1. What inspired you to write your first book?
In high school, I always wanted to be someone else. Someone who was more interesting. Someone who was cooler. I wanted to be admired. And liked. And part of something bigger.
I was always fascinated with the C.I.A. and F.B.I., and enjoyed reading true stories about those organizations. I thought it would be cool if there was a similar organization in high school. It seemed like a fun idea for a story. So the Covert Youth Agency was borne.
2. Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The experiences in The Sext Crime are all fictional. However, the feelings behind the characters are drawn from my life.
3. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I wanted to bring attention to the fact that Sexting is a serious thing. Every state handles it differently, but there have been cases where teens with illicit photos have been charged with distributing child pornography. A teen in Florida who sent pictures of his naked girlfriend to his friends was forced to register as a sex offender after getting convicted for sending child pornography. What may seem like a fun, impulsive thing, may really ruin your life. Some things are best kept private.
4. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Editing it. Every time I went through the manuscript, I made changes. And most likely new mistakes. Since it's indie pubbed, I don't have a team of editors to catch them all. The editor I used did a good job, but I made changes after his edits. So I'll own any mistakes in the book.
5. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
It takes time to grow into your own skin. Try to become comfortable with who you are. Embrace your uniqueness. Try not to worry about what other people think. Like yourself. Be able to laugh at yourself. And feel free to laugh at Pi, Lightman, Tollhouse, and me.