1) You've written books for adults, teens, and kids. Do you find that one age group is easier to write for than another?
Not really - each has its own challenges and rewards. How's that for starting out the interview with a boring answer? One thing I will say, anyone who thinks writing for teens or children is easier than writing for adults is all wet. Yes, the word count is lower, but the responsibilities are greater and there's a demand to tell a tighter story.
2) Your series for kids, The Sisters Eight, is written with your husband and daughter. Do you three ever run into problems while writing? Disagree about what should happen? How do you fix those problems?
We really don't run into problems and here's why: I'm "The Pen," the one of we three who actually puts our story into words on paper, and since I'm also the only one crazy enough to try to keep what will eventually total over one thousand manuscript pages of material in her mind, I am granted final veto power. I don't have much power over anything in life, so I cling to this one thing like a madwoman.
The Idea Fairy visited me? No, really, I was in New York doing a round of editor meetings, and it just hit me: Gorgeous Girl (Beauty) + Boy Thought Crazy With Hooks For Hands (Beast) could potentially = Interesting Story.
4) Which of your characters do you most identify with?
Now that's a really tough question. If we're talking Crazy Beautiful, it's probably the librarian father because I've never been as gorgeous as Aurora or as tragically misunderstood as Lucius. Truthfully, my characters are never modeled on me but there is definitely a piece of me in each of them. Oh, and if you find any of my characters to be hysterically funny? That would definitely be me. (Kidding!)
5) What's the best writing advice you've ever received?
If I may be immodest, it's the advice I always give: Read, read, read everything you can get your hands on, because you can't be a good writer without first being a good reader; and always remember, the only person who can ever really take you out of the game is you.
Everyone. The greats make me want to aspire higher and the not-so-greats give me hope.
7) What do you think would be the worst part of having hooks for hands?
Not being able to physically touch the people I love in the way I'm used to. Of course there would still be physical contact. But the feeling I get when I check on my sleeping daughter at night and touch her cheek with the back of my hand? There's no equal replacement for that.
8) If you could tell your teen self one thing, what would you tell her?
I'd tell myself to stop rushing to grow up! Don't most kids always want to be a little older so they can do this or that thing, wishing their own lives away so they can move on to something more exciting? Truth is, once you're an adult, you'll be an adult for a very long time, barring disaster, so there's no point in rushing into it. Sometimes I think one of the keys to human happiness is knowing how to be content with where you are in life at the moment.
10) Opinion of Edward Scissorhands? Also, which would be worse: having hooks for hands, or scissors?
Thanks Lauren! :D