in a day, and my “writing clothes” are now my “regular daytime clothes”. (But I get to play with kids all day, so I guess it’s win/win, really. 😉 ) So I guess my answer (after kids) is that I always need a warm drink in hand while writing.
*Can you give us a hint of where the story is going next?
I’m planning on writing a three-book series with Black Tiger. I have a novella for one of a secondary characters brewing, but we’ll see if it ever takes off. Book Two in the series, Ashen City, will deal with Ember’s struggle with the decision to redeem her country, or leave and never look back. It’ll deal with her questioning, no only her purpose, but also what it means to have a self-sacrificing type of love for those she doesn’t even know.
This was fun! Thanks so much for having me! 😀
Thanks for hanging out with us! 🙂 Here’s more about Black Tiger:
When the fire goes out, supposedly dead, the embers still remain, tiny specks of deadwood and ash that have the capacity to start a fire large enough to burn down an entire city.
Ember Carter is a sixteen-year- old farmer’s daughter who wants nothing more than to stay close to her family in the Community Garden when Career Day approaches. Unfortunately, all farming careers are given to boys, and besides, as of the past two years, all students have been drafted to the Line of Defenders to fight in a war no one seems to know about. When Ember meets Forest, the mysterious stranger who seems to know a bit too much about city life and the way the government is run, she’s even less eager to leave the safe haven of the Garden.
On Career Day, the future couldn’t look brighter when Ember is the only student assigned the career of a Farmer. But all hopes come to end when she attacks a Defender to save her best friend. Suspected a rebel and sentenced to death, she’s transferred to Frankfort Prison where she will carry out her sentence.
But Frankfort is full of surprises and snotty Patricians. While in prison, Ember learns a dark secret about Forest that makes her question what little she knew about him. And then there’s Rain,the carelessly handsome boy who enjoys instigating her just a bit too much. If THAT’S not enough, the world learns something about Ember even she doesn’t know. A secret that brings her character into question, enlightens her on her mother’s true identity, and ultimately, gives her the power to affect the rise or fall of Ky.
With the handsome Forest tugging at her heart, and the rogue Rain whispering treasons into her ear, can Ember make the right decision that will redeem the corrupt government of Ky?