Reader Questionnaire!

I feel like I spend so much time talking about my books and myself here on this blog.  I want to know more about all of you!  If you are reading this, please feel free to answer all of the questions, or perhaps just some of them.  Or none at all.  I’m not going to internet peer pressure you into anything.  I hate that.

Note: This isn’t a survey. I’m not doing research or anything of any kind. This is just for fun. If you want, you can even post the answers to your blog and send me a link.

1. What is your favorite book?

2. What are your goals? For the year? For your life?

3. Are you a writer? If so, tell me about your work. 

4. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

5. What was the last movie you saw in the theater and was it worthwhile?

6. I’m curious, are there any books that you’ve tried to read and simply couldn’t finish? This is a no judgement zone. 

7. Are you currently working on a new book/project right now? If it’s secret, you don’t have to tell me about it. If so, however, I hope it’s going well.

8. If you could live in any of your favorite books, which one would you choose?

9. Are there any book-to-movie adaptations that you think are just incredible?  That you absolutely hated?

10. What do you look for in a book that you want to read?  What’s the first thing to capture your attention?

11. If you’re an author, what do you do when you first get an idea for a book? I make a playlist and create a secret Pinterest board.  

12. How do you feel about different genres? Romance? YA? Sci-Fi? Poetry? Do you have any favorites? Any least-favorites?

13. If you could meet any writer in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?

14. Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?

15. Are there any characters that everyone loves that you can’t stand? Or vice versa?

16. What do you like to do besides reading/writing?

17. If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?

18. What is your favorite guilty pleasure book? I love YA and Nicholas Sparks. 

19. Do you have a reading goal set for this year? 

20. Tell me anything about yourself that I haven’t asked. Random fact. Weird human trick. Whatever. Example: I can pop my shoulder out of its socket. It’s gross. 539655_4937759955460_21644212_n

Just For Fun: Questions All Women Need to Answer

Like so many in the modern age of technology and the internet, I am a big fan of Buzzfeed.  I can spend hours and hours browsing and enjoying articles like What It’s Like to Watch Harry Potter for the First Time or Reasons Matthew Gray Gubler is the Nerd of Your Dreams (he really is).  Yesterday, I stumbled across one I hadn’t seen before.  41 Questions that All Women Need to Answer.  Upon reading through the list, some of the questions are silly and some I truly cannot answer due to lack of experience or whatever, but I thought it might be fun to go through and answer the ones that I can to the best of my ability.

Note: I answer only for myself. I cannot and do not speak for all women.

Another Note: There were questions that are not family friendly and will not be included.

Q: Why do women lie?

A: I think the more accurate question is Why do people lie, because as Dr. Gregory House so eloquently put it, everyone lies.  But women in general?  Like, why do women lie to men?  Probably because we don’t want to hurt your feelings or we want to get out of something.  Or we’re being sneaky and trying to figure something out.  Or we want to make ourselves look good.  But I feel like those aren’t specific to women.  I feel like those are the main reasons that people in general lie.

Q: Why do women always want to “squeeze” babies?

A: I am not a baby squeezer.  I’m always afraid I am going to somehow hurt a baby or hold it wrong, so I try to be as gentle as possible.  But I do know what it’s like to want to squeeze a cute animal.  We like hugging cute things.  It’s that simple.

Q: Why do women bring the whole family to doctors appointments?

A: N/A

Q: Why do women wear 1-inch heels? Like, what is the purpose?

A: Heels are stylish.  Heels make my legs look good.  Heels make my feet feel fancy.  True, it is difficult to walk in heels and yeah, they can be uncomfortable.  But I like my heels.  I like to feel pretty.

Q: Why do women have small feet?

A: I wear a size 9. We do not all have small feet.

Q: Why do women complain about their relationships and still stay in them?

A: I’m not in a relationship, and when I was and I was unhappy, I did end it.  But I felt very guilty about it.  I felt like I owed it to him to try to make it work.  I felt like I didn’t have a good enough reason to end it.  He was a good guy.  He’d never hurt me.  Complaining is really easy.  Taking action and making a decision that affects not only your life but another person’s as well is hard.

Q: Why do women have to be so hard to understand?

