Describe your new book.
Glass is a YA novel-in-verse, and the sequel to my first novel, Crank. Both books are loosely based on my daughter's story of meth addiction. Glass walks readers forward from where Crank leaves off, and follows Kristina as she returns to the lair of the "monster" drug, crystal meth. The book is a brutally honest portrait of addiction, and just how low even a "good girl" will go when caught in the snare of this terrible substance.
Describe your most memorable teacher.
I've had a lot of really great teachers, but the one I always think of first is my 5th grade teacher, Olive Simmons. She was the first to really acknowledge my love of creative writing, and to encourage me to become a writer, if that's what I wanted to do. I also learned something very important from her if I start a project, I need to finish it, and make it absolutely the best I can. We were studying the pilgrims and three or four of us volunteered to make hats for a play. It was tedious work, and everyone quit but me. I'm still proud of finishing those hats!
How did the last good book you read end up in your hands?
The last really great book I read was Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess. Her editor actually sent it to me for a jacket blurb. Though written in prose, much of her language is very poetic. Beautiful.
What do you do for relaxation?
For short term relaxation, I take a hot tub. It's my best way to unblock writers' block, too. For a bit longer relaxation, I enjoy camping. Just being in the wilderness, with no phones or computers or anything I have to do really refreshes my spirit.
Why do you write books for young adults?
I write books for young adults because I truly connect with them on some very deep level. They are our hope, our future, and inspiring them to be the best they can be is very important to me.
Share an interesting experience you've had with one of your readers.
I did a reading and book signing after Impulse published. Two young women were in the front row and afterward came up and asked if we could talk for a while. One was crying. Seems her brother Tony had recently died of a heroin overdose, and the parallels in Impulse hit her hard. The other girl happened to be a cutter, so she related to Vanessa. She has stayed in touch and as she struggles to stay away from drugs and self injury, she often emails or calls me, as her mother is largely absent. We have become very close.
Tell us about your pets.
We've got three great German Shepherds, all with distinct personalities. The youngest, Porsche, is a pup from a litter I bred, and I delivered her. When she was born, she wasn't breathing, and I gave her mouth-to-mouth. Today she's quite precocious. Yukon, our male, is the funniest. He deals with stress by carrying around giant rocks or chunks of cord wood. His passion is playing fetch the ball.
What's your favorite holiday and why?
Christmas is far and away my favorite holiday. I love everything about it, from the event that inspired it, hoping for a white one, to wrapping presents. But mostly I love having family and friends gathered, and sharing traditions. The one tradition my kids won't let me leave behind is Christmas morning cinnamon rolls (and I'm talking homemade from scratch, with yeast and honey) and butcher shop bacon. Yes, I can bake. And I'm handy with tools, too.