What’s on your nightstand?
Three books (THE ROAD, THE WOLVES OF WINTER, THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP – interesting to note two of these are post apocalyptic stories, and the other one is about as unlikely to happen in my house!), my Kobo e-reader, glasses, a silver flip flop that holds jewellery and was a gift from my daughter, and three kinds of lip balm.
Most challenging character to write?
Audrey, hands down. Or more specifically I guess, the dynamic between Meg and Audrey. I have an only child – a daughter – and while she’s only eight years old I can see glimpses of the strong willed, sometimes sassy, yet brilliant teen she is going to become. So writing the mother-daughter relationship, with all its missteps and challenges and beautiful moments, was equal parts terrifying and enlightening.
What is your favorite scene in your book?
Though the word “favorite” may not be the best one to describe this particular scene (because of the trauma involved), the accident at the beginning of the book was one of the more memorable. When I write evocative scenes I have to put myself there, smack in the middle of the action, and so crafting the emotions and reactions of the characters for this heart-stopping scene was quite visceral for me. It made my heart race and my palms sweat, but that’s exactly the response I’m going for because if I’m having that reaction while writing it readers will also experience that tension and emotion.
What is your writing process?
It depends on the stage of book I’m in, but generally when I’m on deadline I’m up at 5 a.m. most days to write. I stick to a daily word count and try to hit it before 7:30 a.m. when I have to put my mom hat firmly on to get my daughter ready for school. Then any extra words I fit in throughout the day are bonus! Plus, it allows me time to exercise, fold laundry, make dinner, walk the dog, do other writing work…all things that need to get done but often get pushed aside when I’m sprinting toward THE END.
Who or what was your biggest inspiration while writing?
My biggest inspiration is my drive to get the stories out of my head and on to paper. It’s truly mostly internal for me – though I will say I’m also inspired to write because of my daughter. She’s still young, but soon enough will go forth into a world much more complicated than the one I grew up in. If there’s one legacy I would like to leave her with it’s that she’s in charge of her achievements, her future. As long as you’re willing to put the work in, and not be knocked off course by the inevitable setbacks, the sky’s the limit.