Why did you become a writer? When did the writing bug first bite you?
When I was a kid, definitely. It just felt like a natural extension of reading.
What’s your writing process like?
Fairly structured. I get up, head to a coffee shop, and do my best to write for five hours (five pages when I’m drafting, whatever comes first). Research is a favorite part of the process for me and can over-absorb me, so I’m finding I have to schedule it. Sometimes I set my alarm.
What are you trying to accomplish as a writer?
A big question! I can only answer it one book at a time, and each has a different trajectory, a different destination.
What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?
I think it was Jane Yolen who prescribed somewhere, “butt in chair.” A variation on “you can’t ‘find’ time to write; you have to make it and then guard it.”
What are you working on now?
A book of linked short stories about P.T. Barnum (or some of the people whose lives he touched) for a YA/crossover audience.
You’ll be a part of the Historical Fiction panel this year. Can you tell us a little about what you’re planning?
I think one focus will be the way I try to reach back with all five senses . . . and some strategies for doing that.