Q: What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
A: Read as much as you can, write as much as you can, and finish everything you start. When you finish something, share it. Find a group of readers you can trust (beyond your parents and friends, who LOVE! everything you write) and listen to their feedback. There’s a saying that good criticism feels like an arrow hitting its mark. Learn to separate the good from the bad. Learn to incorporate the good into your writing to make it better.
There are amazing resources online for aspiring writers, but some of my favorite books are: On Writing by Stephen King, Burning Down the House by Charles Baxter, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, and Reading like a Writer by Francine Prose.
Q: What do you do for writer’s block?
A: I don’t believe in writer’s block in the way that most people define it, like it’s a cold or a horrible rash or something. Not to make huge, sweeping generalizations, but here is my huge, sweeping generalization: most writers feel overwhelmed when staring down a blank page. You have to move through that feeling, which is really the fear of making a mistake. Some follow an outline to get into the story, some just start in line by line. Just do it. Just write. You can revise later.
If you’re having trouble starting each morning, leave the writing at a scene you’re excited about. When you’re moving through at a nice pace, when the writing’s really singing, stop there so you have something to look forward to the next day. If you’re stuck on one particular scene, or the plot isn’t working as it should, take a break from it and do something you love. Take the dog for a walk. Play a video game. Read a book. Sometimes getting away from it for a few hours (or a couple days) can help.
Q: What is your favorite book?
A: Books, plural! There are too many. Here are some of my favorites, new and old…
YA/ Middle Grade: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas, The Witches by Roahl Dahl, The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, If I Stay by Gayle Forman, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater, The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, Every Babysitter's Club Super Special but especially the one where Claudia and Dawn get stranded on the desert island, The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith, Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, The Giver by Lois Lowry, James and the Giant Peach by Roahl Dahl, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Cathrynne M. Valente, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, We Are Okay by Nina LaCour, The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith, Far From the Tree by Robin Benway.
Adult: The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender, Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, Room by Emma Donaghue, Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed, Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, Self Help and Anagrams by Lorrie Moore, No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, Middle Passage by Charles Johnson, Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, Sum by David Eaglemen, Circling the Drain by Amanda Davis, And Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers, The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin.
Q: Do you listen to music when you write?
A: Not when I’m actually sitting down at my computer. But I usually have an album or two that I’m listening to during the months I’m writing each book. For Eve it was Lungs by Florence and the Machine, for Blackbird it was Muchacho by Phosphorescent.
Q: When’s your birthday?
A: November 28th.
Q: I sent you a note through this site…what gives? Why haven’t you responded yet? It’s been five months.
A: I am sincerely, seriously sorry (I even used adverbs for you). Going through my inbox can sometimes feel overwhelming. Please know that I appreciate every email you write and I eventually read all of them. For more immediate responses, you can find me on Twitter.
Q: Is Eve going to be a TV show?
Q: What about Blackbird?
A: Blackbird was optioned by Lionsgate and the script is in revisions. As always, check Twitter and Facebook for updates.
Q: I just finished Rise and I’m so mad at you. All the feels!! How could you do this to me?!? Where is the fourth Eve book?!?
A: I know, I know! All the feels is right. I hated saying good-bye to these characters too, but for right now, I’m happy with where the series left off. If you haven’t found the epilogue, it’s in the paperback edition of Rise, and gives just a little more insight into what happens to Eve in the years following that last page.
Q: What are you writing next?
A: I've been working on a new book for the last few months that I'm really excited about. When I have official news, I'll be sure to share.