Some answers to some frequently asked questions:
1. Is Still Water a sequel to Still Mine?
I like to call Still Water a "sequel of sorts". It picks up where Still Mine left off and continues with Clare's backstory. At the same time, Clare is on an entirely new case and I was careful to fill in enough of her life details so that readers won't be lost if they don't read the books in order. I've also heard from a few readers started with Still Water THEN read Still Mine as a sort of prequel. It makes me happy that these books can be enjoyed however each reader sees fit.
2. What is your writing routine?
Routine? I don't understand that word :) But seriously, over the years I've had to adapt my writing routine to adjust to my busy outside life. I work as a full-time teacher in Toronto and I have three boys and all the associated driving and feeding and sports and chaos and homework and fun and shenanigans that go along with my family life. I've had stretches where I've worked in the evenings, or the mornings, or on the weekends; I've had stretches where I committed to a chunk of time (1 hour a day, say) or a chunk of words (500 per sitting). All of the above have worked and not worked and I've adjusted accordingly. For book three, my goal is to achieve some kind of consistency in my writing habits. I'm trying to sit down every day around the same time and write about the same number of words. Is that what people mean when they say routine? :)
3. What advice can you give a new writer?
I meet a lot of emerging and aspiring writers and I love talking to them about the possibilities that lie ahead. I have two threads of advice to offer. The first is to commit to writing in a manageable and realistic way. If you can only swing 20 minutes a few times a week, that's okay! It's better than no minutes, and you'll be surprised at how much you produce with that small commitment. There are very few people who have the luxury of writing for hours at a time in an empty space. Do what you can when you can, and build from there. My second piece of advice is to immerse yourself in the writing world however you can. Read books or stories of all genres, but focus on those that best match the style you plan to write. If you're on social media, seek out writers, publishers, agents, editors, booksellers, writing events and festivals and follow them. Attend readings, workshops, classes, festivals, talks. Join a writers' group. If you engage with the writing universe, you'll find it engages back. And when the time comes to start sharing your writing with the world, you'll have a much better sense of what that might look like.
4. How can readers stay connected with you?
I'm pretty active on social media, and you can follow me at the links below. I also keep my Events page updated. A few times a month I will connect with book clubs over Facetime or Skype. Go to the Book Clubs page for more info!