1. Skyler’s best friend and mom were her go-to confidantes. Who were yours when you were a teen?
My confidantes as a teen were…my best friend and my mom! I am still best friends with my high school best friend. Like Skyler and Layla, we’ve been tight since elementary school. She often encouraged bad ideas (still does!) and most of my adventures as a teen involved her. My mom is my other best friend. I tell her everything and she’s my favorite person.
2. If you could have dinner with one author, living or dead, who would it be?
This is SO hard to answer. Can it be a whole dinner party? I think I would choose Sarah Dessen, because she sparked my love for YA books, and she just seems like a kindred spirit.
3. In the movie adaptation of Every Little Bad Idea, who would you envision playing Skyler, Cole, and Skyler’s mom?
Can we transcend time and space? For Cole, I’d cast a young Jonathan Rhys Meyers. For Skyler’s mom, I’d cast Salma Hayek, as she was in Beatriz at Dinner. Skyler is tough! I would probably cast Gina Rodriguez, because I love her, or Alexis Bledel, because Skyler is a bit like Rory Gilmore.
4. Who inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was around five, so I’d probably credit LeVar Burton of Reading Rainbow. But I was inspired to become a YA writer by Sarah Dessen and a verse writer by Ellen Hopkins.
5. Describe a day in the life of writing Every Little Bad Idea.
I started writing this book on a vacation in Maine, in a very beautiful beach house. Waves lapping, birds calling. But most days, it was just writing a poem or two in my office before work—my cat walking across the keyboard—and hoping it would all come together at some point!
6. How was the experience of writing in verse?
It was oddly natural. I’ve never been a professional poet, so I was surprised when my sentences started arranging themselves into stanzas so easily. I love the playfulness of the form. The white space. Creating a full world with fewer words. Go verse!
7. Hardcover or eBook?
Hardcover! I’ve never read a full eBook…
8. Pen and paper or computer?
Computer. I’m very bad at writing on paper.
9. Most dog-eared book on your shelf at home.
Probably Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti. I rarely reread books, but I needed this one more than once in high school and college for its wisdom.
10. Favorite snack to fuel your creative writing.
A fresh pastry and cinnamon tea.
11. What are you cooking up next?
Another verse novel. I’m hooked on the form! I won’t give too much away, but this one is a bit darker than my first novel. There may even be a ghost…