First off, could you tell us a bit about Crossroads?
Crossroads is the story of Katia, an adolescent vampire trying to navigate her way through the prestigious and unfamiliar world of Crossroads Academy. While Katia does her best to remain isolated from her classmates, she quickly discovers that with a first class pedigree and a mysterious past, anonymity will prove impossible. As Katia struggles with a dark past she’s desperate to keep hidden, she finds herself pulled deeper into mystery she can’t explain and is forced to face her greatest fears or risk losing everything she holds dear.
What was the inspiration behind Crossroads? Did you love the vampire myth, or was it something else?
I’ve always loved vampires so it’s only natural they’d find their way into my first book! Still, I wanted the Crossroads world to be a little different from everything else out there, so while there’s plenty of vampire lore to choose from, I wanted to put a unique spin on things.
What is your favourite part of the Crossroads world?
It’s a tossup between the lavish parties and the martial arts training. The irony? I’m kind of an anti-exercise introvert. I think that’s why I enjoy writing these scenes so much. They’re so different from my own world and I can really let me creativity flow!
Katia is a character who is strong, independent and, yet, somewhat of a lone wolf. What inspired you to write a character like her?
I’m a huge fan of YA literature, but I was a little tired of female characters who define themselves by the boys they love. I wanted to write a character who didn’t need a boy to make her whole and who could take care of herself.
The Crossroads Academy series is planned to be a trilogy. I am currently working on book two, and although it remains untitled today, I hope to release it this summer.
What was your publishing journey like?
Short and stressful! When I finished Crossroads I solicited about twenty agents and spent the next several weeks checking my email obsessively. A few of the agents did request more material, but ultimately, it didn’t work out. Most indicated that with the success of Twilight and some of the other popular vampire series on the market that it would be a tough sell. That’s when I decided to take charge of my own destiny and self-publish. I realized that I could do a lot of the publishing work and the marketing and that I could hire professionals for design and editing. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Do you have any routines you follow during the writing process?
Routines? Not really. There’s a lot of outlining, note taking, and editing, but I don’t exactly have an established step by step process. Every day is a little different when I write so I just sit down and start where it feels right. So if that means writing new material or editing the same chapter for the sixth time, that’s what I do.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Don’t ever give up on your dreams! The road to publication can be bumpy and discouraging, but there are so many new outlets available to authors that with a little hard work and patience, you can take control and make your dreams reality.
- FUN FACTS -
Vampires or werewolves?
Vampires, of course! No werewolves at Crossroads. ;-)
Born a vampire or made a vampire?
Definitely born. I don’t think I could pass up the inherent power and prestige given the choice.
Pen or keyboard?
Keyboard for sure. I’m a lefty so between smudging my words (I’d have a permanent ink stain on my hand if I relied solely on the handwritten word) and not being able to write as fast as I think, I’m pretty sure I’d be chronically frustrated. To be fair though, I do take a lot of handwritten notes when I’m outlining, brainstorming, and working on character development.
Book or e-book?
E-book every time. I travel a lot and am always on the go, so being able to download a book anywhere and read it on my Kindle or even on my phone is amazing.
Book shop or Amazon?
Although I love my Kindle, I do miss book stores. There are so few left and I have a lot of fond memories of shopping for books with my mom growing up. Still, for me, it’s Amazon and digital books 9 times out of 10.
Thanks so much for the interview Komal! It’s been fun! I really appreciate the opportunity to share a little more about Crossroads with your readers!