1. Aubrey, thanks for joining us today. Your dream of becoming a writer was born early, wasn’t it? What can you tell us about how a poem you wrote in fifth grade was published?
Yes, I’ve loved writing since before I can even remember. In Elementary school, I remember creating my own little story books with pictures I would draw and staple the pages together and read them to my classmates. I believe the book that my poem is in is called “An Anthology of poetry by young authors.” I’m not sure how it came about, I just remember my teacher telling the class to write a poem and she would submit them to the book.
2. Your new title, Heinous Crimes, Immoral Minds, is very catchy. What inspired this particular story?
A dream I had. I had a dream that I was running through these woods barefoot and this strange man was chasing me with a gun. I woke up and immediately starting writing down ideas. I think best when I work out too. I grab my iPod and go jogging and ideas just start flowing so I went for a jog then came in and just started typing away. The title was actually a little more difficult to come up with. Victoria, Linda, and I threw words around for about a week until I came up with Heinous Crimes, Immoral Minds.
3. What do you create first: the characters or the plot?
I guess it depends on the story I’m writing. With Heinous Crimes, I created the plot first because of how the idea came to me. If I’m trying to think of a story to write and can’t really think of anything, I’ll start creating characters; not only their names and appearance, but their personalities and that usually will bring a story idea.
4. What can you share about your journey to publication of this book?
When I first started writing this story, I had no idea of how to get published. I have about 10 unpublished and unfinished stories saved on my computer. I was scrolling through my friends list on Facebook and came across Victoria. I had no idea who she was or why she was on my friends list so I messaged her and that’s when I found out she was a publisher. I submitted the first chapter of my story to her and she started working with me. It was definitely a push for me because the story wasn’t finished yet so I had to work really hard to get it done.
5. Do your current surroundings and life (in Texas) show up in your work?
Well, the story takes place in Texas. I guess you can say that’s my signature. Every story I have, except one, takes place in some town in Texas. The story line is a little close to me personally too. Nothing in the book happened to me but I did grow up with a very abusive stepfather. He was an alcoholic and used my mom, my siblings and I as his personal punching bags so it was definitely a big part of making this book.
6. What, if anything, are you currently creating?
I actually have a few projects going right now. I am working on another book. I’m also writing a screenplay. I love movies and for most of my childhood through high school I’ve had this big dream of acting. Although, I’ve come to terms that acting isn’t in the cards for me, I would still love to be a part of that industry. My thought is if I can’t be in the movies, why not write them?
7. Can you describe your writing space?
Hazard zone. You can’t actually see the bottom on my desk. I have paper everywhere. I have 2 memo boards hanging up because the first one got so cluttered and I had to buy another one. Those are for when I just have a random thought for a story or character and don’t have time to sit down and write. I’ll jot the idea down and hang it up.
8. Who, or what, has inspired you most in your creative journey?
In 6th grade, I wrote my first story and that inspiration came from my English teacher Mrs. Elliott. School was rough for me. I was bullies favorite target. Going to Mrs. Elliott’s class was my safe haven. She taught me to release all my emotions through text. Even after 6th grade I tried to sneak away to her class as often as I could. She passed away from Cancer when I was in 8th grade. I was devastated. I like to think of her as my mentor.
9. What can you tell us about where you live now?
Fort Worth is home. I’ve been here all my life. I grew up in a smaller suburb called White Settlement. Fort Worth is a huge city and I’ve always been envious of the girls growing up in small towns. I’ve always had this idea of getting to live in a single stop light town and having a beautiful Victorian house. Knowing all my neighbors and going to “the market” for groceries but until that day comes, Fort Worth is where I’ll stay. It’s not bad though. It’s not a busy city like New York.
10. What is your writing routine like?
Sporadic. Anyone who thinks writing is easy obviously hasn’t written a day in their life. It’s very hard. It’s time consuming and brain-straining. You have to have a lot of discipline to make yourself sit at the computer and create a story. You definitely have to have a passion for it. I can’t have TV on because I end up watching 4 hours of TV and get one paragraph written. I write best when I have music playing. The silence is my enemy.
11. Since you’re a dog groomer, you must love animals. Do you have any pets, and if so, could you tell us about them?
Well, I’m an ex-dog groomer now. I left it to do something else. I’ll probably go back to it though. And I do love animals! I have 1 dog. He’s a Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix. His name is Meeko and he’s my child. It’s seriously becoming a problem. I used to make fun of those women who dress their dogs up and take them everywhere and now I’m becoming one. What’s even weirder is I’m not a “small dog” girl. I love big dogs. A Doberman is my dream dog. I told my mom last year I wanted a puppy for Christmas and since I live in an apartment, she figured I needed a small dog. So she gives me this tiny little ball of fluff. I fell in love. He’s the dumbest dog I’ve ever owned and is seriously, untrainable but I wouldn’t trade him for anything.
Thanks for joining us, Aubrey, and we’ll be watching to see what you’ll do next. I hope you’ll join us here from time to time.
Check out Aubrey’s website here: