When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always been a storyteller. Like Emma in RIVEN, I used to gather up figurines and nick-knacks lying around the house and make up stories for my younger siblings. I’ve always liked writing, too: poetry, prose, essays…I’d do other students’ papers in college…I just knew what the teachers wanted to hear and how to say it. But it wasn’t until I went to the American Library Association’s Newbery Award Gala for Jack Gantos a few years ago that I ever thought I could make an actual book out of the scenes in my head. I met so many amazing authors that weekend. They inspired and encouraged me. When I got home from that trip I bought my first MacBook and started what would eventually become RIVEN.
What are some of your favorite books?
Ok, I like anything that’s written well, across any genre. Top 5?
1. All the Little Live Things by Wallace Stegner
2. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
3. Ava’s Man by Rick Bragg
4. The Life of Pi By Yann Martel
5. Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
6. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
7. His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman
8. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
That’s 5, right?
What inspires you to write?
Life and dreams. The subconscious. Social issues. Relationships. Beauty, ugliness…everything.
Where is your favorite place to write?
Running water really helps my flow. I have a fountain in my art/writing room, and one outside when it isn’t too hot and there aren’t mosquitos. There’s also this v cool 24 hour Korean spa here in Dallas I escape to sometimes called King Spa. There’s a Toad in the women’s water room with a sign around his neck that says STAY AWAY FROM TOAD. (!)
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Collect experiences. I’m a huge process oriented person and the ultimate consumer of LIFE. I love traveling, but I’m also content being at home hanging out with my kids. I’m into all of the high-brow visual and performing arts, but I’m also a TV/movie junkie. Scary movies and British crime dramas are my fav! I want to imbibe life, connect with people, learn and grow.
Oh, and eat. I LOVE FOOD.
What is your newest book about?
I like what Kirkus Reviews said:"In this debut fantasy thriller, a teen's real life begins to overlap with a colorful world she thinks she's invented... Riven is a whirlwind narrative about an imaginative heroine that uses fantasy to offer salvation from abuse."
Are you currently working on anything new?
I’m currently writing books two and three of the My Myth Trilogy and OMG I am SO excited! Book two is called SECRET KEEPER and book three is PRIMED.
How many books have you written and which one is your favorite?
RIVEN is my debut novel!
Now let’s get down to business…
You’re stranded on a deserted island, you get to pick one book to take with you. What do you choose and why?
1,001 Arabian Nights. My dad read me these stories as a little girl, and they just have endless possibilities. Scheherazade is the ultimate badass problem solver and storyteller…she would inspire me to survive if I ever felt like giving up and probably help me figure out a way to MacGyver up some Swiss Family Robinson contraptions for my water-collection system.
You have been given a week vacation to visit ANY fictional town, where would you go?
I’d probably head on over to Lothlórien. You know, make out with a hottie elf or two, flit about the enchanted forest in flowing gossamer with blossoms in my hair, sleep in a slender-limbed white-branched tree house and sip mellifluous honeyed elven wine. In fact, let’s make it a fortnight!
Quick! You have a date with your favorite fictional character, who are you meeting tonight?!
Yummers. Well, this may totally be cheating, but I’d pick Kaillen from RIVEN. He is seriously scrumptious: hella strong, complicated, Latino, cocky-but-not-arrogant, wicked smart, and well mannered. I haven’t decided if he’s worthy of a long-term relationship just yet (no spoilers!) but I’d def stay up with him ALL NIGHT LONG.
If I have to pick someone from a book I didn’t write though, (and keeping in mind I went out with Mr. Darcy last night), I’d have to say Silas from The Graveyard Book. He’s mysterious, wise, sexy, and has this underlying menace I really dig.
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