1. What has been the most exciting part of getting published?
Honestly? Everything. Each new thing is more exciting than the last.
2. How long did it take you to get published?
That depends how you look at it. When I got serious about the business side of it (going to conferences, agent searching--) it happened rather quickly--but I have both my BA and my MFA in creative writing, so I've been working toward this goal a very long time.
3. Were you faced with rejection at first? How did you handle it?
Rejection is terrible. I handled it like most people do--with lots of whining. ;) Then I brushed the pity off and got back to work. You can't give up if you want to achieve your goal.
4. Where did you get your ideas for this book?
SEA was inspired by my husband's real life volunteer trips to Indonesia after the tsunami.
5. What do you think or hope readers will gain from your novel?
A heightened sense of awareness about their world. The appreciation that the human spirit can rise above tragedy. That there is always an underlying hope even in the darkest corners.
6. When writing do you outline or just begin?
I just begin. I sort of do a broad outline now for projects, because otherwise I end up on endless tangents that are fun to write, but that editors don't like so much. :)
7. What authors inspire you?
L.K. Madigan's debut novel Flash Burnout was crazy awesome. I found early inspiration in John Green's Looking for Alaska and Laurie Halse Andersons's Speak. Maggie Stiefvater's massive amounts of creative energy inspires me to believe I can take on more than I originally thought. I love YA and YA authors--to me they all have this youthful spirit and energy that is contagious.
8. Complete this: While writing this book I learned...
That writing a novel that will sell takes a lot of heart. I think you aren't totally in love with your project, the reader can feel that. Don't be afraid to fall in love along with your characters--don't be afraid to be disappointed when they are; feel fear when they do. You're on this journey together.
9. Complete this: You should buy my novel because...
It's awesome? Hee. I don't know. If you like love stories, if you like exploring deeper issues, if you like exotic settings. If you are a sucker for romance and hope and Big Life Things then you'd probably like it. Also, it has a pretty nice cover. :)
Thanks for having me, Ashley!
Thank you Heidi! You all should check out Sea :) I know I will be :)