Describe your latest project.
Singer in the Snow is a science fantasy about the ice world Nevya, where the people's survival depends upon the power of music. Singers focus their psi power through their music in order to create the light and warmth necessary to sustain life, as Nevya has no technology. In this novel, the young Singer Emle is struggling with her Gift; she is sent to assist the mute Cantrix Mreen on her first assignment; and the two girls meet a young stableman, Luke, whose stepfather is making his life a misery.
If you could choose any story to live in, which story would it be? Why?
I'm in love with Middle Earth. If I could live in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, I would be so happy. Of course, I would be an elf. Nothing else would do.
Introduce one other author you think people should read, and suggest a good place to start.
I love Sharon Shinn's fantasies, especially the young adult ones. The Safe-Keeper's Secret and The Truthteller's Tale are great reads!
Describe your most memorable teacher.
Mrs. Johnston, who taught me in the fifth and sixth grade, introduced all of us to the most wonderful literature. She read The Secret Garden aloud to us, every word. Often we begged for another chapter, and she gave in! But I have to say my mother was also a great teacher for me. My mother was a reading teacher, and she loves books of every genre, including mine. She's my first reader for almost all my manuscripts, even now.
How did the last good book you read end up in your hands?
It was recommended to me by a friend, always the best way to find a great book. It was The Speed of Dark, by Elizabeth Moon.
What was your favorite story as a child?
The Wizard of Oz! I was lucky, because my school library carried a whole series of them. I couldn't get enough of Oz and its characters.
What do you do for relaxation?
I read, of course, and I spend a lot of time with my Scottish Terrier, Piper. There's a picture of him on my website.
What is your idea of bliss?
Writing, rewriting, and then seeing my work in print.
Share an interesting experience you've had with one of your readers.
The most interesting experience with my young readers is watching them grow up through their e-mails! They start out with fan messages that are clearly written by kids, and then, year by year, they get more sophisticated, go to high school, even go to college. One of my fans, who I acquired when she was only thirteen, recently married. All grown up!
Describe your pets.
Piper is a white Scottish Terrier, two and a half years old now. He loves obedience training and running at the dog park, and he sleeps on our bed at night. He's a terrier, so he's stubborn, smart, and fiercely loyal, and he's passionate about squeaky toys.