Here are the answers to your questions:
1. I started writing novels about twelve years ago, but I wasn't serious about it. I was going to school full-time, then I was working full-time, then I stopped working so I could have two babies and moved a couple times. But when I found out more about self-publishing and ebooks, I decided to really dig in. Now I spend at least two hours every day writing. And I love it.
2. My favorite Halloween costume was the Bride of Frankenstein. I made the long, white dress, wrapped bandages around my arms, and wore sponge rollers to bed so I could rat my hair out the next morning. I even made a fake scar along my jaw line. Must say I looked pretty good. But the ratted hair was a beast to comb out.
3. I think one of the scariest books I've read is Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes. If you've seen the 1980s movie, try to forget it, and just go read the book. It scared me when I read it for the first time as a young teenager, and it still gives me the creeps.
4. The Burn was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's A Little Mermaid. I had read a few retold fairy tales, but a lot of retold fairy tales are still in the realm of a fairy tale. I started thinking about A Little Mermaid and wondered how I could tell it in the context of a completely human character. That's when I thought of the colonies at the bottom of the ocean, and a girl who wants nothing more than to leave it. It was a lot of fun taking events like getting her tongue cut out and climbing a mountain until her feet bled, and figuring out how those things could be worked into the novel. Yeah, the original fairy tale is a lot more tragic than the Disney version.
5. I wanted Terra to be more independent and stronger than the original Little Mermaid character. The problem I have with the fairy tale is that the mermaid wants to go on land just to be with the boy. I didn't want that for Terra. She goes to the Burn because she wants to. She just wants something different, and like so many of us, finds that something different isn't all it's cracked up to be.
6. My current project is a YA fantasy novel about a girl with power over the gate to the faerie realm. It will probably be released early next year. And I've been contemplating a sequel to The Burn.
7. I've always loved writing YA fantasy. The Burn was actually a departure for me, being a YA dystopian novel, and it was really fun to branch out and test myself that way.
The Burn synopsis:
The Burn is full of nuclear fallout, roving gangs, anarchy, unreliable plumbing. That's what Terra's father tells her. She has lived her whole life in comfort in a colony at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. She hates it. And she would pay any price to leave. But when Terra finally escapes the colony, she finds out her father is right.
She finds a group of survivors that quickly become friends, and every day with them is a race for survival. When she witnesses and commits unspeakable acts, she has to decide where her loyalty lies: with the colony she despises or The Burn, where every day is filled with nightmares.
If you need anything else, just let me know. Have a great rest of your weekend!