Q: Tell us about your book
Seven Weeks to Forever is a young adult metaphysical romance--at heart, a love story. It follows eighteen-year-old Cassidy Jordan and nineteen-year-old Riley Davis as they get to know and begin falling for one another, each against their will. Cassidy is what's known as a "second-timer," living a second life with the purpose of finding and helping Riley. She was forced into having this second life after her first life was cut short, and she knows this life is supposed to end just seven weeks after she finally finds Riley.
Without giving too much away, Seven Weeks to Forever is about love versus fear and the power of young love, and it looks at life and death--or in this case, what Cassidy knows as The Before and The Life-After--in a way that's a little different from how many of us usually think of these.
Q: What inspired you to write Seven Weeks to Forever?
Many of us have experienced the passing of a loved one or friend: Some of them after what we perceive to be a long, full life, and some of them at an age that seems very young. When someone dies, and especially when someone dies at a young age when they had so much life ahead of them, I think it makes you look for reasons. I wanted to create a different way of looking at what we typically think of as life and death, and to propose a reason for why some people seem to leave this life at an age we think of as being far too young. As the novel took shape in my mind, there was something about the power of young love and how that love could break you or heal you, combined with these concepts of life and death, which made the story of Cassidy and Riley come together.
Q: Is this your first work of fiction? If not, please tell us a little about your first book/series.
Seven Weeks to Forever is my second published novel. My first novel is Rock Star's Girl, which is the first book in the "A Hollywood Dating Story" series. The second book in that series, Hiding Out in Hollywood, will be out later this year. Both Rock Star's Girl and Hiding Out in Hollywood are chick lit. I describe Rock Star's Girl as a sassy and sarcastic look at what happens when one young woman's personal life starts making tabloid headlines, after she's asked out on a date by a prolific singer from a well-known band while out at a concert supporting one of her friends. It explores the other side of the entertainment news headlines: How half-truths and moments captured out of context can lead to reputation-destroying rumors, and how some people will stop at nothing to become famous.
Those are my published books, and they're both available from Booktrope. My first book, though, was one that I wrote when I was 9 or 10 years old that was a birthday present for my mom.
Q: Who is your favorite character in the book and why?
This is a tough one, since I've spent so much time with these characters and feel like they're all old friends. It's really hard to decide between Cassidy, Riley, and Noah. Today I'll say Noah, since I loved writing the exchanges between him and Cassidy--especially the times when he wasn't afraid to push Cassidy's buttons. Cassidy is pretty sarcastic and she pretends to think of Noah as her warden, or as a block between her and information she needs, but deep down, she's grateful for him. While I was writing Seven Weeks to Forever, all this backstory about Noah's life in The Before came to mind. You don't get to learn much about his life before he was an advisor in Seven Weeks to Forever, but I've considered writing a prequel to tell Noah's story.
Q: Please tell us about yourself.
In a few words: Kundalini-yoga-loving and hockey-obsessed Canadian expat and LA girl. If writing is my first love, Kundalini yoga is right up there with it and is a huge part of who I am. It pops up in Seven Weeks to Forever and Rock Star's Girl, and it's also in Hiding Out in Hollywood. If it's hockey season and I'm not writing or at a Kundalini yoga class, I can usually be found cheering on the L.A. Kings.
I grew up in Canada: I was born in Thunder Bay, and then lived in Ottawa for a few years while I completed a journalism degree and an MA in English. Then I moved to Silicon Valley for a couple of years, and then to L.A. about five years ago. L.A. is where I'd wanted to live since I was 10, and I still wake up every day absolutely thrilled to be here!
Q: Have you been writing for a long time?
I've been writing since before I knew how to spell and write down words! There's a line in my author bio that says I've been writing since the day I picked up a navy blue Crayola and began scribbling on my parents' freshly painted white walls. This is a true story. Thankfully, my parents have always been incredibly encouraging and supportive of my writing. They're my biggest fans. Before I knew how to write things down myself, I'd tell them stories and they'd write them down for me.
Q: How much time per week do you spend writing/editing your work?
This often depends on the week. I try to spend at least an hour a day writing or working on edits of my work, and it's usually at least a few hours on weekends. When I'm deeply into writing something or in the revisions phase, I'll wake up at 4:30 a.m. and work on that for two hours before getting ready for the rest of my day. The most important thing for me is to write something every day, whether it's writing for hours, or carving out ten minutes or half an hour at a time throughout the day.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
I'm finishing up Hiding Out in Hollywood right now, along with working on my fourth novel, which is a YA romance. I keep going back and forth on it, though, since it may work better as new adult! So I may end up setting the 25,000 words I've written of it aside, then start back at the beginning and write a new adult novel instead. I'm also a book editor, so I've been busy working on some great manuscripts by other authors.
Thank you for a fun interview!