What is your birthdate?
camp counselor, swim lesson instructor, english teacher
High school and/or college
I went to Daviess County High School in Owensboro, KY and Western Kentucky University (Go toppers!)
Name of your favorite composer or music artist?
Ooh . . . maybe How to Steal a Million or Rear Window.
Favorite television show
How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
I write books when my kids take naps.
How would you describe perfect happiness?
More specifically? Something like traveling with very little stuff in a place that's new and full of possibility.
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
With whom in history do you most identify?
Maybe that guy in the Gospel of Matthew who said "I believe, help me overcome my unbelief!"
Which living person do you most admire?
My friends Jodi and Jenny.
What are your most overused words or phrases?
Really? Actually . . . I've only learned these because of the way my daughter has begun to parrot me.
What do you regret most?
Not studying harder in French. Seriously.
If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
Maybe gardening. Or making my own clothes.
What is your greatest achievement?
A happy marriage.
What's your greatest flaw?
I'm a bit of a loner.
What's your best quality?
Who is your favorite fictional hero?
Who is your favorite fictional villain?
Uriah Heep. "HEEP!"
What is your favorite occupation, when you're not writing?
What's your fantasy profession?
Traveling schoolteacher. With an invisible jet. Fantasy, right?
What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
Honesty, creativity, and a sense of humor.
If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
Really perfect pears.
On Books and Writing
Who are your favorite authors?
Markus Zusak, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, Kenneth Oppel, Chris Crutcher, Sonya Hartnett, Gary Schmidt, Joan Bauer, Rebecca Stead, Sara Zarr, Bryce Courtenay, Laurie Halse Anderson, Nancy Farmer and so, so, so many more!
What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
The Book of Phillipians
I am the Messenger
Is there a book you love to reread?
Nope. Too many new ones to seek out! I reread occasionally, but not for pleasure.
Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
Don't camp too long on that first manuscript. Find another story and start telling it as soon as you can!
Unless otherwise stated, this interview was conducted at the time the book was first published, and is reproduced with permission of the publisher. This interview may not be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the copyright holder.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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