I'm bringing two other books across the finish line; one is my husband Ethan Saikin's forthcoming book, "The Pumpkins and the Green Slop Planet", the other is a book I helped co-author with retail luminary, John Ross called "Fire in the Zoo."
Who are your favorite authors?
I spent some time in the south and grew to love Reynolds Price and Clyde Edgerton.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on the westside of Los Angeles. First in a rent controlled apartment with my mom, later near Venice and in Mar Vista. I didn't know that I liked to write till my 9th grade teacher made us keep journals and it turned out I was good at it. I was free to be who I was in my journal and used to escape to the beach between classes to get away from my teenage life. I spent a lot of time later in college, also a beach town walking and being by myself. This practice taught me more about writing than any class I ever took.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I spent 13 years writing (or not writing) this book. I first felt called to write the story while living in Spain with an amazing woman who I rented an apartment from. Like the character in the book, Flores shared her life story with me which provided a deep well of inspiration for El Pintor Espanol.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not writing, I'm usually reading the news or chasing my two year old around. I spend way too much time reading online, but I love political intrigue and appreciate the extraordinary writing talent of many reporters and analysts.
What is your writing process?
My writing process mostly happens internally. I spend a lot of time writing in my head and when it is more fully developed, I sit down to write. However, I am a terrible procrastinator so having a deadline is important to me. That's why NANOWRIMO was so helpful to me in getting this book across the finish line.
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