Questions I Get Asked (Frequently)
How old are you?
• I am 19 (sixteen when Young Falcon was published).
When did you start writing?
• I learned to read shortly after I turned three, and then I started writing when I was about four. My first 'story' was an 8-page fan-fiction concerning the animated TV series Redwall, which my brother and I watched at the time.
When did you start writing Sons and Daughters?
• The idea for Sons and Daughters came to me in 6th grade when I was twelve, and I finished the first draft of Young Falcon when I was fourteen. I rewrote it twice before it was published when I was sixteen (2012). My second book in the series, Fallen Rose, was released in December of 2014, and I am currently in the process of rewriting my third book. The fourth one is also in the works.
Who's your publisher?
• Book Publishers Network, hailing from Bothell, WA. Though technically they are considered a self-publishing firm, in reality, they are a cross between traditional and self-publishing. They offer their authors all the control and input afforded by self-publishing but with the expertise of professional editors, cover and format designers, printing, and publicity/marketing options.
How long are your books?
• Young Falcon is 366 pages long, and Fallen Rose is 500. And there are no pictures, for the record.
What age group are Young Falcon and Fallen Rose appropriate for?
• I'd say anyone above 5th grade could read them; there is some violence (especially in Fallen Rose) that may not be appropriate for younger kids, but there is absolutely no sex, cursing, drugs/alcohol. The subsequent books will be darker, but Young Falcon is relatively mild. Fallen Rose delves a little more deeply into the consequences of war and the struggle to make the right choices under intense pressure. If you enjoy psychology, Fallen Rose and really the entire Sons and Daughters series will intrigue you.
Do you know the people on the covers?
• Surprisingly, I get asked the question quite frequently. No, I do not know them, nor even their names. For Young Falcon, I am aware that the boy was photographed at a Ukrainian Renaissance festival, but other than that, I know nothing about them. Same goes for Fallen Rose.
How much do Young Falcon and Fallen Rose cost?
• It depends on where you buy them. Paperback, they will be ~$18.95 and ~$21.95. Online, they will be anywhere from $17-$19. Kindle/Nook—$9-$10.
How did you come up with all the names?
• I'm a total name geek. I have Bruce Lanksy's 100,000+ Baby Names, which has been an invaluable source for names in all of my various stories, and I spent a great deal of time labouring over names of new characters. Meaning and spelling are VITAL to a character's name, and if it doesn't fit them like a second skin, I'll find another. I also name quite a large percentage of my characters after a) people I know, or b) people I wish I knew. It really helps me get a better grasp of the character's personality when (s)he is named after a real person, and the ones I name after people usually tend to be stronger and more relateable than those I create. Also, I recently discovered the site Behind the Name, and I love it! It's my new go-to for names.
How many books are you planning to write?
• I will never stop writing, but in the Sons and Daughters series, there will be 8 books—that's the plan, anyway. There may be fewer, but probably not more. I'm also planning a prequel series that involves two characters we've yet to meet. As for other projects, I have a few I'd like to write someday, but Sons and Daughters takes precedence now (and probably for the next forty years of my life!). There also may or may not be a 1000-page story that I work on for fun ...
Which author is your greatest inspiration?
• That's a toughie. I really don't read all that much (which I know has surprised some of you), but when I was in 3rd grade, I discovered The Lord of the Rings and it was my favourite series until a few years ago. Then I came across Christian author Francine River's The Mark of the Lion series, which is set in ancient Rome, and that is currently my favourite series, so I suppose I would have to answer both Tolkien and Rivers. For nonfiction, John and Stasi Eldredge are GREAT writers. Their books Captivating and Wild at Heart completely changed my life. I'd also recommend Footsteps of the Messiah for any Bible scholars out there.
Do you like English class?
• No, I do not. It's probably my least favorite class after math.
What do you do in your spare time?
• I'm a writer in college; I don't have spare time! I am a huge movie / TV buff, so if I'm not writing, I'll be watching something on the telly. I'm a huge fan of the Marvel movies, Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings, and Tom Hooper's Les Miserables. I have 70+ movies in my collection currently and am always on the hunt for more. My favourite TV programmes are Forever, Broadchurch, Revolution, Once Upon A Time, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Smallville. I'm also working on a side-novel-turned-1000-page-monster!
Is Elysia based on you?
• I'm actually nothing like Elysia. I'm the youngest, not the oldest; she has two sisters, I have one brother; she loves horses, I'm terrified of them; she thinks stories and mythology are dumb, I'm obsessed with them; she has red hair/blue eyes, I have brown/brown; and various other personality traits that we don't share. Originally, she was going to be fearless and spirited and your typical heroine, but then I decided that was cliché and changed her up—which made her more believable, I think!
The ending (of YF) was such a cliff-hanger! Why?
• The end of Young Falcon was originally the middle of the first book before I cut it into two. I honestly apologize if it was too abrupt, but there was no other way to end it, as that was a necessary section and was the halfway point between Young Falcon and Fallen Rose. But hey—it got you wondering what's going to happen next! FR has a more substantial ending, though!
Who is your favourite character?
• That's another tough one. I vacillate between Lliam and Roman (and occasionally even Zoser), but I'm not sure I can choose between the twins. The main reason I like Zoser is because of his backstory, which won't be revealed until Book Three, but I can promise, it will surprise you!
Where can I buy a copy of Young Falcon and Fallen Rose?
• Fallen Rose and Young Falcon are available for purchase online at Amazon (softcover and Kindle) and Barnes & Noble. Young Falcon is also available on Nook. These are the primary places, but check out my blog for a more extensive list.
Have any more questions that I didn't answer? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org; I'd love to hear from you!