TNT is a corporate communications manager by day, an indie novelist by night, and a mother every moment in between. A bit of a bohemian nomad, she has lived in every time zone in the continental United States but prefers to live where she can see mountains on the horizon.
She is passionate about equality, diversity, and inclusion, and believes that the world can be a kinder and more sustainable place. Her books are full of positive empowerment messaging for girls, especially those raised through trauma, neglect, and abuse.
Tell us about your young adult fantasy trilogy, Sister Worlds.
Three girls who have experienced different forms of childhood trauma, come together and form a friendship, a sisterhood, as they protect their worlds from the men, machines, and monsters determined to destroy everything in the name of power.
You also have three children’s books. Tell us about those.
Also available on Amazon, I came up with these stories while I was going through a painful divorce, and my kids and I were in a new home, a new state, with lots of changes.
The Princess King was to fight against the stereotype that you need to be married (as a woman) in order to take care of your kingdom and people. I became a single mom, and it was a story to help my kids know that I can do this without a husband.
Freya, the Lonely Dragon, is about being different and trying to fit in through being kind to others. Since my kids were in a new place, new school, it was important for them to have a story about how to make friends by having a good heart.
The Persistent Tree is about a tree growing up in a barren land. The tree is strong and brave, even though she fights alone through harsh weather. One day, she finally has a small grove of trees around her. This book symbolized that no matter where we go, we can persevere and grow up a family around us.
When and why did you start writing?
I probably started noticing an affinity and love for it back in elementary school. I had a wild, vivid, imagination and was always making up stories, a.k.a. lies. I was told the story of the boy who cried wolf many, many times. But I couldn’t help getting lost in daydreams. Then I just started trying to write them all down.
Your bio says you are a corporate communications manager. How did you go from there to publishing books?
I wasn’t brave or confident enough to try and survive off writing books, so I started working in the corporate world. I became the ‘writer’ of the office and organically grew into a professional writing career. I always wanted to write books, but my story wasn’t complete in my head until around 2019. Then I finally got focused on writing and self-publishing my first trilogy.
You are very honest and vulnerable in your bio. Briefly share who your books are written for.
As part of my healing process from ending familial patterns of narcissistic abuse, they were for me. You have to put your oxygen mask on first. They are for my daughters, to show them the importance of accomplishing your dreams. And they are especially for any girls or young women out there experiencing a form of abuse who want to read about characters finding their truth, finding their strength, and breaking free from patterns of abuse.
I try to write clean, non-triggering stories, where girls make good choices.
Do you have a favorite time and/or place you like to write?
If I didn’t need to wake up early for work and school, I would definitely stay up and write into the night. Alas, I usually try to get some in right after work, and some after dinner, before bedtime. I work and write in my home office, on an L-shaped desk. One side is for work, one is for writing.
Do you have any odd writing quirks?
Is needing a glass of wine or whiskey a writing quirk? Having dogs sleeping below my feet is also a big plus.
What book project are you currently working on? Do you have plans to publish more books?
I am working on a couple ideas. One is a loose Rapunzel retelling, where a young woman comes out of an abusive family situation to claim her rightful place as heir.
If money were no object, what would you do with the rest of your life?
I would be in a cabin overlooking a lake and mountain view, fireplace burning, cupcakes baking, spending my days reading and writing, and my nights entertaining friends and family.
What does success look like for you as an author?
I think you are successful if you achieve a goal. I had a goal to write and get my books out there, and I did. The next step would be to sell enough books to be able to write full-time and make that my new career.
Is there anything additional you want to share with readers?
Take care of yourself first. Caring about yourself is not selfish. Read books by authors who create the kind of world you want to live in and the characters you want to believe in. And please, stop chasing the bad boys.
BookLocations: Amazon, Barns n Noble. The trilogy is available for .99 cents each on Kindle.
She readied her bow, took one step toward the edge of the trees, and froze. Crouched in the clearing beyond her was a monster with glistening emerald scales. It gracefully lifted its long, slender neck, and turned its jet-black eyes to hers.
Every muscle ached to run, but KaLeah couldn’t connect the thoughts to the motion. Her eyes widened to take in the creature’s massive body and muscular arms as it rose higher on its back legs. She saw the beast’s muscular arms ended in long, black talons were coated in grass and clumps of mud.
It had thin, dagger-like spikes along the side of its green scaly head. The long, pointed snout was shut but revealed sharp teeth poking out through each side.
A bead of sweat started to roll down the side of KaLeah’s head.
The creature blew a chunk of mud from its snout. The noise was so sudden KaLeah jolted and released the arrow she’d been holding tightly docked. It flew and hit the beast right in the chest, bouncing off its scales and landing on the ground.
She quickly jerked herself back and dove behind the nearest tree, dropping her bow to the ground. Her breath came heavy and uneven as she tried to keep from making any noise.
Is that a dragon? she asked herself. That cannot be a dragon. Dragons are extinct. I’m dreaming. I must have fallen along the path and hit my head on a rock. KaLeah made an involuntary whimper, knowing she was most certainly not dreaming.
Most of the animals on Naldash had evolved from dragons, but dragons themselves had been extinct for many lifetimes.
She clenched her eyelids shut and reminded herself to breathe. Her father had taught her in any sort of panic-inducing situation, she must keep breathing steadily to keep her mind clear. A clear mind is more likely to survive in any situation.
But how do I survive a non-existent dragon? Is it a ghost? A phantom?
She took another deep breath, smoothed a loose strand of brown hair behind her ear, and then cautiously leaned out around the tree trunk for another view.
The monstrous beast was still standing there in the small clearing. Its long neck trailed down to a spine-lined back, past a set of silvery transparent wings, and ended in a tail. It beat open the two wings, stirring up the dirt around it, then pulled them back close to its body and continued digging furiously at a small hill in the middle of the clearing.
KaLeah tilted her head curiously, realizing the sound she had followed was the sound of the dragon clawing into the ground. It had seen her and yet was much more interested in what it was doing.
Is it trying to get at an animal or digging out a burrow? Did dragons even live in burrows? She shook her head violently, what was she thinking? Dragons. Are. Not. Real.
This is crazy, she said to herself. She realized it didn’t matter what it was or what it was doing. It was still a dangerous-looking, beast-like creature, mere steps away.
I need to get away, now. I’ll grab my bow and quickly head back through the thicker part of the woods where it will be too big to follow; unless it can break trees, of course.
KaLeah visualized the plan in her head, building up the courage to move. She began to prepare for a stealthy escape through the woods, bending first to reclaim her bow when…
She froze mid-bend, fingers on the bow. She had heard the word as if placed inside her mind.
Again, the word penetrated her mind, moving her own thoughts aside. Had the dragon just spoken to her? She formed the question in her mind. Are you talking to me?