Not as long as it could have been. I wrote seriously for about two-and-a-half years before Prophecy sold and wrote six books in that time. It was tough because we were really struggling financially and I knew it would be next to impossible to work full time, write AND take care of my four children. There were times when I was really close to giving up and just going back to work, but every time I came close something big would happen - signing with my agent, being told he thought the book was going to be big, etc. - and every time something like that happened, it just felt like the universe was trying to tell me something.
What comes to mind when you hear the words "the perfect story"?
For me the perfect story is more than a good book. It's even more than a book that's well-crafted. It's a story that resonates. That stays with me long after reading it. There are a few books that are special like that for me. White Oleander by Janet Fitch is one.
Are there any writers, past or present, who inspire your style?
I think everything I've ever written has inspired my style to some degree, but I'm too embarrassed to compare myself to any of those writers!
What question are you asked again and again? What question would you like to be asked about you/your book?
People are always fascinated with the journey to publication - and I don't blame them! I'm STILL fascinated with the road other authors have traveled to see their boosk published. I love discussing things like what's important in YA literature today, what we don't have enough of... Hmmmm. I may be too philosophical! Maybe we should just talk about ice cream! I love ice cream! And movies! :D
How do you feel when you see someone reading one of your books?
Things like that still feel so surreal to me. It's hard to connect the name on that cover with ME, you know. I still don't really feel like that person.
What projects are you working on now?
I have a few irons in the fire including a contemporary fantasy, another Gothic fantasy (this time set in London) with a little Steampunk undertone, and an idea that's haunting me for a companion series to Prophecy.
So far, what has been the most surprising response to your book?
I've had readers tell me that Lia's strength in the book has inspired them. That her determination in the face of such a hopeless situation has helped them see their own strength, too. I guess I always assumed modern readers wouldn't be able to take anything but a little escape away from a fantasy. It's been a pleasant surprise to realize that at the heart of things, it's the emotional connection that still counts - in any genre.
Is there anything else you want people to know about yourself or the book?
Not really! Ijust really hope everyone enjoys it and I look forward to continuing Lia and Alice's story in books two and three. Thanks so much for having me, Tina!