Photo: Alyssa B. Sheinmel
When did you know that you wanted to become an author?
I always hoped my career would center around books—whether editing or marketing them or writing them myself. I worked in publishing for years before I began writing full-time, and I loved getting to work with books in some capacity every day.
How long have you been writing? And what started it?
I was that kid who kept notebooks full of stories, whose favorite subject was creative writing, who re-read her favorite books over and over again (something I still do), who took every writing class and every literature class she could.
What inspired you to write Second Star?
I’ve been fascinated by the world and characters of Peter Pen for as long as I can remember—I even wrote one of my college admissions essays about Neverland! Writing Second Star gave me the chance to invent a different sort of Neverland.
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What inspires you to write? Which authors have inspired you? (Music, art, things in life?)
I genuinely believe that everything I’ve ever read has taught me something about how to tell a story. I read everything that I can: books in the same genres as the ones I want to write, as well as books, essays, and articles in completely different genres. You never know what might spark an idea: a college textbook taught me how to insert humor into a dry topic; the idea for my book Faceless came partly from an article in The New Yorker magazine.
Mention 3 book titles that you wish to recommend.
Oh, jeez, only three? Okay, I’ll pick one book in a few of my favorite genres:
The White Album by Joan Didion (Essays.)
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (YA realistic fiction.)
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (Fantasy. And technically three books.)
When is your next book going to be published?
My newest book is called R.I.P. Eliza Hart, and it’s coming out November 28, 2017! The story begins when Eliza Hart, the most popular girl at Ventana Ranch boarding school in Big Sur, California, is found dead. Ellie Sokoloff—who happened to be Eliza’s former best friend—is determined to figure out what happened and why.
Never mind that ever since Ellie arrived at school Eliza has spread terrible rumors about her, calling her a liar and a stalker, when all Ellie wanted to do was rekindle their old friendship. Or that Ellie’s claustrophobia limits where she can go and what she can do. Or that Ellie’s suitemate, Sam, is the only one who will help her . . . because to everyone else, Ellie looks like the top suspect.