Do you really want to know about me? I mean, really? I'm just this person who sits at a computer and makes up stuff in her head while keeping herself jacked up on Pepsi Max until the wee hours of the night. Occasionally, I haunt the local Starbucks and drink a Grande Mocha or Mocha Grande (I always forget what it's actually called, and the barristas always correct me when I'm wrong.)
Actually, besides writing, I have a plethora of other things that keep me busy, like raise two kids, be a wife, a teacher, a dog-owner and there's probably other things that I do, too, but can't remember them all right now.
Okay, so here it goes...I am a Florida girl through and through, raised on orange juice and sunshine. Salt water runs in my veins. Well, not actually, it's de-oxygenated blood that runs in my veins, but you get the metaphor right?
Born in Clearwater, but raised in Hudson, I based Cassie's home town of Palmetto Key on the area of Hudson that I lived in, right along the canals and close enough to the Gulf of Mexico to ride my bike there (if my mom would have ever allowed it). I used to run bare foot all over the place, mostly in my back yard, until some wicked sand spurs pierced the bottoms of my feet and I learned the important of shoes.
My elementary school is still on Hudson Avenue, and the Winn Dixie is still located across US 19 from it. Mrs. Rumley, my fifth grade teacher, became my first and only reader of a 52 page hand-written story about a pioneer girl named Katrina Lynn Boston. She encouraged me to keep writing even though the events of my story were based on Laura Ingalls Wilder's books (let's just say, it was plagiarism, but I learned a tremendous amount of writing skills from imitating Mrs.Wilder). I now teach Language Arts at the same middle school where I attended as a kid in the late 1970s. I played softball, not that well, and twirled a baton, well enough to win some first place trophies at twirling competitions. Flute playing took up a lot of my free time, too, along with my high school boyfriend...
Wait a minute...you don't want to know all this stuff, do you? No, you want to know how I came up with the idea to write DREAMING DANGEROUSLY! Of course.
So, how did I come to write and self-publish, DREAMING DANGEROUSLY? After writing an historical romance that no one wanted to agent, my husband suggested I read Stephenie Meyer books and write for the kids I teach, Young Adults. First, of all, my husband knowing about Stephenie Meyer, was epic. I mean, my forty-year-old husband, had heard of the Twilight series. (This was in 2008.) Shortly after I read Twilight, I had a dream. (I know, I know, so did she...) Anyway, I had a dream about a girl and a guy who discover they can read each others' minds. I woke up freaking out because I finally had the novel idea I'd been seeking a long time. Four o'clock in the morning, I'm out of bed and typing like crazy at my computer, calling it a "Telepathic Love Story." I still have those pages I typed.
The chapter "Mind Drop" from DREAMING DANGEROUSLY is the dream almost word for word. The only thing I changed was the part where Cassie falls down. In my dream, she leg-swept Will, but the ladies from my writing group thought a high school girl wouldn't do that, and I agreed with them.
Once I'd written down the dream, I had to think about how this ability would affect two high school kids. Reading my old journals from high school, I realized that if I had been able to read minds in high school, I would have been highly anxious all the time. Then, I started thinking about Will's character. In my dream, he kissed Cassie right away. He was ecstatic about finding someone else like him. So, I knew Will had to be more extroverted and more willing to experiment with his abilities than Cassie.
My fascination with dreams and their affect on my life came next. I've had prophetic dreams before. I knew my father was going to die after a dream I'd had and within a month, at 45 years old, he had a massive heart attack and passed away. I've also had dead relatives visit me in dreams. Therefore, layering the story with Cassie's prophetic dreams, forcing her to change, became inevitable. Thus, UNWILLING, the original title, became DREAMING DANGEROUSLY.
Next, I shopped around for agents, sending out queries in waves. After about forty rejections and lots of heart ache, and I mean, literally, my chest actually hurt, Amanda Hocking became a big deal on Amazon. So, I read her first book of the Trylle series, and decided to self-publish on Create Space in September of 2011.
Although it's been difficult promoting my book and getting the word out about its existence, I am so glad I finally published it myself. DREAMING DANGEROUSLY has made me a mini-rock star at my middle school. Well, no, not really, but the kids know I wrote a book and many of them have checked a copy out of the library. It's really cool to talk directly with your readers on a daily basis, seeing the excitement in their eyes as they talk about your book.
I wish I could visit more schools and do more library signings, and perhaps with this coming year, I will be able to do that; however, for now, I am proud of the fact that I finally realized my dream of becoming a published author. I produced a product that people like. Just check out the reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. Even though I haven't made a lot of sales yet, as of New Year's Eve as I'm writing this, people have read my book and can't wait for the next one DARKNESS DESCENDS.
I shall leave you, dear reader, with one last thought, book two of the Children of the Psi series, is written from Will's point of view.