Q: In what order do I read your books?
A: Glass is the sequel to Crank, so comes after. Fallout is a companion to those two, and comes after. The others are totally different stories and can be read in any order. If it interests you, I wrote them in this order: Crank, Burned, Impulse, Glass, Identical, Tricks, Fallout, Perfect.
Q: What happened at the end of Burned? Will there be a sequel?
A: I purposely left the ending of Burned ambiguous, so readers could decide which way Pattyn goes. But in my mind, suicide was not an option. Revenge was. I never planned a sequel, but I now plan to write Smoke, from the POVs of both Pattyn and her sister Jackie. That book will likely be a 2013 YA.
Q: How about a sequel to Impulse? Tricks?
A: The funny thing is, I never planned a sequel to any of my books (not even Crank!). But I have had many requests for sequels, and they are always a possibility. But do see information on Perfect, below.
Q: Okay, so what happened to Cody at the end of Tricks?
A: Cody is still deciding, as much as he can in his condition, whether or not to come back. But I don’t think he’d leave his mom alone, do you?
Q: How is Kristina? Do you still talk to her?
A: Kristina is alive. Mostly stays clean, although she has relapsed. She struggles daily to make ends meet and care for the [youngest] three of her five children, who she had after she got out of prison. That is prison, after the jail time in Glass. She has some brain damage and health issues because of her use. Yes we talk, although she lives 500 miles away from me, so we’re not close. My hope for her is she’ll find a way to return to her art.
Q: What does she think about you writing books about her life?
A: First of all, the books are not only about her life. They are about my life, and the lives of our family members. The truth is, I started Crank as a kind of personal journey, to try and understand what had just happened to six years of my life… and what had happened to my beautiful daughter, no longer so beautiful. I didn’t start it looking for publication, let alone expecting the book to become the phenom it has. But the story inside is universal. Addiction, of one kind or another, touches almost everyone. As I wrote, I understood the importance of the story. Now that she’s clean, my daughter understands its importance, too.
Q: How is “Hunter?” Does he know the facts about his life?
A: “Hunter,” aka Orion, is a brilliant, handsome young man. Yes, he knows the facts about his life. For a little more, please see my Bio (About) page here.
Q; Will you ever make your books into movies?
A: Movies aren’t really up to me. A film company has to take an interest. That said, there is some interest, so it’s always possible!
Q: Are you writing anything now?
A: My next YA novel is Tilt, which is a companion to my adult novel, Triangles. In writing Triangles, these great teen characters came to life, demanding a book of their own. It is about how parental problems affect families, especially when younger family members have problems of their own, and deals with a sibling’s death, falling in love with someone who is HIV positive, teen pregnancy and giving too much of yourself away to please an abusive boyfriend.
Q: Are you writing anything now?
A: I’m currently writing my second adult novel, Collateral, about deployment and what that means to those left behind. After that I will start Smoke, the sequel to Burned. When those are finished, there will be more, so the answer is: I’m always writing something, and never plan to stop. Writing is my heart.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration for your stories? Are they all based on real life experiences?
A: The Kristina books are based on my family’s real life experiences. The others are totally fiction, although there are threads of real people/situations in them. Inspiration comes from many places. Friends. Family. In the news. And yes, sometimes from readers.
Q: Will you write my story?
A: Again, reader stories often serve as inspiration for characters or story threads in my books. But I don’t want to write someone else’s story for them. Some day, they might want to write it themselves. And it would limit my ability to let my characters talk to me and tell me their own stories.
Q: Will you read my stories or poetry and comment?
A: Unfortunately, I can’t. There are legalities involved, but also it’s a matter of barely having enough time to fulfill my responsibilities and still write!
Q: I want to write my own books. How do I start? How do I publish?
A: Start here, on the For Writers page. I DO NOT recommend self-publishing. If a publisher wants money from you, that is self-publishing. Why not try to get paid for your writing instead? And remember writing is a journey. It may take years to publish, but that’s okay. Everything you write is a learning experience. And often the perspective gained along the way makes your storytelling deeper.
Q: Can you recommend some authors?
A: There is so much great YA out there! Some of my faves are (in alphabetical order) Laurie Halse Anderson, Heidi Ayarbe, Holly Cuppola, John Green, Pete Hautman, A.S. King, David Levithan, Jandy Nelson, Cheryl Rainfield, Neal Schusterman, Laura Weiss, Carol Lynch Williams, Michelle Zink. . . and the list goes on!
- Favorite color: RED!
Biggest vice: Red wine
Pets: Two German shepherds, one cat, inside and outside fish
Favorite music: Rock, grunge, some country, big band
Favorite band: Pink Floyd
Music when I write: None
Favorite TV show: American Idol
Favorite food: Fries (but I avoid them, or else . . .!!)