I grew up in Salinas, California, the same hometown of John Steinbeck, one of America’s greatest writers. I loved to read (and still do) and frequented the John Steinbeck Library as a child. I discovered at an early age that I also enjoyed writing. In sixth grade, my teacher, Mr. Graham gave the class an assignment to write a story for a contest. The contest required that we create our book binding as well, which we did with cardboard, glue, and wallpaper. My book was called “Mully Mully” about a creature who lived in an underwater lake city. I was sad when I didn’t win, but I cherished my book so I kept it all these years. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I decided to put other stories, roaming around in my mind, down on paper again, or actually, in my case, into a computer.
I took a non-traditional route to writing, considering I have a doctorate in Educational Leadership. Aside from writing, I work full-time as a Training & Development Coordinator at Kaweah Delta, a teaching hospital, and some semesters I also teach at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, California, where I currently live. When I’m not at my full-time and part-time job, I enjoy writing, reading, watching TV, and spending time with my husband and pets (cat-Smokey, dog-Princess).
The Immundus is my debut novel.
Would you sacrifice your humanity to save mankind?
IT’S THE YEAR 2828, and Domus is the last remaining country. Divided into twelve walled cities known as genuses, Domus spans what’s known as the purist lands—lands unaffected by the genetic modifications that killed all other species of mammals. But outside the walls of each genus the Immundus threaten the welfare of those within. From a young age, all citizens of Domus are trained for combat against these intruders.
At sixteen, Nia Luna knows little of the Immundus, except for the citywide alarms that ring any time an Immundus nears the genus walls. What she does know is that her own species is dying—their numbers dwindling as a mysterious disease called allagine kills many before their eleventh birthday. The same disease that ravaged her family when it took her sister.
When Nia is recruited into Genesis, a research company pioneering the path to a cure, she knows that her dream to find a cure for allagine is finally within her grasp. But within weeks of starting at Genesis, Nia witnesses something she shouldn’t have—something that changes everything. As she sets down a dangerous path that uncovers national secrets, Nia will have to decide not only what kind of person she wants to be but also how far she’s willing to go to save humanity.
Top Ten List:
1. When did you start writing, and was there a specific event or person who influenced you to become an author?I started writing in elementary school. The first book I wrote was in 6th for an assignment/contest. It was a story about Mully Mully who lived at the bottom of a lake in an underwater city. There wasn't a specific person that influenced me, but there were several stories that captured my heart, such as The Veldt, Mrs. Frisby and the the rats of Nimh, Watership Down, and others.
2. Are you currently working on a project, and if so, can you tell us anything about it? I am working on two books right now. One of the books is The Liberatus, which is book 2 of The Immundus where Nia experiences the world outside of the world she is accustomed to and introduced to more of the culture of the other species in the story. The Liberatus is YA Science Fiction. I am also working on Macie and the Magi, a middle grade fantasy about Macie, an amputee who lives with her grandfather since the accident that took her leg killed her father and put her mom in a coma. When she learns that she is The Restorer who is destined to return magic, she goes on a journey to bring magic back, hoping she can use it to save her mom.
3. What is your favorite writing snack? Chocolate :)
4. If you could have dinner with any of your characters, which ones would you choose? Sage Why? Because he is a unicorn who is disguised as a horse, but he can also transform into a human. What food would you serve? I'm vegetarian, as is Sage, so I would serve vegetable dishes. My favorite dish is Zoodle Bake, so I think I would serve that.
5. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? I learned to improve my writing through the beta reader and editing process.
6. How do you relax, or what do you enjoy doing when you are not writing? Well, I do have many other projects I'm juggling. Aside from my various writing projects, I have a short film in post production. I plan on adding an additional scene or two. I am currently serving as an assistant to two directors on a play, and performing in the play Escanaba in da Moonlight.
7. What is your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it? I would like to open an independent bookstore in the city I currently live. I am conducting research right now to determine its viability.
8. What do you fear most? Failure
9. What was your favorite Halloween Costume? My Pocahontas costume. I had it hand made when I was in my 20's. I don't have it any longer, but it was awesome.