1) What inspired you to write your book "Across the Universe"?
My inspiration comes from all sorts of things--I like to travel and pick stories up from my adventures, I love history, and mostly, I just love thinking "what if?" That question will get a book written before anything else. For Across the Universe specifically, my inspiration came from the idea of the ending. I thought of the chapter at the end, where Elder confesses what he did, before the whole rest of the story, and I wrote the book to get to that end chapter. For my latest book, The Body Electric, it was wondering what was happening on Earth while Amy and Elder were in space. Inspiration is everywhere--it's narrowing it down to one book that's the hard part!
2) Are the characters based of your life?
I think there's an aspect of me in both Amy and Elder--Elder's desire to be good enough, Amy's desire to find a home on her own. But in the end, they're their own people. Harley, however, was based on a former student of mine who painted a fish on my classroom podium.
3) What was the hardest part of writing this book?
I think the idea of not knowing if it would be good enough for publication. I wanted to be published so much, but I was worried that wasn't good enough.
4) What made you want to start your writing career?
I always wanted to be an author. All my life.
5) What books have influenced your life most?
The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis and the Harry Potter books by JK Rowling.
6) Is "Across the Universe" your vision of how the future will look like?
I hope not!
7) What would your reaction be, had you been in Amy's situation?
I like to think I'd be brave like her, but I'd probably cry a lot.
8) Do you have any strange writing habits?
Not really--I'm perfectly 1000% normal. Don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise.
9) How did you choose the character's names?
Sort of willy-nilly, just as they come to me. I sometimes come up with backstories for the names, but it's rare.
10) What are you working on now? What is your next project?