This interview originally appeared on A Splendid Messy Life.
Where do you get inspiration for your stories?
A lot of it comes from music and poetry. The Thread That Binds was hugely influenced by country music and my own experiences living in Georgia. Another novel I’ve written, War Wounds, was inspired by the Gillian Clarke poem On The Train. My current project is a novel set in Northern Ireland during The Troubles, heavily inspired by the history of the conflict and the Seamus Heaney poem Whatever You Say, Say Nothing.
Do you ever get writer’s block? What helps you overcome it?
I think we all do. I’ll take a break and work on another project, whether it be my blog or a different novel or even a short story. Usually it helps things to come unstuck.
You’re a single mom writer. How do you balance your time?
With a type-A personality and a strict schedule… I write when my daughter is in bed. I do homework on my lunch break at work. I cook and clean and run on my downtime, and sleep… Well, virtually never. Honestly, though, it helps that her dad and his family are in the picture. She’ll visit him most weekends, and I get to recharge.
Do you have another profession besides writing?
I work in a law office. The big dream is to finish my Bachelor’s degree by the time my daughter starts school, and then to go to law school.
In today’s tech-savvy world, most writers use a computer or laptop. Have you ever written parts of your book on paper?
I keep a journal by the side of my bed to scribble down any ideas that come to me in the middle of the night, but that’s the extent of my hand-writing. I prefer to edit on paper, though. I print my work and then edit by hand with my trusty red pen. I have a typewriter in excellent working condition, but I definitely prefer the comfort of having my work saved and backed up on a computer.
What advice would you give to budding writers?
Keep at it! It’s hard to get motivated sometimes, especially when writer’s block sets in. But the only way you can make any improvement is if you keep working at it. Cherish your writing time, and don’t let anyone tell you it’s not important.