A: Why do men have to be so hard to understand?  In all seriousness though, what I’ve come to understand is that men and women’s brains work in different ways.  Women are very analytical.  We’re dwellers.  We have like, fifty things running through our heads at once.  We remember every moment from every interaction we’ve ever had and we consider every possible reaction and every possible outcome.  Being a woman is actually very stressful.

Q: Why do women get so upset when you unfollow them on social networks?

A: If I don’t know you, then I don’t care.  If I do know you, I’m going to be wondering what I did wrong.  Forever.

Q: Why do women dislike each other so much?

A:  I don’t dislike other women.  Most of my friends are girls.  But if one woman doesn’t like another, it’s probably because she makes her feel insecure.  Or maybe she’s just not a good person.  It has nothing to do with gender.  I don’t like men who are jerks either.

Q: Why do women in rock songs always wear cheap perfume?

A: This is a very good question.  Maybe the women that rock stars like can’t afford expensive perfume.

Q: Why can’t women sit still?  They’re always fiddling with something!

A:  I definitely do this, but to be honest, I don’t know why.  I just have to be doing something with my hands.  If you give me a sheet of paper, it will be folded and crinkled and ripped within ten minutes.  Maybe it’s because if we just sit there, we think, and when we think, we overanalyze and suddenly we end up reliving some embarrassing thing that happened in high school and worrying that everyone still remembers it, which I’m fairly certain they don’t.

Q: Why do women need to use more than 4 towels to shower?

A: One to step out on, one to wash your face, one to dry you off, one to dry your hair, and one for when you need to wash your hands.

Q: Why do women take pictures with half of their faces cut out?

A: It’s artsy.

Q: Why do women get mad when guys approach them?

A: Half the time we won’t. If we’re in the mood to flirt, then we love it. If we’re just trying to enjoy a night out with our girlfriends and want nothing to do with men (it does happen), then it’s annoying.  Unfortunately for you men, you’ll never know.  However, I think most of the time we’re flattered.  Again, can’t and do not speak for all women.  Only myself.

Q: Why do women friend zone the nice guys and then date jerks?

A: Oh man. This requires a long, long, long answer. The short version is we don’t intentionally “friend zone” anyone.  It’s either there or it isn’t, although I do think it is possible to escape the proverbial “friend zone.”  And believe it or not, we do date good guys.  We love good guys.  All the guys my friends have married are lovely people and totally nice.  However, I do encourage anyone who has ever wanted a more thorough and thought-out answer to this question to google Good Guys vs. Nice Guys.

Q: Why do women get upset when someone gives their baby the same name as theirs?

A: I don’t have a baby.  I do, however have two little cousins, the exact same age, who are both named Cade.

Q: Why do women wear form-fitting and revealing clothes?

A: I like to wear clothes that flatter my figure.  I think all women do.  I don’t wear clothes that reveal.  If I want to look good, then I’ll do my best to dress well.  Most of the time, though, I’m happy in sweats and t-shirts.

Q: Why do women dress up in dresses and high heals to go to the airport?

A: I don’t.  Again, sweats and t-shirts.  But maybe they’re on their way to a business meeting.  Maybe they’re meeting a guy at the airport.  They could have someone important waiting for them.

Q: Why do women cut their hair and then cry about cutting it later?

A: We’re complicated and we change our minds.  We’ve all regretted haircuts.  I cut my hair two months ago, and immediately after, I was missing my long hair.

Q: Why do women think that leggings are an acceptable substitute to trousers?

A: Good question.  I can’t just wear leggings.  My legs are my worst feature.

Q: Why do women hate Leos?

A:  I’m not really partial to any specific astrological sign, so I can’t help you here.

Q: Why do women have like 8 purses?

A: Different outfits require different accessories. As do different season.  I don’t carry my summer purses in the winter.

Q: Why do women try to get their man to propose?

A: I’ll ask all my married friends and get back to you.

Q: Why do women text you “hello???” if you don’t text them back right away?

A: We’re paranoid creatures and we want to know you’re not ignoring us!  Though I like to think I’m pretty tolerant of the delayed texter.  Sometimes it will take my best friend a whole day to text me back.

