Without giving too much away, can you tell us what your book is about?
In short, Lingering Echoes is a story about healing from grief and self-tormented guilt, as well as dealing with struggling family relationships. The book is about how our own experiences can connect us with others, even (or especially!) when our past is filled with painful secrets.
How long did it take you to write this book?
It took me 14 months to write the first draft into a completed story, though as I attempted publishing for the next couple years, there were plenty of scene-cuts and revisions in the process!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
If I could do anything I wanted, I’d join a rugby club again and play every chance I could get! (I played college rugby at Brigham Young University from 2002-2006.) But there’s a “time and season” for everything and as a mother, that time has passed . . . for now. So, I do love taking my toddler to fun, active places and watching her go crazy with excitement while she burns energy—which then encourages her and her baby brother to take long naps and grants me writing-time, so it’s win-win! For personal time, I love getting wrapped up in a new book or a dramatic TV-series.
As a writer, do you have plans for world domination, or do you have a day job as well?
My day job is taking care of my toddler and 8-month-old, as well as maintaining my home. I have a few other “irons in the fire,” including volunteering my recreation therapy skills at a grief center, and also working with the youth from my church. Publishing Lingering Echoes will be the first “job” that I’ll be paid for monetarily in a couple years!
What do you think makes a good story?
I love stories that create a physical response as I read—the ones that make my heart skip a little faster as I flip another page as quickly as I can, and the ones that make me want to take a break from “reality” so I can immerse myself in the book for just a while longer! A good story, for me, contains relatable characters and an emotionally-driven plot.
What genre do you find the most difficult to write in and why?
So far, I’ve only written contemporary, but I can’t imagine myself ever writing fantasy or sci-fi. I enjoy reading those genres now and then, but I’m not sure my brain is that creative to come up with those kinds of worlds on my own! I am also blown away by authors who can write trilogies and who can maintain storylines and readers’ interests for that long. I may be up for the challenge someday though!
Do you ever experience writer’s block and if so, how to you overcome it?
Having writer’s block is like having your ankles chained to slabs of cement and being forced to drag them with you while attempting to walk down an endless hallway . . . Yeah. I get writer’s block! It is really hard for me to shake it off on my own. It is most helpful for me to share what I have written so far with a reader, or to discuss my ideas with someone out loud. I borrow my husband’s brain a lot.
Do you have any writing projects you are currently working on?
Readers have been curious about a sequel. I am not sure about a sequel, but I am working on a novella to act as a prequel. If the novella continues its current path, it will be about Allie’s senior year in high school. I’m hoping the novella will give readers more insight into Allie’s life and what it’s like trying to find normalcy after losing a loved one. The novella will lead into the summer when “Lingering Echoes” takes place.