Q1. When did you decide you were going to write a book?
A.In sixth grade, I wrote my first short novel, “Koren of the Quest.” Its 77 handwritten pages never saw the light of publication (thankfully), but that project hooked me on long-form storytelling. In seventh grade, I wrote a longer book that, like the first, has been kept in a drawer collecting dust. It would be fourteen years before I successfully completed another novel.
Throughout college and the five years after, I focused on trying to write mainstream fiction for adults. The two books I tried writing failed to hold my attention, and after multiple attempts at first chapters, I gave them up. I was frustrated in those five years post-college as my work-in-progress, “Watchdog,” faltered and failed.
My breakthrough came in 2013. Each year, I would buy my nieces a book for Christmas or their birthdays. Leading up to Christmas 2013, I was searching for the perfect book to capture my nieces’ imaginations. They were in first and third grade at the time, and as I browsed the children’s section at the local bookshop, it occurred to me that instead of buying them a book, I should write them a book. And wouldn’t it make for fun reading if the main characters were based on them?