Thanks so much for stopping by Literary Cravings, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your road to publishing?
That would require me telling a very long story! Please wait while I go get a beverage. (Pause.) Ah, that’s better. But rather than the long story, how about the Cliff Notes version? I left my day job of 16 years in 1994 to start writing seriously. Over the next eight years I wrote seven novels before finally selling one, my sixth. During those eight years, in order to pay the mortgage, I worked as a book reviewer, freelance editor, sort-of librarian and window washer. To date, I’ve now sold 23 books in a variety of genres for a variety of age groups. So, as you can see, things got better.
How did you come up with the idea for The Twin’s Daughter and what was your writing process like?
I wanted to explore one of the untold stories of twins: the story of the child of an identical twin. And then somehow suspense, romance, mystery, murder and Victorian England entered into the mix. The process was longer and more deliberate than the majority of books I’ve written. The Twin’s Daughter is twice as long as any of my previous YA novels and only one of my adult novels is as long: the adult novel Vertigo.
Did you do any research for this particular book?
Surprisingly little. I’ve got a lifetime of reading Victorian fiction and watching Masterpiece Theatre in my pocket. Plus, I’d already done research for Vertigo and for The Education of Bet, a YA novel that’s also set in Victorian England. So mostly it was doing research on what specific books a girl like Lucy might read and some fashion plus design for the house.
What are your must haves during writing?
“General Hospital” at 3pm. I’m easy.
Do you have any niches you do while writing? Like listening to music,est? If so what do you do or listen to?
See answer to last question. Seriously, I almost never listen to music when I’m writing. I do love music but I can write with the TV on in most instances easier than I can with music playing.
Who was the easiest & hardest character for you to create?
Kit was the easiest. I love Kit and I’m finding that I suddenly write male characters with more ease than I write female ones. The hardest? I’m not sure any of them were necessarily hard. But perhaps the most challenging was Lucy’s mother, Aliese. She becomes increasingly complex as the story progresses.
If you had to pick a favorite mythical creature, what would it be?
Thanks to you I just googled and spent quite a bit of time looking at “Mythical Creatures.” Perhaps now I’ll have to write a novel about one? I don’t know. I want to say my favorite is the Jabberwock – so tempting! – but I think I’ll go for dragons. “Here there be dragons” – if not for dragons, we’d never know where terra cognita ends.
Since writing The Twin’s Daughter what are you working on next?
In 2011 my next YA comes out, The Middle March, about a contemporary teen with an unusual connection to Little Women. And now I think I need to go write a book about dragons. Or maybe the Jabberwock.