Q: Why do women like to drink wine and watch sad movies?

A: Why would anyone not like to drink wine and watch sad movies?

Q: Why do women want to look like men?

A: Guys get to keep it casual and your clothes look comfy.  I’m totally jealous of your clothes.

Q: Why do women throw things when they get angry?

A: I’ve seen men do this too.  I don’t think I’ve ever thrown out of anger.  I did throw a pillow once because I was in a lot of pain though.

Q: Why do women always have the final say?

A: We’re stubborn and proud and we like to have the last word.

Well, I have reached the end of the article.  I truly hope I didn’t offend anyone or give women a bad name!  This was all just for a bit of fun.  And again, I do not in any way speak for all women or any woman other than myself.  I’m interested to know how others might answers these questions, though!

The original article can be found on Buzzfeed here: 

Answers Part I: Writing

Hi, everyone!  

Thanks to all who commented on my blog post and left me questions!  Today (and probably tomorrow since there are a lot), I’m going to answer them!  I’ve broken the questions down into two different categories, Writing and Publishing.  Basically, two of my favorite things!  I think I’ll answer writing today and publishing tomorrow.  So, without further ado, here we go! 


Do you get mired in details during the writing process?

Yes and no.  A lot of writers talk about how the first draft of your manuscript doesn’t have to be perfect, and it won’t be.  If something isn’t right, you can go back and fix it later.  The important thing is to keep writing through to the very end and not to let minor details stop you from moving forward.  I struggle with this.  If I’m not completely 100% happy with something, I will dwell on it and stick with it until I fix it, and I do think that tends to hold me back a bit when I’m working on a new project.  It’s something I’m trying to work on, but it also might just be a part of my own personal technique.    

What inspires you?

Everything.  Music, books, other movies, places, people I love, pets I love.  Cemetery Tours was inspired first of all, by the sudden loss of someone I loved very dearly.  I needed to reassure myself that they were still close to me, so I decided to write a ghost story.  I’d always loved ghost stories and been fascinated by the idea of an afterlife, but I’d never felt compelled to write one until after he died.  I was also inspired by my love for old cemeteries, the television show Ghost Adventures, and a bridal barn where I once photographed a wedding.  I would list out all the inspiration for my current projects, but I don’t want to give too much away!  I can say they involve William Wordsworth, Doctor Who, and the San Antonio River Walk.  

Once I’ve got an idea for a story in my head, I do two things.  First, I make an iTunes playlist that serves as my writing soundtrack.  

Once I release a little more information about the sequel, I’ll post its soundtrack.  You can find my soundtrack to Cemetery Tours here: 

After the soundtrack is finished, I head over to Pinterest and make an Inspiration board.  Several of these are secret and will stay that way until the books are finished.  However, you can find both my Cemetery Tours inspiration board and the Sequel teaser board on my site:  

Is outlining really important or is there really a “right” way?

Confession: I’m a terrible outliner.  I prefer to do what I call a “brain-spill.”  I open up a blank word document and just type.  I don’t bother with things like punctuation or spelling or chronology or anything of the sort.  I just type until every idea surrounding a story is in writing for me to see.  I can always go back and organize it later.  I spill out characters, their relationships, their backgrounds, what’s going to happen to them, the world they live in, what’s going to happen.  To be honest, I don’t always know what’s going to happen or how a book is going to play out.  One of the projects I’m working on now is still surprising me and I love it!  That’s the problem I have with outlining.  You can plan ahead to an extent, but the truth is, you never really know where your story is going to take you.  In the sequel, one of my characters ended up in the hospital, and I never intended that to happen!  It just does.  As a writer, you have to acknowledge that you’re never fully in control.  It’s a weird thought, but sometimes the book is going to play out the way it wants to and you just sort of go with it.  Usually, it works out for the better.  I do try occasionally to plot out chapters, but they almost always end up changing.  Truthfully, I don’t believe there is such a thing as a “right” way to write.  Just like every book, every writer is different and what works for one person will not work for another.  I’m sure there are writers out there who would absolutely cringe at the way I do things.  In writing, do what works best for you!  

Does the 3-act structure have to be as blasted complicated as some authorities make it?

