When did you begin to write?
As soon as they gave me pencil and paper and explained the alphabet to me!
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When I was seven, I’d been in love with books for a couple of years already. At that age, I first heard you could make up stories and write them down as a job and I said, “I am in!”
What is your favorite part of writing?
My very favorite-favorite parts are the very beginning, when a shiny new story is
beguiling me (they flirt outrageously to get my attention) and the final polish where I examine every sentence to make sure it is pulling its weight in a story.
Does it belong? Can I find better words? That sort of thing. (I know—word nerd!!)
So far what is your worst criticism/attacks, and how have you overcome it?
When I was in seventh grade, my class had a writing competition. I spent a gazillion hours on this Nancy-Drew-type novella that was the longest thing I’d ever written at that time. The class voted, and my story lost—by ONE vote. I was heartbroken and didn’t write stories for almost ten years after that. (Lots of poems, essays, letters, journaling- just no stories.) I do not recommend what I did. But that was part of my journey. Then one day I just said Enough! and started writing stories again. It felt soooooo good!
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My Kirkus award—getting a Best of 2012 on Saving Mars was a dream come true. Kirkus advertises themselves as the World’s Toughest Book Critics. (No lie!)
What does your writing process look like?
I plunk down a first draft in a month or so, and it is one messy, messy thing. Then I let it marinade for a week to a couple of months while I work on something else. When I come back to the draft, I am looking at my editor’s notes and my own gut feeling for where the story is weak, boring, implausible, etc. I do a story revision pass, then a sort of line edits, and then a final polishing pass where I try to make sure each separate page has a gem on it: something funny or anguishing or just really well-said.
How did you get published?
We opened Williams Press with my first title, RIPPLER in 2011. I’ve been writing full-time ever since.
Can you enlighten us a little more about your books?
Sure! The RIPPLE Trilogy is about a girl who can turn invisible, the boy she’s crushing on, and the neo-Nazi geneticist out for blood who is chasing them. My next series, The SAVING MARS Series takes place 300 years in the future when a human colony is facing starvation on Mars. Jessamyn, a young, grounded pilot must prove she and her autistic brother have the right stuff to fly a daring raid to Earth even though the two worlds have a No Contact policy. Her brother gets caught, she falls for a boy on Earth, mayhem ensues, and she has to choose between saving her brother and saving her planet.