1. Is there a specific time or place that you do your best writing in?
I do most of my writing in my study, surrounded by tall, tall built-in bookshelves that are stuffed with my favorites. They keep me company like old friends. I also like meeting writer friends at coffee shops to write--somehow it's harder to take "breaks" and surf the web when a writer you like and admire is tapping away across from you!
2. Who were your favourite authors as a teenager? Are they different to your current favourites?
As a teen, some of my favorite authors were L.M. Montgomery (a fave now and since I was 8 or 9), Lois Duncan, Mildred Ames, anybody who wrote for the Sunfire Romance series... I especially liked creepy stories with paranormal or sci fi elements. These days, I read YA almost exclusively and have so many favorites. One of my recent favorites is James Dashner's MAZE RUNNER.
3. If you were only allowed to take three books to a desert island, what would they be?
Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery. The True Meaning of Smekday, by Adam Rex (because it makes me laugh out loud and I still quote it, a year after reading it). And an anthology of the best-ever science fiction short stories.
4. Is there a novel that you wish you’d written? Why?
Well, gee, I think one hundred authors could have the same idea and produce one hundred entirely different books... so I can't say there's another book by another author that I wish I had written. Of course there are plenty of authors I admire. Right now I'm still swooning over Lev Grossman's THE MAGICIANS... the detail, the character development, the fact that I never wanted to skip a single word... (rare for me)
5. What inspired you to write Candor?
I've always been freaked out by brainwashing and mind control. Back when my family was living in a planned community in Florida, I was out walking the dog and the mosquito truck drove by. It sprayed the "harmless" citrus spray all over us and I thought, "what if this stuff had Prozac in it? what if it made everybody here happy and friendly?" From there I jumped to brainwashing through messages hidden in music... not too tough when you're living in a town that plays music OUTSIDE when you're in the downtown area!
6. The ending of Candor is heartbreaking; it made me cry! What made you end it in that way!
Once I thought of it... after many drafts... I felt like there was no other way it COULD end. I'm not a big fan of neat endings!
7. Most dystopias are set far in the future. Why did you choose to set Candor in the present?
I love writing stories that could be happening this very minute... that you can imagine you might be in the middle of, if your life had taken a different path.
8. Are you working on anything at the moment? Can you tell us anything about it?
I am currently revising DROUGHT, another book for teens that Egmont USA will be publishing. It's a dark fantasy set in the woods of upstate New York, this time with a girl for a main character.