- When did you start putting pen to paper?
I remember writing a short story about a ladybug when I was around six or seven. I typed it up on the family computer, printed it out, drew pictures, and stapled it together. My parents were friends with the owner of a restaurant by our house and I remember bringing my little book with me to dinner one night; I think I wanted to show him my accomplishment!
- What’s your literary poison – prose, poetry, etc.?
Prose, poetry, and plays mostly! I’ll write or read anything!
- Who is your favorite fictional hero?
Right now, Wonder Woman and Moana. I thought they were both beautiful stories, I loved all the characters, and these heroines are super important for audiences, especially children, to see.
- Which famous writer can you most identify with?
I’ve been compared to Hemingway and I absolutely love that. I also have a strong connection in my heart to Stephen King: my grandfather and I are very much alike and King was his favorite; towards the end of his life, he read and reread any King book he could get his hands on.
- What are your current projects? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)
My major WIP is a high fantasy novel, but I’m also working on two poetry collections. I have a blog (http://legendsofmia.blogspot.com/) where I post some of my creative writing, op-eds, and reviews. And I’m planning out a YouTube channel centered around writing, books, and makeup that I hope to get up very soon!
- If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book or writing piece?
Yes, I already have to! There’s a character in the first few chapters that I decided I didn’t need. I knew that if I went back to edit her out before moving on, I’d stop writing (it’s happened before). I just made her leave as soon as I could and kept writing, so I’ll have to remove her when I go back for the first big edit!
- Do you have any advice for other writers?
Try everything. You don’t have to write one specific way or genre because you’ll get stuck and sad and think about giving up; you don’t have to follow every piece of advice that people give you because it will contradict. Try everything until you decide it doesn’t work for you – and then try it again later.
- What were your grades like in English class? (A, B, anything less than this is shameful 😉 )
Straight A’s! I still talk to some of my English teachers from high school, and I so admire the professors I have in college.
- How much research do you do for your writing?
Depends on the piece. If I’m doing something that’s soaked, marinated, and covered in history I’ll go through months of timelines and history books and trivia. There’s a WIP in the deep, deep depths of my folders set in WWI or II and I spent an entire year reading books and looking at maps and writing out a timeline of real-life events that might affect the characters and important fictional events in the characters’ lives before I even sat down to write the first word. In another historical romance, I didn’t do any research except for what I already knew until I had a question or two that needed to be answered immediately. For my current WIP, the only “research” I’ve done is figuring out how to draw a map and finding the pictures I put on my Pinterest board.
- Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
I mostly write on my laptop, but there are a few that I’ll write longhand if the mood demands it. I almost always write poems longhand first, because I get a line stuck in my head in class and need to put it somewhere, so I write it out in my binder or maybe my phone if I’m in the hall. There’s one WIP that needs to feel like a journal and an essay, so I have a very in-character notebook that I’m writing that in.
- What is the best advice you’ve been given?
One of my writing professors is an absolute Godsend, especially when it comes to speaking actual gold very offhandedly. I’ve tweeted two things in particular that I find to be excellent reminders: “I think a lot of people stop writing because they don’t think it’s good. But it’s not good because it’s not done,” and “There’s no ‘good enough.’ There’s just what you want to do.” Keep an eye out on my Twitter for #GreenFacilitates (he often says he doesn’t teach, he facilitates – because you can’t teach writing)!
- What book do you think everyone should read?
There are three books I recommend to absolutely everyone no matter what they usually like to read: Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby, The Winter Seaby Susanna Kearsley, and Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys.
- Two-part question: Do you play a musical instrument? And what instrument would you like to learn to play?
I do not! I took piano and violin lessons when I was younger, but I never quite connected. I’d love to learn the harp – that would be so cool!
- What process did (or are you going) you go through to get your book published?
I think I’d like to go the traditional route, but I’ve only done minimal research into the different paths so far.
- Who would you like to change places with… i.e. live someone else’s life for a week?
I don’t know who Tom Hanks considers to be his best friend, but that person! I would love to hang out with him!
- If you weren’t a writer, what would be your ideal profession?
I almost wish I enjoyed science, so I could be a marine biologist!
17. Two-part question: Bill Murray or Chevy Chase? And John Cleese or Michael Palin?
Bill Murray. John Cleese. No question.
- What’s your most rewarding literary accomplishment to date (one that just blew your mind!)?
My senior year of high school, I got to direct a one act play that I wrote the year before. I don’t really like the play that much anymore and I wish certain circumstances could have been better, but I’m still really proud that I got it to production.
19. What quote do you live by?
Robin Williams: “You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” Mr. Williams is a huge inspiration to me, and the reason behind my tattooed R on my wrist.
- What would be your ideal writer profession ambition? (famous Pulitzer Prize winning author, successful self-published author as a day job, etc.)
I think it would be really cool for my work to be taught in school.
- Would you like to ask me a question?
Was there a specific book or author that sparked your interest in writing?
Probably Catcher In The Rye. It was the first book I read where I felt like an adult… absorbing his (J.D. Salinger) compelling words considering I was only 15 years old. I paid homage by naming one of my characters in my book, Feedback after him.
Many thanks to Mia for interviewing with me! Please keep tabs on this cool up and coming writer here: