I grew up with a vivid imagination, I always had stories in my head I just never put them down on paper until I was seventeen. Then I came up with the basis of Hidden Desire and When all else fails( two finished novels I hope to publish this year.) I wrote around fifty pages in each and then gave up to focus on my music for eight years. Something I will always regret. Once I started writing again it was like I never stopped. I finished both of my original ideas and picked up around thirteen projects. I love all forms of writing, poetry, songs but I love writing novels by far the most.
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All I want for Christmas is Him
All Aubrey wants for Christmas is Caleb Evans. There’s only one problem, Caleb is her best friend and that’s all he sees her as. Until she makes a drunken Christmas wish for that to change. Suddenly the next day it seems as if it had. Is it a Christmas miracle or is this too good to be true?
By the Angel
Clary Fray is a fighter, or at least she has been ever since that night. The night that changed everything. Her life was almost taken out from under her but rather than let fear take control, she uses it to fuel her lust for revenge. She joins the Shadows of the Night, which is one of the two best fight clubs in NY. She has a plan: Be the best, never lose, feel nothing, and never go back to the girl she used to be. But what happens when the one man that can make her feel alive again turns out to not only be her rival but the leader of Legends of the fall?
Jace Wayland is the worst possible person Clary Fray could fall for but that doesn’t stop her from tumbling into that golden abyss. Jace Wayland, the bad boy no girl could ever tame, has finally met his match. The second he laid eyes on the feisty redhead he was mesmerized. Clary, the girl with the fiery red hair and fierce heart, is hypnotized by those golden eyes that seem to stare into her soul, but their journey won’t be easy. Valentine will stop at nothing to ruin Clary’s life and Jace is just another obstacle he must get rid of to make that happen. Will Valentine destroy everything his daughter holds dear? Will Clary take over Shadows of the night? Will Jace put her over his fighters? And who was behind the attack that fateful night? Clary has been through hell; will she ever be the same? Only time will tell.
What inspired you to first start writing? Is your motivation to write now different or the same as before?
I didn’t always have the easiest time navigating school when I was younger. I had so many emotions overwhelming me that I had no idea how to handle. One day I picked up a pen and wrote it out. I had severe social anxiety, I couldn’t use my own voice at the time, so I let my writing speak for me.
Yes, I would say my motivation is different than before. Before, I wanted to let everything I was too afraid to say out loud down on paper, but now I want to inspire others. Words are powerful, and I want to use my skill and wield it in a way that helps others. When I was a kid it wasn’t only writing that saved me, it was getting lost in and really connecting with a good book. There was one author that I connected with so much, that they gave me the strength to carry on in times I felt like I couldn’t. I want to be that author that saved me as a child through her words. With all the love and support I have received this year maybe one day I can be.
Writers are projected as loners or introverts. Is this true for you?
Before I found the writing community on Twitter I would have said absolutely. I have always felt like the odd-woman-out, but I am so thankful I finally found where I belong. It’s the most amazing thing in the world to me.
What genre do you like to write in? Why?
I have a hard time specifically categorizing myself, as each one of my novels is so different in both plot type and overall genre. If had to choose, I guess would have to be young adult romance.
How often do you write and what schedule to you like to keep?
As much as I can, whenever I can. Most of the time it ends up being pretty late into the night before the start, but I try to write on my lunchbreaks or whenever I get downtime as well.
What is the easiest part of writing to you?
The easiest part for me is usually coming up with an idea and the first few chapters.
Can you share any tips on inspiring other writers to pursue their dreams?
Don’t hide from your dreams. I spent too many years afraid to share my writing with anyone. Embrace who you are, once you do that, the fear lessens. You can find inspiration almost anywhere but the most important insight will always come from yourself.
What is your favorite thing about being a writer? Why?
My Favorite thing is losing myself in my projects. Whenever I write I’m not Tori anymore. I’m Violet Starr or Alice Dwindle, whichever character I’m channeling is who I become. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to jump into your own world, forget all your problems, and just be.
Who would you compare your work to? What differences set you apart?
My style of writing has been compared to John Green. To be compared to such an extraordinary writer is truly an honor. The differences that I feel set us apart are the type of genres we write.
Does a bad review affect your writing?
