What is your most embarrassing/funny/scary Halloween experience or costume?
My favorite Halloween was probably freshman year of college. My friends and I spontaneously decided to go trick or treating the night of Halloween in the neighborhood near campus. We thought the neighbors would be mad that a bunch of 18-year-olds were out trick or treating (in my hometown, twelve is the oldest you’re allowed to trick or treat—yes, there’s an actual law). But they were thrilled to see us! We got tons of candy and hot chocolate, because hardly any real kids in the area had bothered to dress up.
What was the most surprising thing that you discovered about one of your characters that you didn’t see coming?
Auugh, I really wish I could say without spoiling, because this just happened to me last month. I was folding laundry, playing out a scene in my head like I was watching a movie. Aura said something, and Zachary said something in reply, and I was like WHAT, BOY?? You wait until the fourth draft of the third book to tell me THAT? Then I had to flip through the earlier books to make sure this revelation didn’t contradict anything already established, and it didn’t. The reason why he’d kept the secret totally fit with his character and the way he feels about Aura.
If you could spend the afternoon with a favorite fictional character, who would it be and what would you do?
I want to hang out with Cole and Sam from Maggie Stiefvater’s SHIVER series while they have a jam session. Then Sam can make dinner while Cole and I…keep ourselves occupied.
When authors create a world for a series there are rules they need to stick with for consistency, are there things you would change in your book world that you didn’t foresee being an issue initially?
Not when all is said and done. There definitely have been moments where an established rule has come back to haunt me (heh, I said “haunt”), but then it turns into a challenge to be even more innovative. As much as I resent the problems that come from complex worlds and plots, solving those problems makes for a much better book.
Creating a world in which a story is set into can be a challenge. What things do you take into consideration when creating that world?
The main thing I take in to account is the Sara Hantz factor! Sara is actually one of my critique partners and while I have no interest in details, she is the master of logic so if I create a world that doesn’t make sense I KNOW that she is going to send me a zillion emails asking me to explain to her. Anyway, she’s worn me down over the years so that now I try and figure out as many answers as I can before I send it to her!!!! So, my advice for anyone who doesn’t have a Sara in their life, try and find the voice of reason who can sit on your shoulder and ask ‘what/what/where/when/why’ over and over again! Your world building will thank you for it!
Who was the most difficult character (from one of your books) for you to write and why?
Honestly, I love my characters. I guess it’s like a casting call and if I don’t like a character I tend to rewrite them into someone that I do like! Mainly because if I’m going to spend so much time with them, I want them to amuse me!!!
If you could spend the afternoon with your favorite author, who would it be and what would you do?
Oh, that sounds like fun!!! I have so many favorite authors and I do have a feeling that not all of them would be as much fun in person as they are on the pages of their books, so I’m going to pick Janet Evanovich because I’m sure she would be awesome. As for what we do, well I would probably take her to a deserted cottage in a wood and tell her that she’s not leaving until she lets Stephanie Plum end up with Morelli.
Was there a book as a child that you read which inspired you to be a writer and what book was it? Or What were your favorite books to read as a child?
Like many writers, I loved reading as a child though it never for a moment occurred to me that I could be a writer (of course this was pre-Internet so it was a lot harder for me to figure out that writers were actually ‘real’ people!). Some of my favorite books growing up where Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Three Investigators, Swallows and Amazons and Ballet Shoes.