I was born and raised in the Seattle area, with the exception of a few short stints in Phoenix, Boise, and San Jose. I had a colorful childhood, raised by a single mother who worked her butt off to make ends meet. She showed my brother and me how to enjoy life on a shoestring budget. She was the kind of person who, given the choice between paying a bill and taking us to the circus, would always opt for the circus...and somehow, she always managed to pay the bill. She was the one who taught me how to laugh.
My publishing career began at an early age, when I started making homemade coloring books with sheets of blank paper and a stapler, and then went door-to-door to sell them. Unfortunately, my neighbors had limited disposable income for such frivolous purchases, so I was forced to seek my fortunes elsewhere.
I first fell in love with writing (giving up my childhood dreams of being a Veterinarian, and then my later aspirations of "lady trucker") when I signed up for Journalism as my 7th grade elective. It was supposed to an easy A, but it soon became my passion. I moved on to be Copy Editor of the high school yearbook so that I could correct other people's writing mistakes and fill in when they missed their deadlines (and, hey, it was high school...deadlines were frequently missed!).
I still live in the Pacific Northwest, which is the ideal place to be writing anything dark or creepy...a gloomy day can set the perfect mood. I live with my husband and our three beautiful (and often mouthy) children, who serve as an endless source of inspiration for my writing.
A: I met my agent at the BEA writer's conference. You can read all about how I embarrassed myself (and still got the agent) here!
A: THE BODY FINDER was actually just a placeholder title so that I could find the file on my computer. It was more a description of what the main character could do than an actual title, but when I finished the book I still didn't have anything better so I submitted it as is. By the time the offer came in, I sort of thought that the publisher would change it anyway, so I made a list of alternate ideas. But they never did. Apparently, the title made it through the editorial and sales departments and they kept it. So, THE BODY FINDER it is.
A: There is! As a matter of fact, I'm happy to say that there are now four books in the BODY FINDER series! The second book, DESIRES OF THE DEAD, the third book, THE LAST ECHO, and the fourth book, DEAD SILENCE are all available.
A: I'm so glad you asked! There are currently three books, making it a trilogy. The first one, THE PLEDGE, released in the US in November 2011, and the second one, THE ESSENCE, on January 1, 2013. The third book THE OFFERING released December 31, 2013.
A: Lots of stuff, actually, although if you really want to know more, there's a short story about him, titled SKIN CONTACT, in the new ENTHRALLED anthology. All I can say is that some of his secrets will be revealed!
A: Freakin' Awesome! 'Nuff said, but you can read more about it here.
A: All of them. If you know me, you should totally try to figure out which one is you. (Kidding!)
A: At this point, the most direct way to request an ARC (an Advance Reviewer Copy) is to contact the publicists at either HarperCollins or McElderry (Simon & Schuster). I don't actually have ARCs for reviewers. If you email me, I will forward your information on to my publishers and hope that when they do have ARCs available that they have enough for everyone who has requested them. Unfortunately, I have no control over that. I wish I did, I would love for everyone to have one!
Saundra Mitchell (author of Shadowed Summer) did a great post on how publicists decide who to send ARCs to if you're interested in finding out more.
What are some things readers wouldn't know about you?
A: I have this really nice office upstairs, with a beautiful desk and shelves and a comfy chair... it even has a door that locks. And yet every day I get up and start writing downstairs in the kitchen, with the kids and the noise and the chaos. I seem to be addicted to pandemonium.
A: I'm embarrassed to even answer this question, because the honest answer is: too many. I love TV. I'm not one of those people who could live without the television and be satisfied. Even when I'm not actually watching it, I like the background noise. Again, that addiction to chaos!
A: I've been writing forever (meaning since junior high), and even had an agent in my early twenties, so it's funny that when I went to college that I didn't major in anything "authorly". I was a Biology major. And I was really good at it, taking classes like Cellular Biology, Calculus, Physical Chemistry, and Anatomy & Physiology. At one point, I really wanted to be a doctor. So, obviously, I became a writer instead.
A: I have. I wrote my first novel (now stuffed away in a file somewhere) when I was only twenty. Believe it or not, I actually had an agent for it, but it never reached publication. Thank god! That book made really, really good practice.
A: WAAAAAAITING... and then more waiting. I'm constantly jonesing for information, yet there are these long (and I mean LONG!) periods of time where I'll hear absolutely no news from my agent or editor. Someday, I may actually die from impatience. (That is a medical fact from a former almost-pre-med student!)
A: It's really cool when you get one of those unexpected calls or emails that something new has happened with your book and you have one of those "ohmygosh" moments when you can't believe that this is your life. But, honestly, the best part is finding out that someone else has read my book (my book!) and liked it. Enough to say so in public. And in writing! That is by far the best part of this entire journey. Seriously, I can't believe this is my life!