Tell us about your family
My husband, Mike, and I had five children between us when we married twelve years ago. Together, we have a son, Alex, and a daughter, Annie. All of my grown children are writers of either fiction or poetry. I just love that about them! The younger kids love stories of all kinds, so I guess a Young Adult novel just seemed like a natural next step as a writer. I’ve had four teenaged daughters, and every one of them has enjoyed middle-grade and young adult fiction.
Why do you write?
I’ve always been a writer, so I am not sure why I write. It’s just always been a part of me. Recently, I answered this question by remembering that my parents and grandparents, all of them, were great readers. My aunts and uncles always wanted to know what I was reading. Surrounded by so many books, maybe I just thought, well, someone has to write these stories. It might as well be me!
What books did you love growing up?
I read C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series so many times, I lost count. As I got into high school, I started to read the classics. I settled on Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald by senior year. It’s fun to watch people get interested in the literature of the 1920’s and ‘30’s again. It seems like it’s coming back in a big way. I think there’s a lot about that period that speaks to us and teaches us right now.
What book genre do you adore?
I’m enjoying paranormal young adult fiction set in the American south. I know that’s a very specific “genre,” but I think I see a trend developing with the popularity of Beautiful Creatures and the success of some other series I’m following. I wrote about this trend recently in a blog post.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing.
Tell us where you grew up and where you now live. I was a Navy brat growing up. I really liked moving every two years or so: I always felt like it was a fresh start and an opportunity to redefine myself. I also wrote a LOT of letters growing up, keeping up with family and friends in the places we left behind. I think that’s part of the reason it feels natural to tell stories now.
How do you develop your writing?
By writing. It’s true: I still go back to old manuscripts that I have not yet published and edit them. It’s humbling and tedious, and, yet, I think it makes me stronger. And, it can also be cool to see errors that were once common in my writing that I now know enough to avoid even in a first draft.
Every writer has his/her own idea of what a successful writing career is. What does success in writing look like to you?
People reading my stories and engaging with them. I don’t necessarily want all my readers to love the books; I’d rather that my stories make you think. Some of the stories that I have found most thought-provoking were books I would not care to read again. Others I love to revisit, over and over. Of course I want some readers who re-read my stories, but it’s ok with me if not everyone likes them that much. What I would hope is that even if you didn’t care for my story, you found something in it that you had not seen before.
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Genre – Young Adult
Rating – PG/PG13
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Thank you Ravina! I enjoyed the interview!
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