- What is your writing process? Do you aim for a word count daily or maybe just a scene?
My writing process is different every day. I have five kids, two of which aren’t in school yet and one of them is an adorably naughty two-year-old. I’m trying to be a full-time writer and a full-time mom and it’s a huge juggling act. I’ve had days with a word count as high as 10,000 (those are rare) and other days I don’t get to write at all. My schedule is very hectic.
My goal each day is to write as much as I can. Sometimes that means waking up before the kids or not even starting until after they’re in bed. But once I sit down to my computer, I definitely aim to finish at least a chapter. I never stop mid-scene unless I absolutely have to. My kids are used to it by now and have given up complaining because it’s futile. If I’m fifteen minutes late picking them up from school, or dinner doesn’t get made until seven, it’s probably because I was in the middle of a conversation and didn’t want to lose my momentum or train of thought. My perfect work day would include eight hours of uninterrupted quiet time. But I’m not holding my breath for that anytime soon.
- What sort of research did you do for this book?
So far, none of my books have required a ton of research. This one has required the most though, because I don’t speak Spanish. I made some jokes in the book about Google translate, but it was basically my best friend while writing. A lot of the learning process explained by Mike is exactly what I went through. For example: checking a word from English to Spanish then Spanish to English, to make sure it was the same both ways. Sometimes, when I intentionally needed words that didn’t translate correctly, I had to try translating a bunch until I found one that worked. I’m not Hispanic/Latina, so for this book I also had a bunch of Latina beta readers and spent extra time with their reviews. Then I did some rewriting in an effort to make sure nothing sounded offensive or incorrect.
- What are you working on now? Any chance of a sequel?
My motto is always quit while you’re ahead, so there won’t be a sequel or spin off to Perfectly Misunderstood. This was even the last book in the series. I’ve had requests to write Brady and Beth’s story (from book 1), Jake and Lilly’s story (from book 2) and most recently to write a spin-off for Becca. And while I’m glad that readers have loved my supporting characters enough to want a whole book about them, I know there’s no way I could please everyone. Plus, I have too many ideas floating around in my head. It’s time to move on to something new.
Currently, I’m working on a book about two people brought together by a series of mysterious events, which are orchestrated by a secret matchmaker. It has a hint of mystery and elements of magical realism, but it’s basically another YA contemporary romance. This one is unique because it’s a series of four different novella length books and each book covers the same week in time but is told from a different character’s point of view. Each point of view builds on the last and reveals different scenes or clues that tie into the overall story. I’m not sure yet if I will release them as four different novellas or compile them into one really long book.
- How did you come up for the idea of your book?
I knew from the second I mentioned Mike McGinnes in book one, that I needed to do a story about him. There was just so much potential for something ridiculous or funny because of the type of guy he is. But I also knew that it would be fun to give his surface character some unexpected depth. As for the storyline, that adapted a lot as I wrote it (as do all of my books). I’ve always enjoyed a good hate-to-love story, so I knew from the beginning that’s what Perfectly Misunderstood would be. I love writing humor, sarcasm and witty comebacks. Also, I find stories where the characters dislike each other in the beginning, particularly rewarding in the end when they get together.
- Just for fun — what TV shows or movies have you really enjoyed (or disliked?) recently?
When I watch TV, I tend to binge watch my favorites over and over again. Right now, my husband and I are in season 4 of Psych. If you can’t tell from my writing style, I love to laugh, and the Sean and Gus relationship is so funny and over the top. I love their little quirks and shenanigans. Other shows I’ve watched start to finish, multiple times include: The Office, Community and Raising Hope. If I could achieve any goal as a writer, it would be to write for a television show like one of those. Steve Carell is a comedic genius.
About the Author:
Jayden’s glare intensified, and I could tell she was sending me mental death threats. Eventually, she gave up and sat down across from me. “Was that so hard?” I asked.
“About as hard as you head.”
“I have harder parts than my head,” I countered. Her eyes grew wide at the implication. I let her stew for a second before lifting my sleeve and flexing my bicep. “You think that’s hard? You should see my abs.” I’d said it as a joke, but it was basically true.
She was surprised for the briefest moment, then she grunted. “How Cro-Magnon of you.”
“Your grunt suggests you’re familiar with the genotype on a personal level.” I smirked.
Jayden’s eyes narrowed. “At least I’ve evolved. Your face suggests that you haven’t yet.”
I tsked in good nature. “Your face might be prettier than mine, but your manners prove you haven’t evolved as much as you think.”