I’m a real Anglophile. I love all things British—the accent, the cathedrals, the literature. Any culture in the world can produce one Shakespeare, or one Churchill or one Beatles. Somehow, this tiny, soggy island in the North produced all three. And then some. I’ve been to England twice and hoping to go again in the Spring, taking a stop by Scotland (and any Brits out there, contact me and I’ll treat you to a “cuppa.”)
If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
The future. I’d hopefully get some winning lottery numbers while there. Maybe re-evaluate my stock options. I confess, I have no desire to go to the past—I’m sure I’d catch the Black Plague, be hit by a stray arrow, or catch a germ and die of something “simple” like strep throat. And as much as I love some Don Draper and 60s fashions, it can’t outweigh the racism/sexism/Cold War downside of that era.
What is one book everyone should read?
“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.
If you were a superhero what would your name be?
I would be White Trash. All the garbage of the world must do my bidding, and I can mold it into airplanes and attack cobras and cool stuff like that. Plus, every time I use my powers, I reduce landfill waste by 10 percent.
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
Other than the ability to make George Clooney fall in love with me? Well, it would have to be the ability to stop/manipulate time. That would be awesome. Stop time, take a nap, do some shopping, get the gym to yourself, then start it again. Also, I could make fun things (like Christmas) last longer and unpleasant things (like yearly exams) go faster.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
I’m slightly lactose intolerant, but gelato doesn’t seem to bother me. I’d have to say banana.
If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?
William Shakespeare. His work is still being produced 300+ years later, meaning he had an incredible insight into human nature and the human condition. Plus, I think he would know where all the good parties are.
Night owl, or early bird?
Night owl. I feel like all the ideas are out there, alone, just waiting for me to grab them out of the dark.
Close talkers. Seriously. Freaks. Me. Out.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
You’ll learn about synesthesia—the most fascinating medical condition I’ve ever encountered.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I’m just now releasing “Lit Pics”—which is kind of like Pictionary / educational tool that features abstract drawings of classic literature.
I’m also working on a middle grade fantasy novel in the same vein as the Narnia chronicles and the Taran Wanderer series. I’m hoping to have that ready by early 2013.
What inspired you to want to become a writer?
This is strange, but I can’t imagine a time when I did NOT want to be a writer. I wrote my first “book” when I was five. I have no idea why I started it or what drew me to it. Since then, I have always wanted to be a writer. I guess I have kind of taken it for granted that I always knew what I wanted to be when I “grew up.”
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
My first book was “Saint Jude,” which was about a teen with bipolar disorder. It was traditionally published by a small indie publisher (when the rights reverted to me, I put it on Kindle.) My publisher forwarded a letter that was written to me from a teen in Pennsylvania who had found the book at her high school library. She had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and she felt that the characters in the book made her feel like she was not alone.
The bottom line is that’s why we write. It’s not to make the big bucks or win the Pulitzer Prize (though that would be fantastic). C.S. Lewis said we write to know we are not alone. If my book reaches one person and makes him/ her smile or laugh, then it is worthwhile. As writers, we must never lose sight of the significance of stories.
If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world. which would it be?
Probably the Narnia chronicles. I’d love to ride into battle with Aslan with a butt-kicking bow and arrow. Plus talking animals. You can’t beat that.
What is your dream cast for your book?
There are few things more fun than casting your book!
Mallory, the girl with synesthesia (a condition where you see words as colors), would be Elizabeth Moss (Peggy from “Mad Men”)
David, the infatuated psychologist, would be James Franco
Rochelle, the “Saint Francis in a leather jacket” would be Hillary Swank
River, the schizophrenic kayaker, would be Natalie Portman
Stephen, the washed-up (former) Christian rock singer would be Jake Gyllenhaal (true story: I once briefly worked with his uncle. )
Liam, the creepy blind dude, would be David Tennant (of Doctor Who. Look him up. He’s talented and gorgeous. I’d watch him read the phone book for two hours. )
Wendy, the gospel singer, would be Jennifer Hudson
Tad, NYPD wanna be, would be Matthew McConaughey (because I think he’s a closet redneck)
Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?
Although I do not consider myself an overtly devotional writer, there is a hymn that figures strongly throughout the entire piece because of its lyrics about seeking redemption. It’s “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” I prefer the upbeat, acoustic, version by Jadon Lavik found here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDYKZnf-eYY&feature=related
If you could be one of the Greek Gods, which would it be and why?
Athena, goddess of wisdom. Because you can be the goddess of love, and people will mess with you, you can be Apollo, sun god, and your kid steals your chariot and nearly burns the earth. You can be any of the Greek gods and have all kinds of crazy drama going on. But wisdom—that’s something you can take to the bank. Athena knows better than to get involved in all the Greek god soap opera. She’s like the honey badger. She does her thing and she don’t care.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
London. I love the architecture and the history of the city—it just seems to glow with character.
What is your favorite Quote?
“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. What we do to the web we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” —by Chief Seattle.
Who are your favorite authors of all time?
Tough one. I’d have to go with Ray Bradbury, John LeCarre, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Aaron Sorkin (no one writes dialogue like him!), Billie Hinton, Cormac McCarthy, C.S. Lewis, Emily Bronte, and of course, Mr. Shakespeare.
Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
I can see myself in all my characters. Essentially, all characters are an extension of the author—maybe not ALL of the author, but still, the characters have certain facets of our personality. I think the best characters represent the deep fear we have within ourselves, the dark side we have that we are afraid to show anyone.
What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had?
In college I wrote a short story about a woman who wakes up and discovers Satan in her bathroom taking a shower. I converted it into a one-act play and it won a contest and was given a full production.
What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Don’t mistake things that are urgent for things that are important.
I can play the diggeridoo.
What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?
The remake of The Great Gatsby. I can assure you, I’m quite obsessed with that book (as a quick look at my blog would show you.) Mr. DiCaprio, while I have the utmost confidence in you, Do. Not. Screw. This. Up.
Which authors have influenced you most how?
Three in particular: 1—Rod Serling. I remember back in 7th grade being fascinated by old “Twilight Zone” reruns on PBS. He had that innate sense of human nature, and a keen grasp on what frightens us. 2—Ray Bradbury. His stories were so “out there,” so fantastically science fiction and even a bit philosophical. 3—Flannery O’Connor. There’s something about her take on the Southern experience that is both grotesque and religious at the same time. Her story, “The River,” is my all-time favorite.
What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you’d be embarrassed to admit?
South Park. It’s so crude, vulgar and politically incorrect…and I still laugh out loud.
Favorite places to travel?
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Genre – Contemporary / Literary Fiction
Rating – PG
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