What genre do you write?
Mainstream historical fiction. Sub genre: time travel.
How long have you been writing? How did you start writing?
I submitted my first query to a publishing house while I was in High School and I’ve been keeping a journal for as long as I can remember. Writing is an amazing creative outlet for me.
What inspires you to write?
So many things inspire me: a beautiful portrait of a landscape, listening to the waves at the beach, hiking in the woods, gardening. Through this journey that led me to being published, I learned a great deal about myself. One of them is that I draw energy and inspiration from being outdoors in nature, among trees, flowers. That’s when my thoughts crystalize into storylines, dialogue, and sometimes mini-scenes begin to unfold.
Admittedly, sometimes my mind races with ideas while washing dishes too but more often, it happens when I’m outdoors. On a recent trip to Australia and NZ, I spent the majority of the time doing outdoor activities (zip lining through deep forests, hiking, etc.) and a gazillion thoughts about the second book organically flowed through. It’s exciting when that happens.
What is your writing process?
It usually starts with a character in my head. From there, the storyline slowly develops, the personalities come to life and the scenes begin to play out like a movie in my own head. I usually draft an outline just to get all my main themes on paper (conflicts, how the characters deals with a situation) and go from there. More often than not, I abandon the outline and let the story unfold as I’m writing it or stick to key plots but change how the characters got there and dealt with them.
What do you find to be the most difficult part of the writing process? The easiest?
The most difficult is bringing a place or a scene to life on paper so the reader feels and sees what I’m seeing in my head. Writing historical fiction means I need to get all the details right about the location so it’s more authentic. Describing the intricate details that make the said city special can also be challenging. The easiest part is the dialogue because I usually hear the characters’ voices bantering back and forth in my head.
Where is your book set?
The book is set in modern day LA and ancient Pompeii 59AD.
Are your characters based on real people?
The main character Lexi Carter has some traits that I drew from my own experience being an LA girl that started her career in entertainment PR, but that’s where the similarities end. As for Marcus, he’s the perfect man and therefore, a true work of fiction. 🙂
Where did the idea or A Leap in Time come from?
Right after college, I started working in entertainment PR. I loved all aspects of it from the deadline driven late nights leading up to a red carpet event to the actual event of flashing cameras, celebrities clad in their best, the screaming fans to the natural high of witnessing all the hard work come to life in the most glamorous way possible. Don’t get me wrong, working in the entertainment industry comes with its own brand of crazy, but I loved it anyway.
I continued to work my tail off and casually date. Some dates turned into relationships and others didn’t; but ultimately, I felt heartbroken more than once, disappointed way too many times. For a bright-eyed bushy-tailed hopeless romantic like me, a “failed” relationship felt devastating. Ah… young naive love.
From the heartbreak, Lexi Carter was created in my mind. I began to wonder, what it would be like to date the same man a 1000 years earlier? Would he still be a commitment-phobe then? Or would he follow his heart and give in to love? And from there the story came to life in my mind as a time travel book. The final piece of the puzzle was the actual time travel portal and that almost fell into my lap while shopping at a random furniture store in Sherman Oaks with my dear friend, Kristi. I saw a portrait of a beautiful cottage with a creek and ducks swimming in it. I loved it immediately. The portal that Lexi uses to travel between Los Angeles and Pompeii was inspired by the painting.
The story was originally set in Jane Austen era England but after seeing Pompeii during my honeymoon, I came back and changed the story completely. And Lexi’s original name was Bronte, after the author.
Which character is your favorite? Why?
Lexi is my absolute favorite because she’s every woman. She’s in the early stages of her career and beginning to enjoy great success through hard work and sacrifice. Yet she is prepared to walk away from everything she knows for the unknown in the name of true love.
Lexi is very intuitive and she knows that despite money, success and achieving her goals, she doesn’t feel fulfilled. She realizes that fulfillment isn’t going to come from her 9-5 job, no matter how exciting, rewarding and fun it is. She was missing a certain connection and yet she felt so connected to other worlds that have long disappeared into history. On some level, I think she knew that she belonged in another world; she just couldn’t make any sense of it because it doesn’t make any sense.
What authors do you enjoy reading? Why?
Tough question because I have so many. I absolutely love author Katie Oliver. The witty banter between the characters is like no other and not to mention the flawed characters that make readers love them even more. She has a knack for drawings readers in and making them feel part of the story.
Another favorite is Rosalind James. Because of her books, not only did I fall in love with New Zealand a million times over, I’ve become a huge fan of the rugby team, the All Blacks.
I also enjoy the more popular mainstream authors, JK Rowling, Sylvia Day, Nora Roberts, Stephanie Meyer, and EL James.
When you are not writing, what do you like to do for fun?
I love to cook and try new recipes on my family. Gardening gives me the Zen I need to stay grounded. Something about being elbow deep in dirt makes me feel closer to nature and our responsibility to it. Reading is just necessary to my happiness and doing anything outdoors makes me happy. Living on the East Coast has taught me to really appreciate the seasons and maximize on outdoor activities because it’s limited.
I’m working on the second book in The Travelers series. The story follows Catina, Lexi’s best friend in Rome as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery, acceptance and love for herself despite her shortcomings.