Was The Land of Yesterday the first book you’ve ever written?
No! It was the fifth novel I finished all the way to the end.
Did you always want to be a writer?
It honestly never occurred to me to become a writer until after my last child was born, but writing was always the one thing I could do better than anything else, something that came naturally. Still, as a middle grader I wanted to be Indiana Jones. (I still want to be Indiana Jones actually. I even named my last child after him).
What was the first thing you remember writing?
A Shakespearean sonnet at eight-years-old about my cat pooing on the dining room table. It had perfect meter and rhyme, and my grandmother liked it much better than my poem’s inspiration.
Where do your ideas come from?
What are some of your favorite books?
In no particular order:
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor (and everything else by Laini, too)
The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King
Kafka On the Shore by Haruki Murakami (and everything else by Murakami)
The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling
Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
And so many, many more.
What is your Hogwarts house?
I am a proud Ravenclaw!
Which character from Harry Potter do you most relate to and why?
That is a hard question, Kristin, why do you do this to me??? Okay, so I do have an answer for this:
My mind is Hermione Granger
My heart is Harry Potter
And my soul is Luna Lovegood.
(But my all-time favorite character will always be Sirius Black)
How did The Land of Yesterday begin?
This story quite literally sprang from the darkest, saddest parts of me. I’d written four books prior to this, two adult and two YA, all queried and ultimately rejected. After the certain death of book four, I fell into a whirlwind of despair, sure my dream of becoming a published author was over. I cried for three weeks. I was a monster to my family, and a sad meme to my writer friends. I’d fallen on the cutting room floor of my life and didn’t know how get up. But then, on December 19th 2014, while sobbing uncontrollably about my dead dream, snot and tears everywhere, the image of a sad girl with long midnight blue hair named Cecelia burst into my consciousness. She was in her bedroom crying and crying, her sorrow spreading out in a dark blue wave around her. Then, as her sadness grew, everything, including herself, began turning into paper. This girl looked at me then as if through a mirror in another world. And I knew right away, I was meant to tell her story. So I wiped my tears, got up off the floor, and began writing in a mad flurry of words. Three weeks later, The Land of Yesterday was born.
What is your favorite movie?
Adult: Monty Python and The Holy Grail.
Childrens: All the Harry Potter movies.
What's something about you that people might be surprised to find out?
I have synesthesia. When I write, I hear the beats of words like music. I can also smell colors, see the color of numbers, and feel the emotion of each. Words have corresponding colors as well, whole passages, and books, too. The most colorful book I’ve ever read is The Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which is like a rainbow. The darkest would have to be anything by Edgar Allen Poe.
Your worst habit?
I am a horrible fidgeter and am always moving.
If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?
If you love writing or drawing or singing or dancing or math or unicorn racing or making me cakes or riding hot air balloons into space or writing sonnets about cats relieving themselves on tables, or even becoming Indiana Jones, if you are passionate about something and you couldn’t imagine doing anything else, even if it seems impossible, if this is your dream, don’t let anything or anyone stop you from being exactly who you are or wish to be. Believe in your dream as if it has already come true. That is the real magic. And hey, I believe in you.