1.Why did you write select?
I was so inspired by the amazing YA books I was reading (I think reading
Eleanor and Park really pushed me over the edge into fandom) and wanted to
try to tackle the genre myself.
2.Did you base the characters off of people in real life ?
A couple of them! More like aspects of their personalities were based on real
people or seeing how people I knew reacted in certain situations.
3.How long did it take you to write Select ?
All in all, it took about two and a half years to write Select. For a long time I
had scenes in my head but wasn’t sure how they fit together and what story
they were trying to tell!
4.What first inspired you to write ?
I’ve always wanted to write! For years, I surrounded myself with writers (I
worked in film and television helping writers develop their stories). I think I
was spoiled because I saw working writers and that wasn’t a crazy concept
but, at the same time, it took a long time to work up my own confidence to try
5.How do people react when you tell them you’re an author ?
A lot of people are surprised! They think it’s cool and some say ‘I’ve never
met an author before!’ It’s nice that little kids are actually interested.
6.Which authors inspire you ?
So many! Right now, I’m kind of crushing on J.K Rowling and how she kept
writing and writing this amazing series, year after year and you can tell how
much she loves the act of writing and creating in general. I also just read
Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic and that was so inspiring and comforting about
the creative process.
7.What is the best book you have read recently ?
Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler blew me away.
8.What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Definitely how the subconscious is somehow putting this story together for
you and knows how all the pieces are going to fit together. I’ve heard other
authors say the same thing. It’s crazy and awesome.
9.What did you research for your book ?
When I was trying to shape the story, I spent a lot of time reading about a
project that took place at SRI (Stanford Research Institute) that actually had
government-funding to research the use of extrasensory ‘sight.’ They called it
‘remote viewing’ and investigated if it had any military use. I didn’t end up
using the research but it was inspiring.
10.What inspired you to write ya ?
Some amazing YA books! Contemporary, fantasy—all across the board. I just
love the genre.
11.Do you read all of your book reviews and how do you react to them ?
I’ve decided not to read the reviews. It’s really tough. Especially while writing
another one. It’s so easy to focus on the bad and not take in the good and get
12.What other authors are you friends with and how did that help you with your writing ?
Amanda Eyre Ward who writes fiction is a friend/teacher. I took her ‘Write a
Novel in a Year’ class which is how I actually finished the book (I’d been
working on it for about a year). Her class gave me deadlines and overall,
Amanda gave me invaluable advice: on story structure, how to find an agent,
next steps, etc.
13.What is your best memory as a writer ?
The day I got an email from an agent saying she wanted to represent me and
14.What are your favorite under appreciated novels ?
Adam Haslett’s “Imagine Me Gone”.
15.Do you believe in writer’s block ?
I can’t believe in writer’s block or I’ll die! Especially as I think about starting something new. I do believe in days where it flows and days where it really doesn’t and how there’s no predicting! I had a horrible, flat writing day a little while ago and was discouraged so I decided to just free write for fifteen minutes and suddenly I really liked the scene I’d written. There is just no rhyme or reason as to what’s going to happen but that’s also the fun part.
16.Do you have anything to say to your readers ?
What I’d love readers to take away is how to solve the problem of knowing
how much potential you have while surrounded by people telling you that
you have none at all!
17.Can you describe your upcoming book in three words ?
Mysterious, exclusive and powerful.
18.What is one of your favorite quotes ?
I’m all about Hamilton, the musical, right now! My favorite quote is “When
you knock me down, I get back up again!”