1. What inspired you to write Lucy's story?
The original idea for the story was sparked while I was reading a non-fiction book about how to pick up women. In the book groups of guys would go out together and use various social tricks to get ladies to like them/date them/sleep with them, etc. It was a bit gross, but also really interesting because you could totally see how these tricks might work on a lot of people. Then I started thinking about how it would be fun if there was a group of girls who did a similar thing.
Telling the story from the POV of a girl who got dumped seemed to be a good way in. Heartbreaking for sport is not relatable for most people (at least I’d hope not). But heartbreak is.
2. What made you decide to make it a tale of magic rather than a contemporary breakup story?
That is a very good question! I guess because I think a really common way to feel when one’s heart is broken is a) I wish that someone could fix my heart because this really sucks and b) if I get through this I am never, ever, ever going to get myself into this position again.
I wanted someone to be able to offer the main character both of these things and without magic, that wouldn’t have been possible. Also, magic is just fun.
3. Wherever Nina Lies and The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers are very different novels. Did you approach them in the same way or did their differences demand a change in your writing methods?
I approached them in a similar way, but not exactly the same way. For one thing, I didn’t really write SSH chronologically. I knew what I wanted many of the big scenes to be before I started writing and so sometimes I’d jump around. I think I wrote the last few scenes before I was even halfway finished. But with WNL I most of it in order. I’m not sure if this is because they were different types of books so much as I felt a little more comfortable with the process during SSH. That said one thing I learned while writing SSH is that at least at this point I like writing in first person much better. It wouldn’t quite have worked for the story to write SSH in first
4. What are your ideal writing conditions?
Ideally I’d be writing in a cozy café surrounded by other writing writer friends. The café would have huge windows through which we can see the fluffy snow falling outside. And at our feet there would be a variety of friendly dogs having a nice time quietly chewing bones.
But I’m happy writing anywhere that is the right mix of bustling and quiet.
5. What is your biggest distraction from writing?
Emails, Twitter, and Facebook. I love them TOO MUCH.
6. What is the best writing advice you've been given? What advice do you offer to other writers?
The best advice I’ve been given is the same advice I’d offer: Read constantly (and not just within the genre you might want to write) but when you are writing, write how you write, not how someone else writes.
Also read Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott if you haven’t already (and heck, if you have already, then read it again!)
7. If you could have dinner with any two authors (dead or alive) who would you pick and why?
Jane Austen and Maurice Sendak . I think they would both be excellent dinner conversationalists.
8. What is your favorite dessert? (These are the important things)
I absolutely love desserts and agree this is a very important question. And a very hard question. Hum, okay, how about a brownie-sundae made with one scoop vanilla and one scoop of mint chip ice-cream, whipped cream and hot fudge laid on top of a pumpkin pie.
9. Have you read anything awesome recently?
Yes! I just finished Why We Broke Up and thought it was wonderful. I wish I could unread it so I could read it for the first time again.