When did you know you were a writer?

I have been writing “stories” for so long it’s hard to remember exactly when I started. I used to have these collections of stories or episodes that featured all the same characters, solving these really ridiculous mysteries. That graduated into silly romances.

I decided I was a serious writer about six years ago, and actively began learning and figuring out how to get a book published–which had been my dream since I was little.

How long did it take to sign your first publishing contract, and what were the most important things you did to reach this milestone?

I would say that honestly, it’s been six years, because I include the time from when I first started actively seeking representation and publication.

I started writing “Playing for Keeps” in early 2012, so it’s been 2+ years coming to this point of it being accepted for publication.

Important milestones?

I submitted some really bad writing. Sounds crazy, but I ended up learning a lot from the editor who was kind enough to like it and offer tips. She suggested joining a writing group with published writers to polish my craft. (That’s how she put it. I think what she meant was learn how to write for real.)

I found out everything I could about writing and about my genre. I read a lot of romantic comedies, read blog posts, and attended conferences.

I got to pitch to the editor who ended up accepting my novel. It changed my writing life. She was really excited about it and rooted for it all the way. That helped me know I was on the right path.

I finished “Playing for Keeps” around the end of 2012, and January of the next year I knew I wanted to pitch it at LDStorymakers, so I went into overdrive editing. I pitched it there in April, did some more revisions (you learn a TON at conferences) and submitted it to Covenant in July. They notified me that they’d accepted it in March of 2014. That’s a lot of waiting (it still is!) so I wrote a lot. And wrote some more. That’s important–to just keep writing.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received in your publishing journey?

Decide what you want from your writing career and do what it takes to get that, from the fabulous Melanie Jacobson. If you want to be in control of it, do what it takes to self-publish the best piece of work you can and be successful. If you want to be traditionally published, work until that’s what you get. Make the goals and go after them.

Would you ever consider self-publishing – why?

I have self-published 5 short stories, mostly because there’s not a big traditional market for them right now. It takes so much effort as far as editing and marketing, it’s really sort of my writing hobby. I’m not sure I’m the right type of person to do a full-length project myself. Perhaps someday in my future, when I’ve learned a lot more about publishing.

What are you currently working on?

Right now I’m working on the companion novels for “Playing for Keeps,” as well as getting ready to query for my YA novel, “Kissing a Superhero.”

What’s something your fans may not know about you?

I have a deep, abiding passion for food, especially great Mexican food like Nachos and Chimichangas. And also pie, but I think people know that