I am really glad you’ve accepted my interview. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.
Can you tell us a bit more about how you became a writer?
I was always writing as a kid, though I guarded my stories carefully as I was very self-critical. But with the help of a supportive teacher, I began to tentatively imagine an actual career in the field. Sometimes I still can’t believe I get to do this for a living. It was a culmination of a lifetime of writing, foolhardy belief, and a stubborn insistence that I could get it done.
Was it difficult for the first book to find a publisher?
Yes! I was rejected by over twenty agents and ten publishers. However, when I did find a home with Penguin (now Penguin Random House) they purchased both the first book and the sequel that I had written during that period of rejection. That series sale allowed me to get my own place and continue my passion. So as I said, it pays to be stubborn!
Could you describe literature in three words?
Knowledge and wonder.
Is there a book you would never read? Why?
Nope! I will read anything and read a lot…even books outside my interests always yield unexpected truths and insights. I bounce between middle grade fiction to classic Russian lit to biographies. I am currently reading Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson and it is brilliant.
What’s your favorite book?
Shogun by James Clavell. I read it when I was a kid and was enthralled by the scope, the drama, and the detail. It is a masterful book.
“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.” -From the beautiful ending to A Tale of Two Cities.
EBooks or paper print?
Paper! I love the feel and the smell of a book.
What inspires you?
Reading far superior writers and doing my darndest to create something nearly as magical. These days I am also inspired by the countless young readers I get to meet. They remind me of myself…eager to dive into a book and be lost for a while.
Imagine you were given the opportunity to meet a book character in real life. Who would that be?
Ah so many options! I suppose Gandalf in the hopes that he would have some adventure to send me on…upon which I would skip out the door without a thought or even a handkerchief.
What’s your worst nightmare?
An unfulfilled life.
The best decision of your life was?
Ah…there are so many I could choose. I have been blessed with the best of family and friends. I would say most recently would be deciding to move to Nova Scotia. We live in a beautiful old home on the ocean and I love to wake up and see an endless horizon and water lapping onto the shore. I can write, sail, surf, and explore my island on any given day…it is a magical place to live and work. I have always been deeply connected to the ocean and hope to try and circumnavigate one day.
I can’t wait to read your next book. Are you currently working on a project? Is there any release date to reveal?
My next release will be A World Below, which was described as ‘A swift-paced survival tale that’s a cool blend of Lord of the Flies and Journey to the Center of the Earth’ by School Library Journal. It deals with anxiety and self-doubt and I think readers will love it. I also have a companion novel to OCDaniel coming out in 2019 from Sara’s perspective…it is raw and visceral and very different than anything I have ever written. I am very proud of it and eager to share. And as if that wasn’t enough to keep my busy, I have 6 more books coming out in 2019 that are soon-to-be-announced…these are huge projects so keep an eye out 😊