What I’m passionate about
As far back as I can remember, I’ve been an avid reader. When I was younger, I read all the non-fiction books I could get my hands on, mostly biographies of famous historical figures. As I got older, I became more interested in fiction and the alternate world you step into when you read a good book. Horror fiction fascinated me in high school; I could not get enough Clive Barker! In college I was exposed to different genres and world writers, and that’s where I really grew to love existentialism. To this day, “The Stranger,” “The Trial,” and “Catch-22” are on my top ten favorite books of all time. Now that I’ve written a YA book, I read that genre the most often, but I still squeeze in a good adult fiction novel when I can. Recently, I enjoyed reading “Gil’s All Fright Diner,” “Practical Demonkeeping,” “Gone,” “The Forest of Hands and Teeth,” and “Graceling.” I’ll post what I’m reading this month in the aptly named section, “What I’m Currently Reading .”
I’ve always found it easy to write – with tests in school, I loved the essay questions more than the multiple choice ones. I even remember the first book I ever wrote: it was in third grade, a mystery about a girl who discovers a ghost living in her attic. I’m sure I would cringe if I read it now, but it wasn’t half bad for my age. I was drawn to YA in particular because it’s so much fun, and I recall all those crazy feelings I had as a teenager, how everything and nothing at all made sense at that same time. In my writing I try to reflect my somewhat easygoing nature, and my belief that it should be fun to read, not a chore. I know I’m not going to win any awards. To me, that’s not the point. Yes there are certainly books out there with more elaborate imagery, symbolism, and flowery prose. That was never my intent for my books; my goal was to create a straightforward, alternate fictional world to lose yourself in for awhile. I don’t apologize for its lack of deep, thought-provoking story lines or abused, drug-addicted characters. My fiction is light, fun, and hopefully you will enjoy it.
Movies offer the same temporary escape for me as fiction, with the exception that I don’t have to work so hard to picture it all. I particularly enjoy horror and comedy movies the most, though as a female I think I’m also obligated to watch a chick flick at least quarterly. Favorite movies of all time: “Halloween,” “Hellraiser,” “Friday the 13th,” “Phantasm,” “Evil Dead,” “Scream,” “They Live,” “Cabin in the Woods,” “Brain Candy,” “Spaceballs,” “Airplane,” “This is Spinal Tap,” “The Big Lebowski,” “Dogma,” “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” “A Fish Called Wanda,” and “Blades of Glory.” I wish there were more crossover movies, like “Evil Dead 2” and “Zombieland.” Oh, and more rock operas would also be wonderful (yes I’m a fan of “Tommy” and “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”)
I have a five-year-old girl I’m crazy about – she’s cute and vibrant and what I like to call “spirited,” (which is a nice phrase for totally insane), but I still love her so much and wouldn’t change a thing. Two years ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy whose smiles warm my heart every day. Their father is a sweet, amazing man I’m totally head over heels for, even if he’s not a morning person. I also share my home with three dogs: a lab, a larger terrier mix, and what we think is a chiweenie mix; as well as three cats, all American shorthairs. The smallest female cat, a black and white tuxedo, is the alpha male of the household and keeps everyone in line. Yes, it is as hectic as it sounds. Yes, I’m perpetually covered in hair of some sort. But without sounding too much like a lonely pet hoarder psycho, they’re considered family and we love them. And before you ask, I don’t dress up the chiweenie in tiny outfits. It’s much funnier to watch him get his head stuck in random items, like chip bags or tissue boxes.
Music that inspires me:
Big Casino by Jimmy Eat World
New Way Home by Foo Fighters
Neon Tiger by The Killers
Second Chance by Shinedown
At Least We’re Dreaming by Eve 6
Music that makes me happy:
Radioactive by Imagine Dragons
The Sound of Madness by Shinedown
My Best Friend by Queen
Spaceman by The Killers
It’s Nice to Be Alive by Ball Park Music
Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People
Superhero Girl by Eve 6
Happy Together by The Turtles
Kill Your Heroes by Awolnation
Jump into The Fog by The Wombats
Inspiration for Connected
I guess I’m a super hero geek at heart. I grew up watching Spiderman, X-men and Superfriends cartoons, and I loved the idea of having super powers. The superhero movies that came out delighted me; even the bad ones were still so much fun. And I remember wishing the series, “Heroes” would go on forever. With Connected, I tried to keep the abilities as organic as possible – something just a little beyond what a normal human can do. I’ve met some pretty incredible people in my life, and my experiences greatly influenced the writing of Connected.