Deirdra: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
Taffy: I wanted to be a writer when I was five. Then fifteen. Then 23. Then 35...
Deirdra: What is your writing and educational background?
Taffy: My dad's an Eighth English teacher. That's about it.
Deirdra: What makes you passionate about writing?
Taffy: The creative outlet.
Deirdra: Besides writing what other talents do you have?
Taffy: I make awesome scrambled eggs.
Deirdra: What is your writing schedule like?
Taffy: My kids are out the door by 9 AM. I try and write for a couple of hours, break for lunch, try to write another couple of hours. Of course, that schedule only works if I don't have errands/sick kids/emails/visitors/dirty house.
Deirdra: Where do your ideas come from? How do you know the idea is good enough to write a book about it?
Taffy: My ideas come from my dreams. I keep track of them on a blog. Stephenie Meyer gave me the courage to write stories from my dreams.
Deirdra: When did the idea of writing a book first come to you?
Taffy: When I was bored at my dry cleaner job. I just finished reading Sword of Shannara and loved it. I tried my hand at writing a fantasy similar to how Terry Brooks writes on the back of reciepts. I have no idea where those papers are now.
Deirdra: What do you hope readers will get from your books?
Taffy: A new idea or a different way of looking at life.
Deirdra: What is your process of brainstorming a story? Do you just sit down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline first?
Taffy: In November for NaNoWri I tried to outline first for the first time. It was very confining and enlightening at the same time. I mostly write longhand on any paper I can find for my rough draft. Then I type it up and fill in as I go. One story I knew only the middle. Another I knew the ending.
Deirdra: Do you ever experience a snag in a story, a form of writer's block? If so, how do you deal with it?
Taffy: I always a snag, just ask my critique group. For some reason, they can't read my mind and don't know all the nuances I do. Can you imagine?
Deirdra: Do you need absolute quiet to write? Do you listen to music when you are writing?
Taffy: I LOVE writing by the pool in the summer. During the day I write to nature sounds like waves on the beach.
Deirdra: What kinds of inspiration do you use during your story creation periods?
Taffy: Reading, reading, reading. Don't tell the librarians but all the dog ears in their books was me. I find a sentence or dialogue that touches me and mark the page to read later or write down.
Deirdra: Who has made the greatest difference for you as a writer?
Taffy: Heather Moore is the first person that comes to mind. I wrote a LDS YA story a few years ago and decided I'd better educate myself in the local publishing world. I met Heather online and at Storymakers. She was always kind and encouraging. She's awesome! Tristi Pinkston and Jeff Savage are two more that are willing to help and share their knowledge with a newbie.
Deirdra: What authors do you admire and why?
Taffy: Janette Rallison because she makes a stand about writing clean YA. And she's so funny. Jessica Day George's retold fairy tales.
Deirdra: What is your favorite snack to have while you are writing?
Taffy: Red hots. Water. Licorice. Mints when I've eaten too many red hots and licorice.
Deirdra: What are you working on now?
Taffy: I'm editing two stories right now: a WWI romance and an alien story.
Deirdra: What is the most difficult thing about being a writer?
Taffy: Wondering if my stories are any good.
Deirdra: What is the best thing about being an author?
Taffy: Getting a natural high from writing!
Deirdra: What are your goals as an author for the next three years?
Taffy: Publish three books, one a year! Yippee!
Deirdra: Where is your favorite place to write?
Taffy: In bed.
Deirdra: How do you come up with your character’s names?
Taffy: Ancestors. Baby name books.
Deirdra: What is the best complement you could receive from a reader?
Taffy: I made them shiver.
Deirdra: Any final words you would like to share?
Taffy: Enjoy the journey!