Q. What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
A. I never fit in at school. Growing up a Jehovah’s Witness and a Trekkie made me feel like an outsider. Imagining what it’d be like to travel to a galaxy far, far way—creating my own universe and cast of characters—became the perfect escape for me. I took those feelings of not fitting and ramped them up to the next level by making my main character belong to a genetically engineered race that had been banned.
Q. Can You Tell Us About these Books from Your Point of View?
A. Escaping the Dashia is about staying true to who you are.Twyla is living in hiding on Earth. Like most teens, she’s just trying to figure life out. Her mother shows up and forces her to return to the Paraxous Star Cluster, where Twyla is expected to take her place in the family business. The problem the family runs the Paraxous Cluster’s version of the mob. And they aren’t regular old criminals, they’re Dashia. A group that uses their telepathic powers to commit psychic vampirism. When Twyla refuses to cooperate, her mother begins a campaign of manipulation and abuse aimed at turning Twyla into the very things she despises—a Dashia.
Q. What Can Readers Expect from These Books?
A.To be brought to another world, another universe, with fantastic creatures and planets, genetically engineered races and an epic battle of wills between Twyla and her mother.
Q. Can You Tell Me Three Fun Facts About You?
A. When I was in 3rd grade, I wrote my first book, which could be considered fan fiction, The Bionic Woman Meets Captain Kirk. I run a hobby farm on our one-acre property with a small orchard, tons of blackberries, and a few chickens. I have nearly fifty hats. Some of them were my grandparents and date back to the 50s and 60s
Q. What Are Your Plans for Future Writing Projects?
A. Escaping the Dashia is part of a trilogy. I’m currently working on the final draft of book two. Besides young adult science fiction, I also write adult paranormal mystery/thrillers with my aunt, Corinne Malcolm Ibeling. The first book in our Mt. Prospect series comes out at the end of October.
Q.What Do You Want the World to Know About Your Books?
A. It’s a whole other world that you can visit and get to know some pretty fun and entertaining characters. You might not like all of them. Twyla certainly doesn’t. But they’ll keep you guessing.
Q. How Do You Think Your Book Relates to The World Today?
A. Being yourself is hard. Having to pretend to be someone you’re not in order to be accepted creates a lot of stress. And I think social media has put even more pressure on teens to try to fit in instead of celebrating their uniqueness. Whether it’s body image issues, or being teased for your passions, I want my audience, especially young women, to know they are not alone.
Q.What Do You Hope Will Be the Everlasting Thoughts for Readers Who Finish Your Book?
A. My books are all about strong women doing the right thing despite the risk and high personal cost. I want readers to feel empowered to make those difficult choices and stand up for what they believe to be right.
Q.What Should Remain with Readers Long After Putting Your Book Down?
A. A village elder tells Twyla: “When recovering from misfortunes and facing an uncertain future, it is better not to be alone.”
We tend to fight our battles alone and lick our wounds in private when we fail. But we need the support of others.
Q. If People Can Only Buy One Book This Month, Why Should It Be Yours?
A. If you love being transported far away from reality, then this is the book for you. You get to meet races evolved from birds and cats and even a plant-based race inspired by the Ents from Lord of the Rings. Best of all, you get to explore the Paraxous Star Cluster with my alter ego Twyla, who says and does the things most of us want to but wouldn’t dare. It’s a lot of fun!
Order your copy on Amazon.