Why don't you have a bio section?
Because I hate writing about myself.
But wouldn't that be easier than answering a whole bunch of FAQs?
Maybe. Probably. Go on...
So where are you from?
I'm from Los Angeles, but now I live in San Francisco. Except for the summers where I go back to Los Angeles in search of the sun.
What are you doing when you aren't writing?
Laundry, usually. Sometimes dishes. And I really like to walk near the Golden Gate Bridge.
Why don't you run instead of walk?
Running is hard. And I'm sort of lazy.
Have you ever had a real job?
Yes. Of course I have. I've waited tables, worked with adolescents in foster care, read the slush pile at a publishing house, and fact checked for a movie magazine. I also worked for FRONTLINE on PBS and Peter Jennings at ABC. I went to law school, which I know doesn't count as a job, but hey, that was a lot of work.
What's your writing day like? Do you stick to a routine?
I like to write in the mornings. Sometimes that means I have to get up really early. I try to write 700 words a day -- about three pages. I know there are lots of writers out there who can write way more than that. I know this because writers like to tell you about how many words they've written on FACEBOOK. So I try not to look at FACEBOOK when I'm writing. And anyway, I've learned that 700 words are about all I'm good for on any given day, and if I write more than that I usually end up getting rid of most of it later.
What, are you lazy or something?
I already told you I'm lazy. But seriously, 700 words are a lot of words. 700 of them, to be precise.
Are your books autobiographical?
Not really. Iíve been on vacation in Mexico, but everything went just fine and I had a lovely time. I'm not adopted, I've never told a lie that sent someone to jail, I've never built a house or had a brother go to war. But there are always things in my books that come from my life or from the lives of the people around me. It would be impossible to make up everything.
You used to write young adult fiction and now youíve written an adult book. What gives?
I started out writing young adult fiction because I was a young adult when I fell in love with reading and I can remember how books made me feel back then. How they provided both comfort and escape. That might make me sound like a shut-in, but I wasn't. I was just open to the experience books offered, probably more open than I am now as an adult. And I like writing for that sort of audience.
But young adult books have to, by definition, be about young adults. And after writing eight of them, I started to feel like there were adult issues and characters I was interested in exploring.
How come there aren't any vampires or wizards in your books?
Hmmmm... good question. Maybe I should write about vampires and wizards.
No, you shouldn't. You wouldn't be very good at that.
Thanks for the vote of confidence.
Did you wear a Soupy Sales sweatshirt when you were seven?
Does anybody even know who Soupy Sales is?
That's what the Internet is for. Don't avoid the question.
I'm sorry, is this really a Frequently Asked Question?
No. But, c'mon, tell us anyway.
Yes, I did. I loved it. It was yellow. And really soft.
Hey, I did other things besides wear that sweatshirt. I was a really good at soccer.
And I played the electric bass.
Now you're talking. That's cool. Were you in a band or anything?
No. I gave it up after a few months. But I did play it once in public dressed up in a chicken costume.
Okay. I think we might be done here.
You sure? Isn't there anything else you want to know about me?
If I think of anything I can just email you my questions, right?
Right. You can always send me an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org