I’m a former meteorologist who has turned novelist. My 8th published novel, OUTSIDE IN was released in March and is the book being given away at BEA. In addition to writing, I take care of my family, which includes three kids (two teenagers and my husband), and I teach and mentor students in Seton Hill University’s MFA writing program. I also love to travel, take pictures, and play volleyball.
Can you introduce us to the world that you have created?
The world of Inside is basically a huge metal cube. The Insiders are separated into two groups, the uppers and the lowers (also called the scrubs). It’s a dystopian society – with the scrubs keeping the world clean because rust and dust can be fatal in this world. The uppers run the world and the Population Control Police (also called Pop Cops) police the Insiders.
What should readers know before stepping into your world?
That the Insiders have forgotten what is outside their walls. Their world is completely contained so there is nowhere to throw anything away. Everything has to be recycled and reused, including people. After an Insider dies, his body is sent to Chomper to be turned into fertilizer for hydroponics. The world of Inside is based on science and not magic, which is very different than my other six books. Also they really, really, really should read INSIDE OUT first! Otherwise lots of twists and surprises will be ruined by reading OUTSIDE IN.
Will this be your first time attending BEA or are you a veteran? Any advice for those who are going for the first time?
This will be my fourth time at BEA, but I still don’t feel like a veteran. My advice is to only pick up books that you know you’ll read – otherwise you’ll get home after schlepping all those books home and wonder why you have titles you’ll never read. I look for books for my daughter, my friend Mike who loves suspense/thriller and for myself – otherwise, if I can’t think of anyone who would enjoy the book, I don’t pick it up.
Are you speaking on any panels during BEA? What panels are you planning on attending?
I’m not on any panels and I don’t usually attend them. For me, BEA is a good opportunity for me to talk to the people who work for my publisher (besides my editor like the sales staff, PR and marketing). Also I’ll spend time with my agent and visiting other authors.
If someone wanted to meet up with you at BEA, who should they look for?
A curly-haired, lean, white woman. Actually, I spend most of my time hanging out at the Harlequin Booth (#4638) and I’ll be signing copies of OUTSIDE IN there on May 25th from 12:00 to 12:45 p.m.
What other projects are you working on that you would like to tell us about?
I’m working on the first book of a new fantasy series. TOUCH OF POWER is due out January 2012 and it’s about a healer who is on the run. Here’s the cover copy: Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.
Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life…
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