It’s always disappointing at first, I think it would discourage just about anyone for a moment but then I remember why I wrote my story. I don’t write for anyone else but me, at the end of the day that’s all that matters. Not everyone is going to like what you have to say and that’s okay. The key is not letting it drag you down. That is a skill I one day hope to master.
What did you want to be when you grew up as a child?
Exactly what I am now a writer and a singer. It’s the only thing I have ever truly loved and felt right doing.
What book have you read that has been the most life changing?
For me, I would say Speak by Laurie Anderson is one for sure. Something tragic happened to Melinda and as a result, she never spoke again for a long period of time. Though we had a different reason for our quiet nature it was monumental to read about a girl that handled herself in a way much like my own. I had severe social anxiety, something I still have to this day I just handle it better. One of the ways I handled it as a kid was being silent.
Are you working on anything right now? If so, what can you share?
I have two finished novels that I hope to edit and publish this year. One is Hidden Desire a fantasy series that takes place on another planet, my other is called When all else fails, about a girl that’s only ever known abuse, it’s her journey on how she overcame her hardships.
Currently, I have nine other projects that I am trying to juggle, there’s too many to name but my favorite work in progress is Beyond the grave. It’s about a girl who gets a second chance at life but to bring her abusive ex to justice.
Who is in your support system? How do they keep you motivated?
My husband is my rock, I thought about throwing out Hidden Desire back when it only had around fifty pages. It was an idea I had came up with when I was seventeen and didn’t get around to working on fully until I was twenty-four. To this day I am thankful to him for talking me out of scrapping something I am truly proud of now.
Another support system I have found is this writing community on Twitter, I have met so many people that have and continue to change my life daily. I will forever be grateful for this second family I have found here. They support me by sharing ideas with me, reading over each other’s projects. When I have writer’s block its wonderful to talk to a group of people that know what you’re going through.
Do you keep a blog or a journal? How does it help you as a writer?
I don’t, but perhaps I should.
Do you have any daily mantra’s? What do you tell yourself to keep your inspiration alive?
Something I have always said to myself is “When all else fails, write it out.” That’s why my debut novel is named When all else fails in dedication to the motto that gave me inspiration when I had nothing else.
What is one thing you want people to know about you as a writer? A person?
As a person I want people to know despite having a difficult time as a child I came out stronger than ever, I want to be open about my struggles, so they know they’re not alone.
As a writer I want people to know every character has a small piece of me, in some shape or form, there is a little dash of Tori in every female protagonist.
What are your career goals?
My goal is to one day write full time. No distractions or other obligations other than doing what I love every day.
How will you handle fame when you reach that level? How do you think it will change your writing?
I don’t think it would change me or my writing, I would like to think if I ever rose to fame that I would be the same person I always have been and live my life just like before, just a little more comfortably.
What advice would you give your younger self about writing?
Accept constructive criticism but don’t take it to heart, don’t let it affect how you see yourself as a writer. Everyone needs help, use that criticism to help you grow not to deter you.
Have you ever considered writing an autobiography?
No, I don’t think I ever would, I prefer to create new stories, rather than talking about my own.
How will/did you celebrate the launch of your book?
When I launch my first book I will probably celebrate with a big pizza and wine lots of wine.
If given the chance, what author would you interview? What is the most important question you would ask?
I would choose Ellen Hopkins without a doubt, Impulse is by far my favorite of her novels. I would love to ask her what inspired her to write her novels like a poem.
Have you experienced writer’s block? How do you handle it?
Of course, if there is an author out there that hasn’t experienced this they are the luckiest writer in the world.
To break through writer’s block I need to clear my mind, for me reading a book usually does the trick, getting wrapped up in a world that isn’t mine can be very cathartic.
What would you tell others who are considering traditional/self-publishing? Any advice?
Self-publishing can get very expensive, however, there are ways around that. There are so many tools out there for self-publishers now, reach out the writing community for support, find beta readers to help you edit, there is Shutterstock, which is an inexpensive app that can be used for book covers. There are negative sides to both self-publishing and going through a publisher, choose what’s right for you, there is no wrong option.
What do you want to be remembered for as a writer? A person?
As a writer, I would like to be remembered for my insight. I want my readers to connect to the characters I have created, I want my words to have meaning in their life.
As a person I would like to be remembered for my courage, it wasn’t always my strong suit but as an adult, I would like to think that’s an attribute I now possess. As someone who has suffered from anxiety, I pride myself on overcoming it every day.
Thank you, Tori!