I was in 3rd grade (I was about 8 years old) I had a wonderful teacher who
asked us to write poems about our favorite month. Mine was “October” – and she
secretly sent the poem into the newspaper and they published it. When I saw my
name in print for the first time, that was it. I knew I’d be a writer.
2. What was your favorite chapter
(or part) to write and why?
SIRENS my favorite scene is the dramatic climax. It takes place during a
thunderstorm in a mansion, and the bad guy is trying to murder my main
character, Jo. Her brother shows up (or does he? He may be a ghost...) and the
power goes out. Jo sees bits and pieces when the lightning flashes, and it’s
all very dangerous and happens fast – and she even thinks her true love may be
bad. It was tons of fun to write all the confusion – I kept seeing the scene in
my head as if it was a Hitchcock movie.
3. What was the hardest part of
writing your books?
my self-doubt. I doubt myself all the time – is my writing good enough? Have I
really captured the characters? Have I reached the heart of my story? I have to
let go and trust in myself and in the process.
4. If you had to choose, which
writer would you consider a mentor?
question! I would love to spend time with Jane Austen. She’s brilliant,
poignant and funny all at once. She really understands human behavior. I’d love
to ask her questions.
5. Which of your characters is
most/least like you, and in what way(s)?
all a little part of me, all like facets of parts of my own character. Each
time I work with a new character it takes me a little time but eventually I
discover what part of me my character exhibits. So, Maggie (FAITHFUL) is my
teen “spoiled” phase; Kula (FORGIVEN) is my stubborn self; Jo (SIRENS) is my
grown-up and Lou (SIRENS) is my bad girl.
6. Do you read reviews of your
books? If so, do you pay any attention
to them, or let them influence
I try not to read them. Sometimes I can’t avoid it but usually I stay away. And
I try not to let them influence me, although some criticisms are helpful. But I
trust my critique partners to help me see the flaws in my work.
7. If you were to do your career
as an author again, what would you do
differently, and why?
I start writing at a younger age, and get my MFA younger. That’s the only thing
I’d change, but it’s a biggie. I feel like I don’t have enough time to write
all the stories in my head.
8. Which question are you most
sick of answering in interviews?
You know, I can’t think of one. I approach each interview differently and try
to see something different in both the question and my answer.
9. Did you learn anything from
writing your books? If yes, what was it?
yes. I watch people more carefully, making a mental note of the way someone
moves or talks or the way a conversation goes – it’s not all linear, especially
an argument. Sometimes if I’m having a “discussion” with my son, a part of my
mind is analyzing our exchange.
10. What advice do you have for
someone who would like to become a
persistent. Read all the time. Work every day. Never give up, because if you
are serious and dedicated, you can learn the craft. And if you learn the craft
you will succeed.