When I was in sixth grade, I was obsessed with Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. We had to read it for class. At that point I had been writing a lot of poetry for a couple of years, but I began writing short stories shortly thereafter. I can't say that it was one book exclusively that got me into writing because I loved so many. But there is something in the message of the book - that we should pursue our passions to the fullest extent of our abilities - that has stuck with me. And I feel like that is exactly what I'm doing with my own writing today. Take no prisoners!
2. First book you ever remember reading?
The first book I ever remember reading was the Dr. Seuss book, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. I'm not sure why. I think my mom had ordered me the set. She was always ordering me books through the mail. They would send you a book a month, that sort of thing.
3. How do you pick your character's names?
Well, in Jaguar Sun, Maya's name comes directly from the fact that she is Mayan. Her mother left her and her father when Maya was only four years old. She very close to her maternal grandmother, which is where Maya's Native Mayan roots come from. It was her grandmother that named her for her heritage. There have also been many important magical and mythological women throughout history with that name. So, in her case, it was important for the story and it also came out of research. The twins, Alyssa (Lyssa) and Damian just needed to sound good together. Sometimes a character's name will have a double meaning. For example, in Jaguar Sun there is a character named Alma, which means "soul" in Spanish. So I come across them in lots of ways.
4. Name an excellent indie book that you think needs more recognition.
Claudia Lefeve's book is excellent. I love it when other author's can do things with stories that I could never do. That interests me a lot. And I definitely would have zero idea how to pull off an alternate universe. I have her book on my Kindle now.
5. Share some quotes you love! Either from your book or someone else's!
This is actually from my own book, Jaguar Sun, which came out in January. I never get asked this question about my own book, so I'm going to use that. It's actually a snippet!
I wasn't just some high school junior with a schoolgirl crush anymore. I wasn't nervous. I wasn't trying to figure out what he was thinking.I didn't wonder where we stood. Every muscle, every nerve ending, every fiber of my being was completely attuned to him. He was my mate. I was home. - Maya Delaney, Jaguar Sun
Stay tuned for Book 2 in the Jaguar Sun Series, Jaguar Moon, out this year!