How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I was 12 years old. I started writing fantasy, working on a story that was so incredibly bad it was laughable. But it was my start! I learned from it and kept going. Most important of all, I had fun writing it. It led me to starting a whole new series when I was 15, which eventually (after countless rounds of editing) became the Under the Moon series, which was the first series I ever published.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
Characters and story ideas often come to me organically. For main characters, especially, I like to sit on the idea of the character and their mission, writing down a few notes over the course of a few days or weeks (or even months), but not too many notes so I don’t commit myself to anything in particular. I’ll think about that character whenever I encounter something related to them and make a mental note of the things that best fit who they are.
So in the case of Ash (AKA Heat), I knew I wanted his power to have to do with fire, but I didn’t know what limitations to put on that. I also knew that he needed to have some personal struggles to face as well as his superhero struggles. Eventually, the idea that he didn’t have a memory came to me and I built the story around that premise.
With other, more minor characters, I sometimes come up with them on the spur of the moment and see how they develop in the story on their own. In Dust Storm (Heat, Book 2), Detective Jenna Harkness was one of those characters I just wrote in real quick to have a detective in the story. As I wrote that book, I naturally developed that character more and she becomes a more prominent feature in The Gatekeeper (Heat, Book 3) and will probably be a mainstay for the series. All because I wanted a detective duo to interview Heat in one scene!