Tell us a little about yourself. How did you first get into writing?
I’ve been writing since I was a kid! Beginning when I was seven or eight, I’d write short stories about plucky orphaned girls surviving in a tough world with sisterhood and humor…really, I haven’t changed much. I wrote a few novels in different genres, but then I read my first reverse harem novel, and it was all over. I fell in love with the genre and knew that was what I wanted to write.
If you didn’t write, ideally would you do for work?
I’d love to be a university professor. I’m a huge history buff, and that’s what I studied in undergrad. I’m especially interested in World War II history. I’ve had the chance to travel quite a bit and see the damage left behind—for instance, Warsaw, Poland was almost completely razed and the Soviets rebuilt this once beautiful city in their own (boring) architectural style—and to tour Auschwitz (which is just devastating to see) and to meet survivors of the Holocaust as well as veterans and resistance members. I think it’s really important to study and understand and to teach.
Does your family support your career as a writer?
Yes! At first, my husband thought this was just a hobby. We had young kids when I started writing seriously and he felt like I was claiming an awful lot of “me time”. Sometimes marriage when you have little kids feels like a lot of negotiation, since no one is getting enough sleep! But once he realized I was turning this into my new career, he was so supportive. Most people tell you that you can’t make a living by following your dreams—he’s really proud that I figured out a way to do that.
Is being a writer a gift or a curse?
I’d probably give you a different answer when I’m in the midst of tough edits, but I feel like it’s a gift. I love to read and so I’m glad I get to create my own worlds and characters too—they feel very real to me.
Tell me about your new release or WIP.
Yes, please. I am so excited about my newest series! Three Kinds of Wicked comes out August 1st. My main character, Tera, was born in a magical realm that split off from Earth, but after her father tried to take over her country, she was exiled to Earth even though she was just a kid. She receives a mysterious invitation to come home, but there are Reasons she’s being welcomed back to Avalon… Luckily, as she begins school at a university of magic, she also has three special guys (and an amazing best friend or two) who watch her back.
What was your hardest scene to write?
There’s a scene in Three Kinds of Wicked where Tera tells one of the guys, Mycroft, about the man who stole her magic and tried to murder her. It’s hard to write from a craft perspective, because it’s just two people talking to each and yet there’s so much tension and feeling. It’s also hard to write personally because I feel like I’ve had to have tough conversations at the beginning of relationships, just like Tera. “So here I am, and I’m kind of broken, and you should probably know that from the start.”
1Do your characters talk to you?
No, but they’re always in my head anyway. The other day I was making curry, and I thought that it would be Jacob from Wild Angels who would be the one to make curry, since it’s so popular (I’ve read) in England. Then I could just imagine him chopping up the veggies and chicken, while he talked to Ryker about what kind of romantic thing he should do for Ellis to make up for his latest dick move…
Anyway, I almost burned the rice I was cooking while I was daydreaming about these people. They feel very real to me!
Do you plot out your stories or do your character’s voices drive your storyline?
A little bit of both—I plot my stories, but I also have to know the characters first. Then the time I reach the halfway point in a novel, I’ve been surprised by some revelations and character choices along the way, so my second half is usually different from what I planned.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
I feel like it energizes me, but because I have young kids I often end up writing late at night, so I’m often tired. And I drink coffee until like 8pm, so that’s a nice healthy habit.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Facebook! And online shopping. And sometimes, if I’m writing a tough scene, just cleaning my house. Sometimes anything feels easier than writing. “Wow, I should really just break right here and clean those bathrooms!”
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I do, I try to take what’s useful and not get emotional about any of it. One thing I’ve learned over the years—and try to remember when I give feedback—is that it’s just as helpful to know what works. I look for what readers like, so I can do more of that, as well as any trends for what isn’t working.
Do you Google yourself?
I’ve never really thought about it, but maybe I should!
What do your fans mean to you?
It still blows my mind that people read my books! It’s such a cool thing, and I feel incredibly grateful that other people come to love my characters as much as I do.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
A little bit of ego helps—you have to believe you have something to say and keep going in the face of rejection and bad reviews—but too much can keep a writer from learning. It’s important to take criticism gracefully. It’s just as important to be unstoppable!
Do you ever sleep?
No, not really. There’s a reason I’m obsessed with coffee and own my own espresso machine. I make lattes every day…otherwise I’d be handing over my royalties directly to Starbucks.
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Scarlette’s Amazon Page
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