You’ve got questions? I've got answers.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on my third book! It’s inspired by Empire Records! Three girls— a bookstagrammer, a closet poet, and a girl having her Britney moment— who have one day to save the bookstore they love. Before the day is out, there’ll be shaved heads, a diva author, and a very large shipment of Air Jordan’s. And it will take all three of them working together if they have any chance to save Wild Nights Bookstore.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I feel very like Mr. Darcy on this one— “I was in the middle before I knew I had begun.”
I was always telling stories as a kid. Writing was a way that I learned largely in school. I remember at an after school program, I literally cut and pasted and re-wrote (and typeset, because I was a determined child) a comic about Camelot because Guinevere didn’t do anything in the story.
But really, on some level, I’ve always been doing that. Re-writing the old stories and making them reflect the world around me, the things I knew to be true. I think I’ve been doing that since I picked up a pencil and started scribbling in very bad cursive.
How long does it take you to write a book?
I’m getting better and better at dialing this in but— from start to finish book one took seven years. The second book took about ten months, with a solid six to draft. I think book three will be (hopefully) similar. But every book is its own and the process changes with every book. Books are written one word at a time until they’re done. Much like anything that takes a long time— keep going 💜
What’s your favorite part of writing? Your least favorite?
My least favorite is drafting. My most favorite is editing. I love re-working and sculpting words. I love taking what is already there and making it better, perfecting it as I can. I hate blank pages.
What’s your process like?
Every book is different! My first book was a lot of revisions. My second book I had a synopsis like outline to follow, though so much changed while I was actually drafting. Right now, I like to think of the synopsis that I submit to my editor as a very short draft, and then use that to keep moving forward.
Who are the writers who inspire you?
I’m a big fan of Jane Austen, as anyone who has had a conversation with me about books that last long than forty-five seconds can attest. I love the voice that Dodie Smith uses in I Capture the Castle. I am in awe of the way Zora Neale Hurston taught me how to find the emotional heart of a story with Their Eyes Were Watching God. The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler was partiuclarly formative, as was Harriet the Spy, the Nancy Drew books, and the Georgia Nicolson books by Louise Rennison.
What’s the one piece of advice that you would give any aspiring writer?
Just start. And get all the way to the end. So I guess that is two pieces but— start now. And finish the project. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t even have to be good. It just has to be finished. You’ll learn so much by just doing that, I promise.
What are your favorite films?
I grew up on 2000s rom-coms like 10 Things I Hate About You. I am also a fan of girl gang flicks like Clueless and Heathers and Mean Girls. I love the Fast and the Furious franchise and almost any good heist. I love old Hayley Mills movies. My first Bollywood film was Kal Ho Naa Ho, which I will always have a soft spot for. I can almost always watch The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. In my mind, the franchise ends there.
In classic films— I love Marilyn Monroe doing comedy, Liz Taylor doing literally anything, and Kate Hepburn shouting, “She sure is yar.” I believe Hello, Dolly! might be a perfect film.
Where do you get the ideas for chapter titles? Which ones are your favorite?
I get my ideas for chapter titles from all of the pop culture that I love! And one of my favorites is still— “You Can’t Just Ask People Why They’re White” 😘
Are your books standalone or are they connected?
As of right now, they all stand alone! I like to think of all of my books as existing in the same world. So maybe one day they will cross paths, maybe not. I have yet to find a way to work the stories together that feels natural to me. I am always so impressed with writers who are able to do this so that the easter eggs feel fresh and fun as you read 😍
For those of you that are into it—I’m a Gryffindor and an Aries and my patronus is a Pallas cat 😻
Thank you for stopping by and reading! If any more questions pop up, I’ll be sure to answer them.