In Croswald, the only thing more powerful than dark magic is one secret…
For sixteen years Ivy Lovely has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary that separates the mundane from the magical. When Ivy crosses the border, her powers awaken. Curiosity leads her crashing through a series of adventures at the Halls of Ivy, a school where students learn to master their magical blood and the power of Croswald’s mysterious gems. When Ivy’s magic––and her life––is threatened by the Dark Queen, she scrambles to unearth her history and save Croswald before the truth is swept away forever.
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I live in South Florida amid my menagerie––two dogs and two cats––with my husband. I’m currently writing the second book in The Croswald Series and I enjoy spending time with family and friends. A day spent in Croswald is my favorite kind of day.
How do you create your characters?
Well, I don’t know if it’s a process exactly. It always seems sort of like random inspiration. For example, eating dinner beside my 11-year-old brother who loves butter and bread (emphasis on the butter) inspired me to create a character named Woodley Butterlove. Other times, a name will randomly pop up in my head and the name alone will inspire a character and personality traits.
What inspires and what got your started in writing?
I have always found joy in being creative, art projects and things like that. But more than that, I’ve always loved stories, and some of my favorites are animated classics. I’m a Disney fanatic. My draw toward fantasy and my creative drive sort of forced me to start writing. For me, it’s not just about the writing, it’s about creating characters, designing scenes, and imagining everything and anything magical. The Crowns of Croswald is basically me in a book––fairy tale with an edge. I love fashion, fairy tales, anything that sparkles, and I especially love that with magic, anything is possible.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
I write at home in my office, usually with a Starbucks in hand and my dogs at my side. I love to write in the quiet but also with a Disney movie muted in the background.
What do you like to read?
My favorite genre is young adult fantasy books, of course! I really enjoyed the Selection Series by Kiera Cass and I’m currently reading the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.
What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring authors in regards to writing?
Believe in the magic of your dreams. I think people often get deterred by the time it takes to complete something. It’s taken me three and a half years of daily work to get to this point and I was surprised by how calm I was throughout the whole process. Excited, but calm.
I also think that a lot of people’s natural talent is hindered by self-doubt. For Ivy Lovely, the first book is all about discovery and uncovering her hidden talents. It’s all about taking that first step and trusting your gut. I like to think that her first stride across the slurry fields may speak to a reader waiting to take the first step in their own adventure. Everyone should get the chance to step into something magical.
Anything else you’d like to share?
In The Crowns of Croswald, we get to watch Ivy not only grow into her own magic but also become the very hero that her world needs. I find that sometimes girls don’t know how powerful they are, and how what makes them different can be what makes them destined for greatness. Even if she’s not always sure of herself, Ivy has a sense of adventure, determination, and courage that I hope we can all see in ourselves.