What/who made you want to start writing?
When I was a kid, I used to have a 45-minute bus ride to elementary school. I had this best friend named Austin Adamson and we would make up stories to keep ourselves amused. We always swore we were going to grow up to be authors. That year, I won my class's Halloween themed story contest with a grand prize of a whole family-sized package of mini-Reese's cups. I figured this writing thing was definitely for me. So, that's where it all began - friendship and chocolate. Can't fight those forces.
Who inspires you to keep writing?
As cliché as it sounds, it is my fans. Writing is hard. Full stop. There are days that doing something else… anything else… looks awfully appealing. But I have received the kindest emails of support and read some of the most wonderful reviews from people who say my books gave them a moment of escape from this crazy world. I believe it is our sacred duty to discover how we can make this living thing easier for each other, and once you've discovered how you can help, you have a responsibility. I am not talented with medicine or teaching or building bridges, but I can tell stories. And so, I do.
Who was your favorite character to create?
Oh… that's like asking a mother who her favorite child is… but a character that leapt fully formed from the page and completely surprised me is a secondary character in my Maggie books named Pipistrelle. I have no idea where he came from, but whenever he arrives, he shows up and lets me know what he has to say. I just take dictation.
What are you working on right now?
In the past, I have written whichever way the wind blew, but this year, I decided to dedicate myself solely to my urban fantasy series, Maggie MacKay: Magical Tracker. I'm working on book five, book six, and book seven right now. Maggie began in the days before I knew how to outline, so although it takes much longer, I stick to that original process. It makes the story twists surprising and fresh (heck, I don't even know what is about to happen!), but it means that I'll get 10k words written and then go, "Oh wait. This needs to happen in a later book." Hence how I am working on books five… and six… and seven… all at one time…
I started off loving mysteries and historical fiction: Nancy Drew, Linda Craig, the Shoe books, Little House, Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables... oh, it goes on and on. But the first book that was so powerful it made me cry was A Wrinkle in Time. That was when I began falling in love with the fantasy genre. From there I read The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley and I was hooked.
What is something fun about you that your readers don't already know?
I can recite the entire Walrus & The Carpenter poem from memory. And my favorite television show of all time is Green Wing.
If you could recommend one book, not your own, from any time period to read what would it be?
A book that changed my view of the world is Mountains Beyond Mountains. It is the absolutely gorgeous biography of Dr. Paul Farmer and Ophelia Dahl (yes, daughter of author Roald Dahl.) These two people have dedicated their lives to bringing medical services to impoverished communities and their story is astonishing. Read it knowing your life will be changed for the better by the time you get to the final page.