- What inspires you to write Blonde Eskimo? I’m assuming that it was an influence of your grandmother but what pushes you to publish your book?
I wanted to share the stories I learned from my grandmother and adventures I had in Alaska. I was enamored with the culture and beauty of Alaska, and I was proud of my heritage. I wanted to share the stories of the Ishegocks, the power of the spirit animals, and the journey of growing up but add a twist of fantasy to it.
- What it feels like publishing a novel? Being a writer has been my dream job but I know that I don’t have what it takes to be one, yet.
Publishing a novel is scary and exciting at the same time! For me, writing is my hobby. I want to give readers new stories and take them to extraordinary places.
I didn’t publish Blonde Eskimo for money, I did it for the readers.
- I love Neiva and her grandmother’s relationship. Their relationship is like my relationship with my grandmother, I learned a lot from my grandmother, from cooking to baking to read books, mostly everything. My question is: If there’s one lesson that your grandmother wants you to share to the whole world, what will it be?
My grandmother taught me that life is a gift and to respect nature. Many people take life for granted but we are only here for a short time. Enjoy life’s journey and learn from the past as you walk into the future.
- As I’ve mentioned your and my grandmother before, what kind of relationship do you have with her? If telling a childhood memory or a beautiful memory will satisfy my curiosity, what will it be?
My grandmother was a wonderful woman and I miss her every day. When I was in grade school, my twin sister and I would spend the night at her house every Saturday. She would let us watch movies, give us M&Ms, and let us stay up late. We thought it was the coolest! But I would say she was a trickster too. Hanging on her wall was an Eskimo mask made out of stone with long, ivory teeth jetting out of its mouth. It was the scariest thing I have ever seen, like something out of a horror movie. She would tell us stories of how one of our ancestor’s soul was a trap in the mask, and it must be passed down from generation to generation. We were the guardians of his spirit. Well, unbeknownst to us, my grandmother would move the mask around when we were sleeping. So, when we woke up it would be in a different place making us believe it was alive and our ancestor’s spirit escaped at night. Eventually, we were so scared of it that she had to put it away when we came to visit. I don’t know where the mask is today and frankly, I don’t want to know!!! lol
- How did you come up with your character’s name? Neiva is a pretty unique name.
My cousin, who lives in Nome, Alaska, named her daughter Neiva. I fell in love with the name right away and I thought it would be the perfect name for my main character. Neiva is the name of a river outside of the town of Nome, Alaska.
- Name 5 favorite foods!
MEXICAN food….That is my all-time favorite.
- If you are going to cast your characters, who are the Hollywood stars you will choose for them?
Oh, man…this is a hard one. Can I say any of the cast members from MTV’s Teen Wolf? I’m a huge fan of the show and all the actors/actresses are amazing! But I have always envisioned an Asian actor to play Darius.
- Tell us something about yourself, what are the things that you love doing or what is your dream luxury of spending a vacation?
I love to hike and workout. I’m a big movie and TV series nerd. I have a long list of shows I love to watch (Arrow.. cough.. cough). Several of my friends are talented cosplayers. Sometimes I like to dress up and go to comic conventions with them.
**My dream vacation would be to go diving with Great Whites, but in a cage of course! I’ve been fascinated with great whites since my parents let me what Jaws when I was younger. Let’s just say shark week is like a holiday for me!***
- Recommend 5 books that influence you being as a writer and as a reader.
- My number one pick would be LJ Smith the Night World series. This series inspired me to start writing and creating different worlds full of fantasy and magic.
- I grew up on RL Stine’s Goosebumps series. I was glued to the pages, and every month I would make my mom take me to the bookstore to buy the next adventure in the series. His writing style inspired me to add a little darkness to my writing.
- Clive Barker’s The Thief of Always is my favorite book of all time. It had all the elements of magic, darkness, mythical creatures, and the element of surprise. Barker’s descriptions are rich in detail but he always kept the story flowing. He taught me not to get stuck on all the little details.
- The Nancy Drew Mystery Stories was the first series to peak my interest in reading and ignite my love for books. When we were little my mom would read to my twin sister and I every night. She would pull out her Nancy Drew books and the Hardy Boys books.
- James Rollins Sigma Force- His writing style adds history and science into the story. They have an Indiana Jones feel to them but it’s really fascinating how much of his stories are based on true events. He dives into tons of research for his stories which inspired me to include some historical events or heritage into my writing, but my story is a fantasy story and loosely based on historical events/info.
- How many books will there be? I want a book 2!
There will be 3 books for Blonde Eskimo (BE). BE is the first book in the Spirit World series – a collection of stories about different legends and tales told throughout different cultures. Currently, I am working on the second book in the Spirit World series (a Viking novel about my Swedish Viking heritage), along with the third book (a story about four spirit animals that are punished for their trickster ways and must attend high school to learn about humanity and friendship). The sequel to BE is also in the works.
- What do you do on your free days? Wait, do you have free days?
Free days? What’s that? Haha. I work fulltime and my days consist of 10-hour shifts on the computer, which makes it really hard to write at home. I try to get some writing or reading done on my free days, but mainly I love to go on motorcycle rides, hike, hang out with my friends, catch up on my sleep, draw, movies, or play with my cats (Odin and Thor). In the summer, it will get as high as 120 degrees in Phoenix, Arizona. During this time, I like to swim or stay indoors watching movies or craft.
- From the beginning of the story, Neiva sees her grandfather as a ghost, Darius and Gabriel, two kings who hold the Dark and Light realm made an appearance, her grandmother is old, Will we know what are the past stories of Neiva’s grandparents and the life story of Gabriel and Darius when they rule the realms before Neiva even came into the picture?
Yes, book 2 will dive into the past and the readers will start seeing the connection between the characters. The Viking will have some info regarding BE, such as Neiva’s grandparents and the different branches of the Spirit World, but I don’t want to reveal too much!
- You really understand your male characters, how did you dive into their perspective and set the mood with their feelings? I really think that you are good at understanding one’s feeling. It shows how you write their lines on your book.
Thank you for the compliment! I was a tomboy when I was younger. I played video games, loved getting dirty, and hated anything girlie. I had many male friends. I felt more comfortable around them. This followed me well into high school and college. When I started writing BE, I used all the experiences and knowledge I learned from my guy friends and poured it into my male characters.
- What was the hardest part of writing Blonde Eskimo? The hardest part? Or was it the process of publishing the story?
There are several different aspects I can pick. The main one would be editing. I went through several editors and it was tough. You have to learn to be open to change and to not look at the red marks as a failure. You have to learn to let go.
- Share your one favorite quote from your book, Blonde Eskimo. I’ve been asking every author this because I love knowing what was their favorite lines, I have a few of selection but sometimes, authors surprise me, since the quote that they chose sometimes not the quote that I am expecting.
Oh, that’s easy! My favorite quote is at the beginning of the book!
“You never really know your friends from your enemies until the ice breaks”
This quote is a perfect for Blonde Eskimo because this story is about friendship and how you can get though the toughest battle with your friends by your side.