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Mention three fun facts that your fans maybe don’t know about you.
I am a vegetarian, I have four cats, and I was a high school teacher before becoming an author.
When did you know that you wanted to become an author?
Since I was a little girl. I developed a passion for writing when I was ten or eleven years old, after a cousin shared with me a story she had written and I wanted to give it a try for myself and see what I could create. My love for writing hasn’t abated once over the years.
How long have you been writing? And what started it?
My debut novel, THE GOOD GIRL, was the first manuscript I completed. I started working on it in 2005 after my daughter was born and I left my teaching career to stay home and begin a family.
Who discovered you? (Did you contact publishing houses? How was the process?)
My lovely agent, Rachael Dillon Fried! After I finished writing THE GOOD GIRL, it took two more years to find an agent – a lot of rejection and a lot of heartache. I sent out nearly one hundred submissions only to be rejected by all. Two years later, after initially passing on my novel, Rachael reached back out to see if the manuscript was still available. About six months later I sold the novel to MIRA Books.
How many books have you published (so far)? And which genre?
Four psychological suspense novels.
Why this story? What made you choose this specific theme?
I didn’t set out to write suspense novels, but rather women’s fiction. As I began working on THE GOOD GIRL, however, mysteries started organically unfolding on the page. I loved the process of adding red herrings and weaving the twists and turns into the storyline. I often say that the genre found me rather than the other way around.
What inspires you to write? Which authors have inspired you? (Music, art, things in life?)
Reading inspires me. Everyday people and nature inspire me. I’m always paying close attention to the world around me and seeing how I can work that into my manuscript. There isn’t any one or two authors who inspire me directly, but every time I pick up a book to read, I learn something about that writer’s style or writing in general that I sometimes want to emulate in my own work.
What is the message of your book? How should the reader interpret it?
PRETTY BABY is the story of a woman who takes in a young, homeless girl with a baby in tow, and the repercussions of letting this girl into her family’s lives and home. It’s also a story about two desperate women and the lengths they will go to achieve what they want and need – as well as the effects of unfulfilled desires on the human psyche.
How do you identify with the character(s) in your book?
The protagonist is Heidi Wood and she is a highly altruistic woman, doing anything for anybody. I’d like to think I’m a bit like this – though not to the extent that Heidi is. She is also a mother, and as a mother myself, there are many places in the novel where I can relate to her quite well.
What are you currently reading?
Gilly Macmillan’s next novel, ODD CHILD OUT, which releases in the US this fall.
Mention 3 book titles that you wish to recommend.
Gilly Macmillan’s WHAT SHE KNEW; Megan Abbott’s YOU WILL KNOW ME; and Paula Daly’s JUST WHAT KIND OF MOTHER ARE YOU?
When is your next book going to be published?
My next novel, 11 DAYS, will be published in the United States in 2018.