It took 9 years. Not because I’m a genius, or because it’s a masterpiece, but because life happens! I was working full-time, I had two babies, I lost my mother and sister…and all those things can make writing very difficult. Sometimes, life happens, and you have to let things sit.
Were any of the characters personality/traits taken from people in your life?
Charlie has little bits of my emotions, and certainly my scars, but her story is different than mine. If you are a writer, real life does creep into your work–how can it not!–because people are cool, awesome, strange, dangerous, and say the most interesting things. And you might give somebody’s funny or sad line to a character, or maybe a hairstyle–but those are window-dressing, really. Characters are funny that way–they take on a life of their own. They live on the page.
What’s one message you want people to get most from Girl in Pieces?
That it’s okay to be you.
Do you have any new works coming out soon in the near future? Is there anything you are allowed to tell us if so?
My next book is scheduled for summer of 2018 and right now, it’s called Seriously.
It’s a about a girl named Tiger; grief; skateboarding; first kisses; and the sister she never knew she had.
What was your favourite read or 2016 and why?
Ahh! That question. I read so many great books in 2016 that it’s hard to say just one. I’ll mention, instead, some books that I think deserve a little extra attention: Teach Me to Forget, by Erica Chapman; Unscripted Joss Byrd, by Lygia Day Penaflor; Learning to Swear in America, by Katie Kennedy; and The Killer in Me, by Margot Harrison.
Did you have any second thoughts about publishing? If so how did you overcome them?
I never had any second thoughts because I never knew what to expect! At first, I felt a little naked after the book came out–like I said, some of Charlie’s feelings stem directly from my experiences with self-harm–but then I started to get the most heartfelt letters, videos, poems, and artwork from readers who were grateful that I’d told Charlie’s story, because part of her story was their story, and they finally felt heard. And that….made everything worthwhile, and still does.
Where did you find the courage to write such a powerful and touching novel that so many could say they relate to?
My mother and sister died while I was writing the book. I lost several layers of emotional skin. I was open in a way that I will probably never be again–and that’s where a lot of the book–the loneliness, the fear, the longing, the wanting to be loved, and to not be alone–comes from.
Would you have changed anything in the books final draft now that it’s published?
Quick Round of Fun Questions:
Carne Asada enchiladas with green chile and a huge, icy Coke.
Toni Collette. Would. Watch. Her. In. Anything. (P.S. I totally want her to play Ariel if a movie of Girl in Pieces ever happens)
Dream Place to Visit?
Last Movie you watched?
Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster
A Book that you Adore?