When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I never realized this, per say. I kind of just became a writer. There were several points in my life where writing was all I wanted to do. I would wake up and start writing. I would be thinking about writing when I had to do something else. I would go to bed outlining plots and thinking about how to describe scenes. It got to the point where, if I wasn’t a writer, what exactly was I?

How long does it take you to write a book?

Not a long time at all. When I have a project I’m really excited about, I tend to get obsessive about it and work on it until it’s done. Which never seems to be all that long.

When it comes to “butt in chair time,” I have absolutely no problem with that. I get distracted by research or text messages, like everyone else, but I keep going back to my writing, over and over and over again. All of that adds up.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I consider my first book to be something I finished when I was 13 or 14. I think I still have a copy of it, somewhere on my computer, but I’m not super interested in reading it as I’m sure it’s terrible. But everyone starts somewhere and that’s where I started.

What does your family think of your writing?

My family doesn’t read my writing. Because it’s so intensely personal and often deals with trauma, I’m really okay with this. My mother did read one of my chapbooks a few years ago, Wake Me When It’s Over. She didn’t understand the poem that was about her and then thought a poem that was about someone else was about her. It was kind of a mess.

Also, the cats refuse to learn how to read.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I’ve written a slew of books but I love all my children equally. Seriously, there’s always something I enjoy about one book that isn’t present in another and vice versa. Each one is a different experience, it’s hard to contrast them.

Working on Into Love and Out Again was a fun experience. Mainly because I was editing with a super awesome editor and recording the audiobook was a great time.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Happy. I wanted to be happy. In fact, senior year of high school a teacher had us write out some goals. She mailed these goals to us five years later. I was in the middle of an awful depression when I got the letter and it felt pretty terrible to see that my high school self had written that I wanted to have a cat, write as much as I wanted to, and be happy.

It took some long, difficult years for me to find happiness. But I got here!