FAQs from Readers and Students

How did you get the idea for POPPY MAYBERRY, THE MONDAY?

The idea actually came to me when I was stopped at a red light in my hometown. I glanced up at the Starbucks on the corner across the street to see a young girl tossing a ball into the air. From the angle I watched, it looked as if the girl was controlling the ball with her mind. At pretty much the same time I asked myself, What day of the week is it? (I have a tendency to lose track of the days over the summer!) And then I put those thoughts together – What if a person had certain powers depending on the day of the week? Or what if a person had a special power specific to the day of the week in which they were born? And that’s where I got the concept for  Poppy’s town of Nova. Inspiration can strike anywhere!

Did you always want to be a writer?

I wrote stories for as long as I can remember, so yes. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and I’ve always been a writer. The first story I wrote was a ghost story called The Third Attic. I read it to my best friend Lindsey as we were sitting on a swing set outside of my childhood home, and I remember her saying it was awesome and that I should be a writer. I submitted that ghost story to a contest my elementary school was having – and actually won! That gave me tons of confidence as a child. And my love of writing grew from there. I wrote at home, at school, in the car, at my grandparent’s house (where I actually “played” librarian with their book collection – stamping books and all!), everywhere. I completed my first full-length young adult manuscript in 2008, and then POPPY followed in 2012.

How do you find the time to write?

I am a full-time English teacher, freelance magazine writer, and mother to a 1-year-old, so people ask me this all the time. Short answer – I have to make the time. I write during my lunch, after school at a local coffeeshop, late nights after my son has gone to bed and grading is complete, and on the weekends. When a deadline is closing in, I write during any free second I have – even if that means missing the latest episode of Pretty Little Liars.

I want to be a writer when I grow up. How can I do that?

Read. Write. Repeat. Every writer friend I have does not just write a lot. They read a lot too. I read everything from picture books to middle grade to young adult to adult fiction to non-fiction. Read. Write. Repeat.

What will the cover of your book look like?

I’m not sure yet! Even though I have a book deal, a lot of things have to happen between now and when the cover is revealed (revisions, revisions, revisions). So check my website for a cover reveal announcement!

Do you have any other books out?

Not books – just magazine articles. As far as books, POPPY MAYBERRY, THE MONDAY is my first one, and it comes out April 2016.

What are you working on next?

There are a number of projects I’m working on. One is a Shakespeare-inspired young adult novel, another is a contemporary young adult mystery, and I have some really fun middle-grade books in the works as well. There are just so many great ideas swirling around my head!


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