Where did you get the idea for Wicka?
I was sitting in the solarium at my parent’s house. It was a very gloomy, grey February afternoon during an incredibly cold and terrible winter. A forest of birch trees surrounded my parent’s house. They looked dark and eerie, like nothing around them could ever be bright or happy again. It seemed like the perfect place for cloaked figures to emerge, floating overtop of the moss covered boulders while making their way around the sinister looking trees. The first line of my book popped into my head and from that moment on, I couldn’t stop writing.
How many books are in The Chronicles of Elizabeth Blake series?
I have planned for three.
When is the sequel coming out?
I’m hoping to have it finished by the spring of 2015.
Is the story complete fiction or did you incorporate real events?
The majority is fiction but I did include some personal elements. Oma, the character, is based on my actual oma, including where she is from and how she met my papa. She did, in fact, weigh 2 ½ lbs when born and the doctor did put her in a roasting pan over a fire to keep her warm. I always found that story fascinating.
Why did you pick the title Wicka?
I liked the thought of using a name that would immediately allow the reader to know what the story was about. I also didn’t want people to confuse it with Wiccanism, which is why I changed it from Wicca to Wicka.
How did you choose the names of your characters?
I didn’t want to get stuck on names while I was writing, so I started out using the names of people I knew. My intention was to go back and change them once the book was finished. I found, for the most part, that the names really suited the characters so I left a lot of them. For example, I have a brother named Robbie; a son named James (although he wasn’t born when I started writing the book, I just loved that name); I know a family named The Jardines; and I really did have an Aunt Clara who was my mother’s best friend.
What made you pick that cover?
I originally sketched the cover and then hired a graphic designer to recreate it. I think she did a really great job. I wanted the focus to be on Elizabeth and her pendent.
Why did you pick rugby for William’s sport?
I love rugby. I played, my brother played and my husband played. The debate is still on, however, as to whether or not our boys will play.
What made you choose France for Elizabeth’s schooling?
I fell in love with the idea of France long before actually travelling there. I was only 15 when I convinced my parents to allow me to travel to France on a three-month exchange program. I have been back several times so I am familiar with parts of it. It seemed only fitting to write about what I love.
You wrote about an Alt Rock band. Did you have a specific band in mind when you were writing?
I did. Good friends of mine formed a band called, “The Jones”. They are fantastic musicians and have a great energy. We try to get to as many of their shows as we can.
Who is your favourite character in the book?
It would be very difficult to choose just one. I love something about all of them. William is kind and strong, passionate and good hearted. Natalia is indulgent but sweet and full of innocence. Catherine is an amazing mother who would fight to the death for her family. Oma, well, who wouldn’t want to be full of power, strength and sass at her age? Elizabeth is strong and above anything else, loyal. Even Christopher is interesting in that he is so wicked and cold hearted but feels his superiority entitles him to that behaviour.
What made you choose Ann Arbor, Michigan as Elizabeth’s hometown?
A good friend of mine went to law school in Ann Arbor. During a visit he introduced me to all of the quaint characteristics of the beautiful city. When it came time to choose a location, Ann Arbor was my first and last thought.
Will Wicka be published in hardcover?
I have no doubt that someday it will.
How did you get started writing?
I used to write when I was a tween, long before that word even existed. My favourite books as a kid were the Choose Your Own Adventures series. I used to love the idea of choosing where I ended up and being able to change the outcome if I didn’t like it. Sometimes, I would change the ending myself if I didn’t like the other options. I then dabbled in screen plays and other children’s books. I have started a couple of other things, though, I’m not sure if I will finish them.
Who is your favourite author?
Hands down Jane Austen. I know that’s not overly original or hip in today’s world, but I love how smart and beautiful her writing is while tackling the issues of her day.
What types of movies do you like?
These days I gravitate towards action movies; superhero’s mostly. I love almost anything Marvel.
Who or what inspires you?
First and foremost my children; I have no greater love. I am, however, a romantic at heart. I imagine the way I would like things in my life or the world to be, and I try to let that direct me.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Not sure about crazy, but if we are excluding independent travel at a young age, then I would have to say bungee jumping in Queensland, NZ when I was 18. It was my second time bungee jumping but it was definitely very cool.