Again, answering honestly, I didn’t give the 3-act structure even a fraction of a thought.  When I write, I don’t think about what I’m “supposed” to do as a writer.  I just write out what I think will make a fun and interesting story.  I don’t remember where I heard this, but I read or heard somewhere, “Write the story you want to read.”  That’s what I try to do. I basically write stories for myself and hope and pray that others like them too.  I’m not a big fan of rules or structure, especially when it comes to something as personal and unique as writing your own story.  And if those authorities want to tell me I’m wrong, well, I have a Master’s Degree in Humanities, so surely there has to be some merit to the way I do things.   

What are your thoughts during the writing process?  

Oh, thoughts.  So many thoughts.  Usually, it goes something like this…

Hey, that’s a neat idea.  I should write a book about that.  But you have so many other projects already.  Oh, that’s okay, I can handle it.  Who should the hot guy in my story be?  You know there doesn’t have to be a hot guy.  Oh please, I’m a girl.  Of course there has to be a hot guy.  I hope no one else has written a story like this before.  What should the title be?  You can think of a decent title later.  Oh, but I like knowing the title.  You’re going to change your mind a million times.  Why don’t you get the story written and then think of a title?  Okay, fine.  What should my characters names be?  I suck at thinking up good names.  Those will probably change a million times too.  Alright, I’m going to write the first sentence.  I can’t think of a first sentence.  Writing a first sentence is the hardest thing ever.  Why can’t I just be brilliant like JK Rowling?  I’m going to check Facebook.  Okay, back to that first sentence.  I bet if I could just write one thing, the rest of the book would flow like that.  What if I end up hating my characters?  What if everyone thinks this is the worst book ever?  What if this becomes the next Percy Jackson series?  That would be so cool!  I wonder if people will write fanfiction about my characters?  They won’t unless you actually write the damn book.  Oh, I have plenty of time to write.  Not if you want to be a New York Times bestseller by the time you’re 30.  I don’t want to be 30…

Yeah, that’s basically how it goes.  Sadly, I’m not trying to be funny with this.  Maybe I am a little, but there is not a whole lot of deep stuff that goes on when I’m trying to write.  I’m probably the most neurotic person alive and my writing style and technique reflects that.  However, if there’s one thing I know when I begin a manuscript, it’s that I’m going to finish it.  I like to think I’m a follow-througher.  I hate beginning things and not finishing them.  I’m not sure if that has to do with my control issues or the fact that I like to do what I say I’m going to do, but I will do everything in my power to see that manuscript through to the end.  It might take years.  The idea for Cemetery Tours was conceived in November 2010 and I wasn’t fully satisfied with it until 2013.  I started writing it at least 4 or 5 different times before I was finally convinced yeah, this is the story I want to write.  This is the direction it needs to go.  Writing is hard.  Anyone who thinks you’ve chosen an easy path by dedicating yourself to writing is wrong.  You might have to try several different methods or pathways before you figure out what your story needs to be, but when it’s right, I promise you’ll know it.  I remember the exact moment I realized exactly what Cemetery Tours needed and I had the first chapter written that night.  It’s all a journey, but it’s always interesting, and that’s what I really love about it.  I don’t do well with stagnancy.  I need things to be constantly changing and evolving and moving forward.  Writing gives me all of that and more.  I’m never in the same place twice.  I’m free.

Thank you all for your questions and stay tuned tomorrow for Answers Part II: Publishing. 

See you then! 



Here’s the deal.  I’m a writer.  I’m a creative soul.  I have a Master’s Degree in the arts.  I should be able to come up with some pretty decent blog posts.  But like with most character names, I find myself resorting to things like Blog Idea Generators to come up with good ideas for blog topics. For the record, all of its ideas were worse than mine.    

So here’s my idea.  What do you want to read about?  I have a wide variety of stories and experience, both writing/publishing and miscellaneous.  Since most of y’all that I know here are also writers and if not published authors than soon-to-be, do you have any questions?  Any thoughts?  I can’t promise you the best answer in the world, but I will promise you an answer!  

For the record, questions about the meaning of life will immediately be discredited.  Other than that, the mic is open!