Why do you love to write?
I get to go on a new adventure every time I writer at my computer or in my journal. I have the opportunity to examine human emotions, and to learn something new every day. Where my characters go, I feel like I go too. And what my characters learn… well, I’m learning too.
How old were you when you starting writing?
I remember always being a really observant kid, and I started writing everything down just as soon as I could hold a pencil. I’m a chronic journal-er. I love writing down my thoughts and observations of the world around me. It’s how I process information. Oh, and I doodle a lot too. But that’s not really writing. But it helps me think.
What inspires you to write?
My friends, mostly. Most of my closest friends are in the arts–writing, performing, drawing–so we’re always talking about craft and always encouraging each other. It’s so great to have a support group! What inspires me to write are the stories I hear, people I see on the street, things that happen to me, places I visit…it all plays a part in what ends up on paper. I can find a story any where… you can too when you look for it.
Why did you decide to start your own publishing company?
That way I’ll have complete control over my vision for my series of books and I can guide and mentor emerging authors as well to get their voice out into the world. I’m still in the start-up phase of the business but things are going really, really well! I should be up and running and going to print with my novel in just a few months…!
Where have you been published?
My work has been prominently featured on The Slam, TeenInk, and InkPop and I am the winner of the 2009 My Life as a Teen short story prize, to name a few.
Do you have a certain time of day that you write?
I’m a night owl. I write best between midnight and five a.m.
Do you write in Spanish too?
I have yet to write anything in Spanish, but feel lucky to say that I’ve been able to travel outside the U.S. to countries where Spanish is the main language. In fact, I lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for seven years. Living in a foreign country has made me more aware of world politics, and has taught me to be more respectful and appreciative of other cultures. We have so much to learn from each other, and I try to put it all into my books.
What was taking a year off school like to finish your novel?
I took my senior year of high school off to focus on writing my novel (in a few words: it was kind of awesome). I spent some time in New York, which helped, and basically dedicated all my time to writing the first book and getting the first draft down, as well as plotting the next few books of the series. It was well worth it, because I completed the first draft in six months, and my creativity has flourished since finishing high school.
What do you do for fun?
Writing for me is always fun. I also love baking (you can’t write on an empty stomach), and reading, and spending time with my friends and family.