Good morning, Dana, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the site for book and art lovers. Can you tell us a little about what you've written?
Since I started self publishing back in August of 2014 I have published more than a dozen books. My books that are most known are my TNT Force Cheer Series that are the only young adult fiction series about all star cheerleading.
I love writing YA! Even when I was younger and that genre wasn’t really as established like it was now, I was still writing for that age range even if I didn’t quite understand it just yet. I work with kids K-5 every day, and knowing that I can create stories that the older kids can read and take interest in brings me so much joy.
Tea or coffee?
Coffee! All day every day please!
Wine or beer or soda?
Dr Pepper in the day, but a glass of wine at night would be perfection.
Where would you like to visit?
I would love to go to Chernobyl. One of my books was focused around the 1986 nuclear power plant meltdown in fact, since I’ve been fascinated with the area for years.
Favorite musical artist.
Do you listen to music when you write? What?
I don’t listen to music since it’s hard for me to focus on the lyrics and what I’m writing. But I do like putting on movies in the background.
It has to be something I’ve seen a few times though so I won’t be tempted to stop and watch the whole thing.
What makes you laugh?
All kinds of things. I’m a fun loving person and like to be silly and crazy often!
This is an Art AND Author blog, so I am obliged to ask: Favorite work of art or sculpture.
How old were you when you started writing?
Although I wrote for fun when I was as young as elementary school I started seriously self publishing when I was 29.
Do you plan out your book with outlines and notecards? Or just write?
I usually make note cards that have a chapter title or a general idea on the front and details on the back in bullet points. Some books I have actually gone through and made an outline in bullet points for the whole thing before I sit down to write as well.
Dinner with friends, followed by relaxing at home with nothing to do. No dishes, no laundry, and no plans that I need to worry about accomplishing. Just time to relax.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I get inspired by the most random things at the most random times. Since I write about all star cheerleading the most though that is a sport and world that I am often inspired by. Also, when I have readers come up to me and let me know they enjoy my books when I am at a cheerleading competition it makes me feel beyond amazing and makes me want to keep writing!
What do you do when you get a writer's block?
If I am in the process of writing a book and I get a block I try to work through it. I just keep writing even if what I am putting on the page is going to be terrible. Often if I can get through the scene I am stuck on then I’ll be good to keep going on to better moments and things. But, if I don’t feel like writing at all sometimes I will go weeks and even months without sitting down to work on a project. This often happens when I get too busy during the all star cheer season when I am attending events and vlogging for my YouTube channel.
Who is your favorite author?
Best book you ever read.
So many to choose from! I would say Battle Of The Labyrinth (Rick Riordan), The Host(Stephanie Myers), Ready Player One(Ernest Cline), and The Maze Runner(James Dashner)
I honestly think it might have been my third read of Ready Player One
What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer?
I actually work full time in Christian Camping. I am the assistant director in charge of programing for a before and after school program, so I work with about 100 K-5thgraders every day!
Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
I have two! When I was in middle school Mr. Cordon was the first teacher to really put a focus on story writing. His writing prompts were what really continued to grow and build my passion for writing. And then Jon Lundwall who helped me choose full time camping as my career after my first summer working at camp in Ohio.
If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
I would love to hang out with Grace Helbig. She is my favorite YouTuber and also someone I think I would just get along with. Her brand of comedy is something I love a lot, and just getting to know her process and enjoy a drink with her would be a fabulous day!
I had a teacher in college once tell us that everyone has a story to tell. That really stuck with me since I found it to be so true. Weather a movie, a book, a poem, or even just speaking everyone has something to share with the world. So, even when it feels scary to put it out there, or like too much work to sit down and write, DO IT! It will be worth it to share the story that is uniquely you.
Do you have some links for us to follow you?
Pre-order book 6 in the TNT Force Cheer Series now:
Follow me on social media: