1. My beating teenage heart is a very emotional book, how did you feel writing it? And how did you feel after it was complete?
It was such a relief to be done (it always is) but during it I felt pretty down. Working on acutely emotional material like that it’s impossible not to be affected by it so there were months and months that I felt like I living was under a cloud. Even so I didn’t realize just how much of an impact the book was having on me until I was finished and started to feel better. The sun began to shine again. I have to admit I usually feel a certain amount of separation anxiety from the characters once I put a book aside though.
2. What do you love most about writing and/or being a writer?
I feel so lucky that I’ve been able to spend so much time writing. I can’t imagine lie without it, to be honest. It would leave a gaping hole. Being a writer is like being able to live other lives. I think it’s similar to being an actor in that way. You get to put yourself in situations and places you may never have been in during your real life. It also makes you more observant and a better listener, more empathetic.
3. When you write, do you write from memories or create something new?
The storylines and characters are always purely creations but small things from real life find their ways into the books, like the roof-climbing kid Sasha babysits in I Know It’s Over (I used to babysit a boy like that – you’d turn your head for a second and he’d run off to do something he shouldn’t). Also, the town Breckon and Ashlyn live in in My Beating Teenage Heart is very similar to where I live; even the town next door to it mirrors the town next to mine. Boleyn’s, this café with live music that Breckon has been planning to go to play some tunes, is a mixture of CJ’s Café in Bronte and C’est What in Toronto. Breckon’s dog Moose is exactly like my in-laws’ Pomeranian, Mulder. I pictured Mulder and the way he’d act every time I wrote about Moose.
4. What should readers get or learn from reading your novels?
Sometimes people can be judgmental or impatient about situations other people are in (whether that’s teen pregnancy or getting involved with what appears to be the wrong person) and I’d love it if my books could help people be more empathetic and understanding. We all find ourselves in tricky situations at some point. Things are rarely black and white, more commonly they’re countless shades of gray. Also I want people who are in difficult situations themselves to know that things can and will get better and that they shouldn’t be afraid reach out to friends, parents or other people who can help them.
5. Do you have any hidden talents you can tell us about?
I’m not sure if it qualifies as a hidden talent but maybe not everyone knows that I’ve been designing my own website from the very beginning. I love fooling around with fonts and various designs and I get bored with whatever the current look of my site is very quickly and as a result probably change it too often. I can also do the Rubik’s cube and travel through time (okay, one of those is a lie!).
6. Which one of your characters are you most like?
My editor asked me this once a few years ago and my answer now is the same one that I gave her then – Finn from One Lonely Degree because she’s a big-time introvert, doesn’t like the type of people who do things just because everyone else is, desperately wants to go to London (like I did at that age) and is really into music. I think there are aspects of me, to varying degrees, in the main characters from all my books so far though.
Thank for stopping by!! :)