1.Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Norco, California. It’s a small town about sixty miles outside of LA.
2. What was your family like?
I’m both an only child and the baby of the family because although I have two older sisters, we didn’t grow up together. My dad designed and sold air compressor systems and my mom was a dog breeder.
3. Who has had the greatest impact on your life?
For me, it’s not a who so much as a where. I went to college at the Johnston Center for Integrated Studies at the University of Redlands. Johnston is an experimenting college where students contract for classes, design their own degree program, and receive narrative evaluations instead of grades. I owe a lot of who I am and what I believe to the people – students, faculty, family, and friends – who helped create my Johnston experience.
4. What inspired you to write Fancy White Trash?
I was driving home from the post office when the first paragraph of FWT popped into my head. I wrote the first four pages that afternoon and then the whole thing kind of avalanched.
5. Favorite snack while writing?
Hmm, I don’t snack while I’m writing but I do drink a lot of water.
6. Favorite city?
7. What are you reading now?
Small Favor by Jim ButcherTemptress Four by Gaby Triana
8. Most embarrassing moment?
When I was on a field trip in second grade at Sea World, I puked all over the bounce house. The chaperon took me to the gift shop to buy some new clothes. I changed and ran back to the bounce house, where I promptly puked again all over the new clothes, my classmates, and the chaperon.
9. Place where you were/are the happiest?
I am happiest on the beach, soaking up the sun.
10. What do you like best about writing for a teen audience?
Every teen book has some kind of ‘coming of age’ element, and I really enjoy exploring that place where people decide what kind of person they’re going to be. I like writing about the drama of making choices and the magic of first love.