I took a summer writing course for kids at UC Irvine when I was about twelve. That was the first time I realized that I might want to do this as a career. I wasn't thinking fiction per se, but I had a general interest in writing essays and liked the idea of contributing to a larger conversation. In high school I wrote for our yearbook and in college I began writing articles and ran a small zine on campus.
What's the story behind your latest book?
At its heart, the book is about the damage that one generation can inflict on the next and how we all tell ourselves things to justify our behaviors, good and bad. I wanted to write an untraditional love story that explored monogamy and technology in our fast-paced society. My protagonist, Georgina Park, is a young aspiring journalist and overall good girl. She decides to do one wild thing--have an affair with an older, married man--and the decision changes her life forever.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Crafting the overall story and getting so close to the characters that you feel sad to move on from them. And, the idea of having an impact on a reader is thrilling.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors are A.M. Homes, David Sedaris, Megan Abbott, Dave Eggers, Roxane Gay, Jeffrey Eugenides, Miranda July, Susan Orlean, Jonathan Safran Foer, and many more.
What is your writing process?
I have a general idea of the entire plot and structure, but it definitely takes a few drafts to get there. I write whenever the mood strikes--typically in the morning and early afternoon--as I'm not diligent enough to just sit and commit myself to a certain amount of pages each day. Sometimes I can churn out 80 pages in one sitting and other times I work on the same few pages for weeks.
What do you read for pleasure?
I enjoy reading a mix of genres and love when I can't put a book down. I most recently finished Katherine Dunn's 'Geek Love,' which blew me away. This year, I've loved reading Miranda July's 'First Bad Man' (I still think about it months later), Alissa Nutting's 'Tampa,' Jess Walter's 'Beautiful Ruins,' Gary Shteyngart's 'Super Sad True Love Story' and Margaret Atwood's 'The Handmaid's Tale," to name a few. I try to read one book each week and also read long form non-fiction and essays.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love reading, I go to Bar Method at least a few days a week, and enjoy cooking (especially with vegetables and herbs from our garden). I enjoy exploring all parts of Los Angeles, especially for food, music, and art, and travel anytime I can get away--my favorite place on earth is Kauai.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Paying the mortgage and the fact that I live in a beautiful city where the sun always shines--I feel excited to see what the day will bring.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I read on my iPad and still buy a ton of print books as well.
Describe your desk
I write at a glossy white Parsons desk from West Elm. It's usually pretty neat, but while I'm researching or writing there are endless notes around.
What are you working on next?
If you have a good idea for a novel let me know.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.