1. I'm sure with your book, THE PREDICTEDS, coming out in just a while, you must be excited. Can you relate to any of your characters?
I’m very excited! I suspect most of us can relate to some of the characters in THE PREDICTEDS, especially to Daphne and Jesse. I think everybody knows what it’s like to feel like an outsider at times. And I think everybody knows what it’s like to feel wrongly judged.
2. How was your road to publication? Easy or Hard?
Both! I am truly fortunate to have a fantastic agent, Alyssa Eisner Henkin of Trident Media Group, who supported my work from the very beginning. Her encouragement and mentorship was instrumental, and she made things easy. The team at Sourcebooks, especially my editor, Leah Hultenschmidt, has been great to work with; their professionalism and general brilliance makes my job quite easy. The hard part—for me, anyway—was just staying focused for so long on one project. I like to get things done quickly and novels don’t work that way! You have to be willing to utterly live in front of the computer. I
3. After your book, THE PREDICTEDS, is out, will you be writing any more books? What can we expect?
I’m working on something right now. It’s sort of a YA adventure story about a girl whose
parents own a company that creates “adventures” for clients in the form of fake
kidnappings and the like. I got the idea from an NPR story about a real-life company that
actually kidnaps people, for a hefty price tag, so clients can experience what kidnapping
feels like. That struck me as a really strange way to spend your time and money. I
wondered what it would be like to live in a world where your job is to create fake “adventure.”
4. Can you tell us something about yourself no one may know?
Hmmm, that’s tough. I’m kind of an open book, so most people know everything about me. But here’s something that’s kind of weird and unusual about me, I think: I like to write with the TV on. I turn the volume way down so that the noise doesn’t disturb me. There must be something about the moving pictures that I like, I guess. I’m partial to particular shows, too, even though I can’t hear them. I love 90210 re-runs for writing (no idea why). Supernanny and Lifetime movies work pretty well too. I couldn’t tell you what happens in the shows, but I like feeling like there are people in my office with me, and that makes writing easier for me. Strange, isn’t it? Maybe it’s a sign that I don’t have enough friends or something.
5. What kind of research do you do before you start writing a book?
That’s a great question. I’m usually sparked by something I read or hear about. In the case of THE PREDICTEDS, I was hearing a lot of news stories about school shooters and why they do it. I read a few books about mass murderers and what they tend to have in common. That led me to some books on sociopaths. And from there I found some reports about computer programs that can (supposedly) help predict the likelihood of recidivism among sex offenders.
But none of that was as important as reading lots of great YA literature. And there’s tons of it out there. I just read a ton of other YA books and got inspired to write!