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What gave you the idea to add writing books to your busy life and career? +

My husband dared me. I complained there was nothing on my Kindle I wanted to read and he (rudely) pointed out that he had viewed our credit card statement with all the Amazon charges. Whoops. Ha! Eventually he dared me to write my own book and I'm not one to back down from a challenge. That's how my first novel, The Exception, was born.

What are your writing rituals? +

I like to listen to a playlist before I start writing—whatever artist or songs put me into the headspace I need to be in that day. But when I start writing, I can't have any music at all. I find myself getting into the story of the song and not my own.

What or who inspires you as an artist? +

Honestly? Post Malone. He blends genres so easily and seems to really just do what he wants—whatever makes him happy. His joy when he talks about his music is inspiring and I find myself just happier when I listen to his art. That's what I hope my words do for other people. I hope they inspire them, make them smile, give them a bit of a rosier view of the world.

What are you reading/watching/eating/whatever floats your boat these days that you want everyone else to try? +

I'm obsessed with this bbq sauce called Ogre Sauce. I eat it on everything. It has a vinegar-y, mustard-y kick to it that no one in my family likes but me, but I can't eat anything without it anymore. I even dip my French fries in it at this point. So yummy!

What do you love to do on your days off? +

I love to be outside (until it's super hot—then f*ck that LOL). Gardening is one of my favorite things. Walking through the trees, taking a canoe out on the lake, sitting in a nice chair and reading a paperback are all things I like to do when I have nothing going on. But if my kids are around and want to go to a movie or go get a milkshake, I do that. I love hanging out with them. People always say that the teenage years for boys is the worst but it's my favorite! My boys range from 14 to 21 (I have 4 kids), and this stage of their life is perfection. I wish I could keep them like they are now forever!

Random fact: +

When I write, I like to write sweeter (even if they're grumpy sometimes!) heroes. But when I read or listen to a book, I want the asshole. I don't know why I'm this way.

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