Random questions answered here for your amusement (er, okay, mine.)
Q: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
A: I've always been a writer, so there was really no "want". But in terms of when I knew I wanted to be a published author, then I'd say August 2008. That's when I started writing Creep, and about thirty pages in, I felt in my bones that if I could just finish the book, I might have a shot at getting it published.
Q: How did you get your agent?
A: I survived Query Hell. I had no connections, no referrals, no introductions. I wrote the best query letter I could (I actually sent out three different versions), sent them out to agents I felt would be a good fit for my novel, and crossed my fingers. Three months in, I got an offer of representation. I signed and didn’t look back. You can read all three versions of my query letter for Creep here. And you can read about the day I signed here. And you can read about my book deal here.
Q: Do you really need an agent to get a novel published?
A: Actually, you don't. There are many ways to publish your work. I opted for the traditional route, and for that I needed a literary agent.
Q: Why do you write thrillers?
A: The best answer I can give is that I write in the genre I love to read. I've been reading thrillers my whole adult life. That, and I love to write villains. Bad guys (and girls) rock.
Q: Your favorite book of all time?
A: IT, by Stephen King. It's a thousand-plus pages long, has seven protagonists who are all eleven years old, and they have to defeat a monster who can change into their worst nightmare whenever It feels like it. I first read this book when I was eleven years old, and every word felt authentic to me. I've read IT a dozen times since, and every time I get something different out of it.
Q: What's your favorite kind of chocolate?
A: I am not a chocolate snob. I will eat anything from a fifty-cent Hershey bar to a three-dollar Godiva truffle. The only kind of chocolate I don't particularly like is white chocolate. I don't care how sweet it is, chocolate should always be brown.
Q: Why are you a cat person?
A: Because they're small and self-cleaning! Duh.
Q: Your best writing tip. Go.
A: I have four: Read a lot. Write a lot. Ask for feedback. Learn from it.
* * *