Everything you wanted to know and a bunch of stuff you didn’t…

What made you want to become a writer?

In high school, my Freshman English teacher gave me an F on my first creative writing assignment. That F felt like the freaking Scarlet Letter, and I was pretty sure it didn’t stand for ‘fabulous.’ I worked my butt off on the next assignment, because I was determined to make her EAT that F. That second paper earned an A+, so I was happy. And addicted to writing.

But I didn’t seriously consider writing as a profession until later, when I was able to stay at home and really work at it.

I want to write! What should I do?

Write what you love rather than what’s popular. And then rewrite it. And when you think it’s really good, join a writer’s group. Be prepared for the feedback, because inevitably you’ll learn that you’re not as good as you thought you were. You’ll get better. You might lose all your hair in the process, but it’ll happen. At least that’s how it worked for me, minus the baldness part.

Where do you get your ideas?

Mail order.

I wish. But really, ideas are easy to come by; all you have to do is pay attention. I get ideas from music, headlines, and strange people I knew in college. For me, the key is figuring out how to put them together in new and interesting ways. You know how they say there are no new ideas? I think that’s probably true. But only you can put a bunch of different ideas together in your unique way.

How long does it take you to write a book?

About six months or so. Of course, that includes time spent taking care of my children, obsessively checking email, and naming my flock of zombie penguins.

Will you read my book?

If you make me a time machine, YES!

But seriously. I don’t have the time, so I’m afraid I can’t. On occasion, when I find the time (usually hiding under my bed), I do contests or auction away some manuscript feedback. Follow me around on social media (links in the sidebar to the left) to keep up to date with those things.

Is anything in your books inspired by real life?

One of my friends likes to say I’m really Kate Grable in disguise, and it’s true that we’re a lot alike. I’ve always been a neurotic geek girl. And I used to know a guy who made pseudo swords like Jonah. He spent his weekends running around his uncle’s vineyard with his friends, trying to beat the bleep out of each other with PVC. And like Dr. Ho, I’ve fallen off a cliff.

Come on. Do you really expect me to believe that you fell off a cliff? Because I don’t.

You should. Believe it, I mean. The kicker to this story is that I was taking a wilderness rescue course, learning how to save people who fall off cliffs. And I fell off. I like to tell people that I was trying to give the other students someone to practice on, but that’s really just an attempt to make myself feel less stupid.

It was a small cliff, but still. I feel pretty stupid.

Do you have bad taste in boys?

Well. My husband is pretty awesome, but my pre-hubby dating record includes a guy who got a cue ball stuck in his mouth, another guy who thought he was a werewolf, a mobster, and a guy who liked to drink red-tinted corn syrup at parties because he thought it made him look vampiric. I’d say my taste has improved, but high school and college Carrie didn’t have the best taste in boys. Remember that time machine request from earlier? I really need that.