Is there a specific person that inspired you to start writing?
I really don’t think there was one person in particular who inspired me to start writing. I’ve had many great influences in my life. But I do remember my 9th grade English teacher being the first person who really made me feel like I have writing talent. I loved her class because she was the first teacher who encouraged (and required) us to read YA fiction.
She also made us write a short story—and then read them in front of the entire class. For a shy kid, this was pretty frightening, but when I was done reading mine out loud, she marked my story with a large ‘A+’ and told me that I should become a writer. That was the first time anyone ever said that to me—and it definitely made an impact.
If you could choose a character from any book, to meet in real life, who would it be?
Daniel. No question about it. I’d like to take a ride with him on his motorcycle to the Garden of Angels. Also, I’d like to be 17 again—just for that day.
What is one sentence that summarizes The Dark Divine?
Oh man, I hate it when people ask me to summarize my book. If I were good at being brief, I’d write poems instead of novels. Okay, for you, I will give it a try . . .
Actually, this is how I described my novel in my query letters: THE DARK DIVINE is a modern retelling of the Prodigal Son parable with a paranormal twist, exploring love, redemption, and what happens to the brother who can’t forgive.
How did you decide on your character names?
In the beginning, I just thought about what kind of names the children of a pastor would have. Grace, Charity, James, and Jude were the names that came to me. It wasn’t until I was deeper into writing the book that I realized the importance of Grace’s name and how it would play out as a theme in the book.
Daniel’s name took a little longer to choose. Sometimes I thought about switching his name to with Jude’s. But I also kept thinking about all the horrible things this character had been through, and it reminded me of the story of “Daniel and the Lion’s Den.” Plus, the name just seemed to fit someone who was a mischievous kid.
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