What was the inspiration for Thin Space?
I read a magazine article about the Celtic belief in thin spaces, places where the wall between our world and the world of the dead is “thinner.” I thought that would be a cool idea for a story, but I didn’t know what I would do with it. Around the same time, I noticed this bare-footed teenage boy riding the same bus with my son. It was winter and I watched this kid step off the bus every day wearing a coat and hat, but not wearing shoes. I was insanely curious about the guy’s motivation. The two ideas—the Celtic belief in thin places and the barefoot boy—came together in a cool way, and I started writing Thin Space.
What else have you written that you haven’t published?
I wrote five novels before I wrote Thin Space, and four novels since then. The early stuff is weird and too personal. The later stuff is weird too, but I’ve learned how to hide the truth behind supernatural elements and fantasy.
What does your writing process look like?
I write pretty much all day long, with breaks to take the dog for a walk and do stuff like laundry. I hand write out scenes in the morning and type them during the afternoons. I revise at night after dinner. Then I watch Supernatural reruns.
How do you keep yourself from falling into procrastination and distraction?
I try not to look at social media until later in the day. Once I’m on, I tend to stay on and then I’m in trouble. I love Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, but I’ve learned that I need long stretches of uninterrupted quiet time to work.
What makes an author “successful” and do you think you’ve reached that point?
Every writer probably has a different definition of success. For years, my goal was to have a book published. I wanted to see it on bookstore shelves and in libraries. Now I have that, and I realize that one book is only the beginning. I want an entire shelf of books out there.
Has writing made you realize anything important about yourself? What?
I always wanted to be a writer but being a published author seemed like an impossible dream. For years I wrote and submitted sporadically, more as a hobby. Finally, maybe seven or eight years ago, I began to get serious. I taught myself how to revise and opened myself up to criticism. I read a ton of books and joined writing groups and kept submitting and collecting rejections. I’ve learned that I am very persistent. Also, that as hard as writing is, NOT writing is much much harder for me.
What were your favorite books when you were younger? Did any of them influence your writing?
I loved mysteries and quiet stories. Nothing too dark. I had enough of that in real life. My favorite books were series like Trixie Belden and Betsy Tacy. I also liked A Wrinkle in Time and a book that is now out of print, called Charlotte Sometimes. These books indirectly influence my writing, I guess, because I like to imagine a girl, like the kid I was, on the other end, escaping into my stories.
What are you working on now?
I am revising a book that I have been revising since 2002, which I know sounds crazy, but there is something about the story that won’t let me go. I write it and send it off and it gets rejected and I write another book, and then I go back and rewrite. Over and over. This time is going to be The One, I know it. It’s a reality-based fantasy—with some Greek mythology, but mostly dark and angsty real stuff with more romance than I’ve ever dared to write before.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I have two kids, almost grown, so my helicopter mom days are pretty much behind me. Now I hover around my dog, Zooey. My neighbors think I am strange because I walk Zooey three times a day. But hey! If I didn’t, I’d never leave the house. The truth is, I probably wouldn’t even change out of my pajamas.
Supernatural. Okay, my teen daughter got me into this show and now we have heated arguments about who is cuter, Sam or Dean. For the record I am Team Sam. I understand the appeal of Dean. He’s funny and clever and protective of his younger brother.
But Sam– Sam’s got the dimples.