Hi Emily! Thanks so much for taking the time to read One and interview me! It makes me so happy when teens read my books. <3
1. Where did the inspiration for One come from – a love of superheroes, genetics, both?Pretty much just the first one. ;) I grew up watching X-men on Saturday mornings, and obsessed over the intricacies of each superpower. I remember thinking that it was so awesome that Wolverine had metal-plated bones, but his *real* superpower was that he healed quickly. It got me thinking about the different components that would make up different abilities, and that was an idea that stuck with me for years and years.
THEN I found out that there was this emerging scientific field called epigenetics – Google it - that basically mean that people’s genes can evolve within generations. So those two ideas combined made up the basis for ONE’s plot.
2. While you were writing Merrin’s character, did you see any aspects of yourself?Oh, for sure. I like to think that her reluctance to be satisfied with what everyone else told her she had to accept came from my personality.
3. Which character did you relate to the most?That’s actually a really tough question! I think I relate a little bit to each of them, but probably most of all Merrin. She cares deeply about stuff but doesn’t wear her heart on her sleeve.
4. If you were a Super, what powers would you want to have?
My first thought is mind-reading but I can’t stand it when I know people are upset with me or thinking bad things about me. And since I’m an author AND a campus professional AND a mom of four, I think the best super power for me to have would be either super speed (so I could write faster) or the ability to never, ever have to sleep. Which would also have to come with infinite energy.
5. Do you have any other book ideas for after Two is published?
Yes! I have a contemporary retelling of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park about mathletes called SOLVING FOR EX ready to be published, and I’ll probably release a companion to that called FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS, about a girl whose dad addresses her penchant for running up his credit card by sending her on a year-long service trip.
I also have a sci-fi retelling of the Exodus coming up called CHROME, and a time travel romance called THE TRAVELERS.
And, of course, if ONE and TWO do well, I can write lots more stories about the charactersI’m so excited about all of them!
6. Have you always wanted to be a writer?No, actually! I only started writing a few years ago when I was out of work for a year and CRAZY bored at home with my kids. So I think it shows that you can start any time, and really learn, if you put your mind to it.
7. Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
I think the big thing is just to sit down and do it. Your first draft is allowed to suck, in a technical sense, so focus on doing what only you can do – pour your story onto paper. Your love and enthusiasm will shine through on the page.
When you’re ready to share your work, find critique partners who will be honest and supportive at the same time. Learn together about the technicalities of writing – finding your voice, cutting adverbs, writing believable dialogue, pinpointing the perfect pacing, and showing, not telling. Get involved in the writing community online, because it’s amazing. And it’s all uphill from there!
I would like to thank Leigh Ann for stopping by. Y'all, I was lucky enough to get to read One early, and believe me, you'll want to check it out.