You’re a mother to four boys, currently expecting a girl through adoption, a military wife, the top military mom blogger at The Only Girl Among Boys, a talented cake decorator, and an agented author on submission with your YA novel, Aeolian. Seriously, just typing that sentence makes me exhausted.
As a mother to two toddlers, I’d love to know how you balance writing with mothering. My first questions are very important to the sleep deprived parent (Me).
What is your caffeinated beverage of choice?
First, that sounds way more busy than I really am! I promise most of my routine involves triage.
As for my caffeine fix, before 5 pm, it’s coffee, but only when it’s equal parts with cream and sugar, preferably Salted Caramel Mocha or Chai Latte. Yummmm. Pressing “enter” on my keurig is my favorite part of my morning. After 5 pm I have a really unhealthy addiction to Coke.
What time do you want to go to bed and wake up in the morning? What time do you ACTUALLY get to go to bed and wake up in the morning?
I would love to go to bed at 10 pm and wake at 6 am, refreshed, ready to work out and generally kick the day in the butt. In reality, I’m up until about 1:30 am or so and up at 7. Sleep is my mistress, but my alarm clock is a jealous little thing for my affections. I love sleep. I miss sleep.
Can you share with us a quick pitch about your novel that’s on submission?
Man, I stink at pitching! No, seriously, it’s my weakest point, but I’ll crack my knuckles and give it a go.
(I’m horrible at pitching too! No worries. I’m sure you are going to do great!)
Aeolian is a YA Urban Fantasy about seventeen year-old Dayenara, whose normal life is shattered when she is caught in the middle of a clandestine war. Accepting her powers as a Sentinel to master elemental energy will limit Dayenara’s free will, but she alone is capable of finding the powerful Grimoire the Drainers, who abuse dark energy, seek. Her powers will force a choice between her first love and the captivating mage whose fate is twined with hers. To stay alive, she must face battle and betrayal, and find the confidence to risk everything for love. If she succeeds, she’ll become the most powerful Sentinel in the world, but if she fails, she’ll face the extinction of her secret society and the world they’re sworn to protect.
That was an awesome pitch! I loved it. Please add pitching extraordinaire to your biography as well.
When writing Aeolian, did you schedule time for writing and editing? Or did you just fit it in where you could?
I wrote Aeolian during my husband’s third deployment to keep my mind occupied late at night when I knew he was flying. I suppose that’s kind of a schedule! Now, I try to write while my kids are at school, but with a pre-schooler still underfoot, I find it easier to write before bed.
Do you have any advice for writers on how to balance writing with family, work, and life’s chaos?
I think it’s about priorities. For me, family comes first, always. With four boys and a husband in the military, our life can be unpredictable, which means I need to be as flexible as silly putty. I would say do your best to set a writing schedule where you normally find an ounce of free time, and snag a few moments elsewhere when and where you can.
And lastly, what was your favorite quick but healthy meal that you’d make your family so you could smash in one last query?
Queries, bleh! Just the word is enough to make me lose my appetite! But really, I have a torrid love affair with my crock-pot. I love tossing in carrots, potatoes, a turkey breast, some onions, garlic, broth and a little white and marsala wine and letting it cook all day. The most hectic time of day at our house is in between the boys getting off the bus and dinner, so I love having that already done. Plus, if I make an extra-large turkey breast, I have leftovers ready to make enchiladas!
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for me. I’m striving to balance my writing aspirations with parenting and finding it is an unending balancing act. Thank you so much for your advice!
You’re so very welcome! I think between your nursing duties and your kiddos, you’re already rocking it out more than you know, Lizzy!
If by rocking you mean sitting in a corner to write rather than do laundry, then yes… that I do.