Q. What inspires your writing?
A. Much of the inspiration for my writing comes from the work I’ve done with children and families over the years. I began writing while living in LA where I developed and wrote screenplays, mostly about women and family issues. While in LA I worked for THAW (Theatre of Hope for Abused Women) and for the Los Angeles Commission’s TAPP (Teen Abuse Prevention Project) program in the middle and high schools. In Santa fe I’ve worked with 3 -5 year olds as a Head Start teacher and administrated a three year behavioral health grant program called Life Skills in the public middle schools. For the last five years I’ve taught PEN in the Classroom writing workshops (sponsored by PEN USA in LA) to eighth and tenth graders in the Santa Fe public schools. I continue to be inspired by the teens I work with and the challenges they face in today’s world.
Q. What is your favorite thing about being an author?
A. Storytelling! Creating characters and submerging myself in their worlds ... I love it when the characters come alive for me on the page, when they say or do something I wasn’t expecting them to! I love it when I am deep into a book and the characters are pretty much hanging around with me all the time. I do tend to fall in love with my characters a bit. : )
Q. What is the toughest part of being an author?
Being disciplined about sitting down to it every day, even when I am not ‘in the mood’ which, truthfully, I am sometimes not! Having to ‘promote’ yourself in today’s tough market place, figuring out all the new media ways in which to do that is sometimes a challenge as well.
Q. If you could not be an author, what would you do/be?
A. Teaching and/or working with women and children in some way. If I had gotten a degree in psychology rather than English (which I almost did) I may have enjoyed being a psychologist. But, I would definitely still have to write on the side!
Q. What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. Tough question! Hmmm, maybe What’s next?!?
Q. What is your favorite book of all time?
A. Oh, wow. I love books and reading too much and have all my life to narrow it down to just one! Right now am reading Ann Patchett’s new book, “State of Wonder” and just read “The Tiger’s Wife” by Tea Obreht. Also recently finished a book by Leah Hager Cohen called “House Lights” which I found riveting. So, am just reading all the time. For an author, it’s ‘part of the job’! But, that said, I’ve always loved “To Kill a Mockingbird” and was really affected by it when I read it in my early teens. I also think it is one of a very few books that has been made into a movie which is almost as good as the book!
Q. Which character from any of your books are you most like?
A. I really don’t think I am like any of my characters.
Q. What is your favorite season?
A Autumn, if I have to choose one. I grew up on the East coast and especially loved the changing of the leaves in October. Must say that I find all seasons of the year beautiful here in Santa Fe!
Q. Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. Nothing funny comes to mind though I have been deeply moved by girls who’ve hugged and thanked me for writing “Choices.” Also, by letters I’ve received from readers telling me how much reading Kara’s story in “Choices” has affected their lives.
Q. Are you working on something new?
A. Yes. Another YA fiction, this time from the POV of a teen boy. Finished the first draft before the holidays and am gearing up now to work on some revisions. For me, this is kind of the fun part. After I finish a first draft I put it away for awhile and when I pick it back up, it’s like seeing the story and characters from a new perspective.
Q. Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A. I’m glad there are book bloggers like you! I’m glad there are many readers interested enough in books and reading to be followers of their sites, looking for new books to read. I want to say: Keep reading, encourage children of every age to read, keep talking about books and support your local bookstores!!
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