1. Have you ever gotten “reader’s block” and how did you get through that?
I definitely pause sometimes when I’m reading a book if I don’t feel incredibly drawn in. I’ll return to it, but if it happens again, I honestly usually put a book aside in favor of another one.
2. How did you balance writing your story your way and giving readers what they want?
I really wanted to give my readers suspense and also introspection — because I appreciate both of those things as a reader. I just kept coming back to those two pillars throughout the writing process.
3. What was an experience you had when you discovered the power of words/language?
I think the first “chapter book” I ever read was part of a British series called “My Naughty Little Sister.” It was like an English Junie B. Jones. I remember sitting down with it and coming up when I was done and realizing it had gotten dark out. HOURS had passed. I was shocked because I’d been so absorbed in the book.
4. What’s your favorite under the radar novel?
Not a novel, but I was recently introduced to Richard Siken’s poetry collection “Crush,” and I can’t put it down. Everyone should read his poem “You Are Jeff.”
5. How much did real world people influence your characters and do you feel a debt to them?
I think the characters really came into being in my head.
6. How many unpublished or unfinished books do you have? After successfully finishing this book, do you feel any of those could be revisited?
I think everything any author has written can always be revisited. Looking back on your old work is like meeting and old version of yourself and sitting down over coffee.
7. What did you edit out of this book?
So much! It was such a long back and forth process with my wonderful editor. She made it a much better book.
8. Do you read, or plan on reading, reviews of this book? If so, how do you deal with the good and the bad ones?
I’ve read most of them so far. It’s very gratifying and incredibly instructive.
9. Does your family support your writing career? Were any of them instrumental in the creation process?
I couldn’t do any of this without my family. They are my support system and my first readers. I’m so grateful to them.
10. Do you like audiobooks, e-books, or physical books better? Why?
I like all three; I just love books. I’ll consume them in any form.
11. What is the most unusual or surprising element of your writing routine?
Some days aren’t writing days at all. Some days I don’t come up for air for eight hours.
12. What is your favorite time of day, season, and place to write? Why?
I like to write during the bulk of the day, in the winter. It feels very cozy. My favorite place to write is my parents house. I feel so supported and taken care of there that it’s very easy for me to focus.
13. What is your favorite word and why?
It changes, but right now it’s “scrumptious.” Perhaps because I haven’t eaten breakfast yet.
14. Is there anything you’re currently working on that would intrigue or interest readers?
My next book! Set over one summer in Manhattan and East Hampton. Two best friends move back to New York after six years in LA, and live with their family for three months. It definitely has “Royal Tenenbaums” vibes, with this big family all together in a sprawling house.
15. Do you share books before they’re done or wait until you have a completed draft?
I share each chapter as I write it.
16. Writing is usually seen as a solitary affair, is this true in your case?
I can write around other people, but I need quiet.
17. Do you start out with a concrete plot or let an idea or ideas lead you?
Both! I start out with everything carefully plotted, and things change as I get to know my characters.
18. What book or author inspired you to start writing?
It wasn’t one particular book or author; it was more that I felt I just had to, or I wouldn’t be able to function.
19. Do you read any of your own work after publication?
Of course! I reread it all the time. Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised. I definitely make myself laugh.
20. Do you have a day job other than writing? Does that job ever get in the way of writing?
I write full-time.
21. Do any of your friends or family seem to have the writing bug?
Both. My mother is an author herself (“Treating People Well”), my sister is a journalist, and I have several friends who are writers. It’s a lovely community to have.
22. How critical are you of your own work compared to reading other authors?
When I’m reading other people’s work, I’m not thinking about the structure and the form until the very end, and, even then, I’ll maybe have one criticism. With my own, I study every sentence.
23. How important is reading other authors to your own writing?
I think it’s just important for life on general! Only reading your own work would be like only listening to yourself speak.
24. How important is privacy to you as an author? Do you mind fans or plan on adopting a pseudonym?
I think it’s important to write under your own name and really own your work.