Sample these Author Profiles and Stories Behind the Stories, then follow the links to the full interviews.
"…the inspiration for her comes from a girl I knew growing up. I was her sometimes babysitter. Her mother was a guidance counselor and an alcoholic. Whenever I sat for the little girl it was like hanging out with a peer. She was older acting, a little rough around the edges, and competent. Too competent for age seven. One night she took care of me while I had the flu and later her mother came home drunk, so she cared for her too."
—on BURIED (YA)
"I see him as her conscience. And I also think of him as still in this world because she loves him so much. They were so connected when he was alive and, therefore, she can't quite let that go."
—on DRAWING THE OCEAN (YA)
“…the challenge was to make the story relate to today's teens, many of whom have never heard of 'The Iron Curtain' or 'The Wall.' The solution was in the relationships that cut to basic human nature and universal needs. Everybody loves a love story.”
—on EVA UNDERGROUND (YA)
"Grace was a little problematic. Sassy or clever characters are easier for me to write, I think, because they are so different from me. Grace has a lot going on, but initially it's under the surface."
—on HOW IT'S DONE (YA)
“After each trip, I'd settle back in at home with some tea and continue work on A GROWLING PLACE. It was probably one of the healthiest environments I could've been in at the time. Surrounded by the work of these storytellers, I went home each night and put their teaching to use.”
—on A GROWLING PLACE (PB)
"I wrote MAMA'S SARIS after realizing that my own obsession with my mother's fancy clothes was not unique. It seemed as if each of my female friends — regardless of ethnicity or age — remembers being enthralled by her own mother's 'grown-up clothes.'"
—on MAMA'S SARIS (PB)
"In late 2004, I wrote a short story that would linger in my mind for the next eight-to-nine months. Then in 2005, I wrote two novels--one that didn't work and the one that was an evolution of that short story. That novel became Wicked Lovely."
—on WICKED LOVELY (YA)
" I had to anticipate what my audience knew about vampires—I didn't want to do a vampire 101, but I also wanted to include enough information so those who where in the dark about vamps could follow along."
—on UNINVITED (YA)
“It started out as a short story, and when I found out there weren't many places printing YA [short] fiction, I decided, rather than abandoning it to a drawer, to flesh it out into a novel.”
—on I KNOW IT’S OVER (YA)
"Of course, a new editor meant more revisions. At the time, I thought the process would never end. Yet, looking back, I can see that each set of revisions made the story stronger."
— on ROSA SOLA (MG)
“I had originally told the story through only one character, a boy named Jack. The second time I added the other two characters, Ally and Bree, and I guess telling the story through three points of view made the difference.”
—on EVERY SOUL A STAR (YA)
“My computer was strangely silent as I wrote, offering me no feedback. It got lonely and depressing, and I wasn't doing a good job of communicating that to my editor. It's hard to interpret silence, and that was all I could come up with a lot of the time.”