I’m an American author, originally from Oregon, now living overseas. That gives me some excellent real-life fodder for Abbie and Edward as they criss-cross the continent, running into cultural difficulties and dilemmas. It’s possible some of these situations actually happened to me…likely, even. So I write for me (and people like me) who feel a bit out of place at times.
I’ve been married to Mr. West for more than 15 years, and we’ve got two great kids. Being a full-time mama means I’m a part-time writer; it means I write a bit slower than the average author, but it doesn’t impact their quality (though it does sometimes impact dinner’s quality…). Also, it means that reading counts as work…I’ve got it rough, I know.
My love of books I caught from my grandmother, who worked in a library and always made sure she had classics and new releases for me when I came in. (Hold list? What’s that?) She was the best, and I know she’d be proud of my work now. She’s also one of the reasons I became a teacher, to help infect the next generation with a love of books.
My love of fantasy started with Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede–I resonated so deeply with Cimorene and the expectations she was determined to buck. I wanted way more out of life than society seemed to be offering me, and her fighting spirit supported me in that. (I’ve got book Twitter for that now.)
You can read the interview I did with Publishers Weekly here: Indie Success: Real Romance in Unreal Worlds