The books which formed me are Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, Beauty by Robin McKinley, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lioness Rampant series by Tamora Pierce, among others. As a young teen, I devoured an unholy amount of Barbara Cartland novels because they were chaste enough to satisfy my mother.
Who is your favorite author?
Beauty by Robin McKinley has inspired me in so many ways. It’s responsible for my lifelong love of fairy tales, especially Beauty and the Beast. McKinley’s exquisite prose captivated me when I was a child and it inspires me as a writer today.
What genre of books do you adore?
I tend to devour books that are outside of the genres in which I write, which means narrative nonfiction, literary, young adult/middle grade, women’s fiction, science books, and travel guides.
What do you hope your obituary will say about you?
She lived a life as exciting as a plot from one of her books.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
I proudly call the San Francisco Bay Area my home. This region is so beautiful that it has become the primary setting for my first two published novels. Like Stephen King, who sets his novels in his home state of Maine, I feel most comfortable writing about a place I not only love but with which I am familiar.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
People in my life, strangers, the news, perhaps an overheard conversation in a cafe all have the potential to inspire me. I am a rapacious people-watcher and perk up when I hear or see something “novelesque.” Also, I get many of my ideas from reading nonfiction, such as memoirs and science books. Truth is stranger and more entertaining than fiction.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
There is an early scene in the musical Moulin Rouge where Ewan McGregor’s character is pounding away on his typewriter in a Parisian garret while a troupe of bohemian performers dance in the room above him. Sad to say, that wildly idealized picture has always been my fantasy of a writer’s life.
If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?
I would kill to have been invited a real, one-of-a-kind gathering. Lake Geneva, June 1816. Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, and John Polidori were in a candlelit room together while a thunderstorm raged outside. They challenged each other to write a ghost story. Byron started reciting “Christabel” by Coleridge, which so frightened Shelley that he ran out of the room. Polidori was inspired to write the first English language vampire story called The Vampyre. And Shelley’s girlfriend, Mary? That night she came up with the beginning of a little something called Frankenstein.
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Genre - Contemporary Romance
Rating – PG-13