Q. If you could change the ending of any book (or series), which book would you choose? Why and to what?
I would absolutely change the ending to The Hunger Games. I was disappointed that Katniss basically retired into obsolescence living back in the district with Peeta and raising children. In some ways, I got it, but overall, it just left me wanting more for her. She’d been through so much and inspired so many that it was difficult to accept such a quiet ending to the tale. It made me feel that her spirit really had been broken.
Given the choice, I would have liked to see her take on a greater role in reshaping the Capitol. Katniss wasn’t quiter and returning to District 12 smacked of retreat. I also would have kept Gale in her life (as a friend) despite the obvious changes that severed their friendship. While Peeta was absolutely the right companion to balance her, Gale would have kept the spark alive!
Q. If you could write yourself a part in a book, what book would it be and what role would you play in that book?
Given the opportunity, I’d write myself into The Secret Circle. I read the series growing up and fell in love with the story and the main character, Cassie. L.J. Smith’s tale of witchcraft was a different world for me and I have to be honest and admit that the love story between Cassie and Adam had me on the edge of my seat. I remember not being able to get through the books fast enough!
So aside from the obvious benefit of magical powers, I guess I’d like to see what choices I’d make when confronted with such terrifying power and choosing between good and evil. Not to mention choosing between friendship and true love.
I heard the CW is going to be launching a TV series soon. Maybe I’ll watch, but then again, maybe not. Hollywood has a way of diminishing great stories sometimes.
Q. How have your reading habits changed since you were a teen? or If you are still a teen what new genres are you in love with currently?
My reading habits have changed a lot over the years and I think it’s fair to say I’ve come full circle! In my early teens I read a lot of Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine, Dean Koontz and Stephen King. Pretty much anything with a murderous or paranormal twist (although I never would have used the word paranormal at the time).
By the time I graduated, I’d moved on to thrillers and mysteries. I absolutely fell in love with Iris Johansen, Stuart Woods, and Tami Hoag. If they wrote it, I bought it. These books had it all: romance, mystery, suspense. I stuck with these authors loyally for years until my sister introduced me to the world of Stephanie Plum (my first foray into chick-lit) which had me cracking up and catching up since I was late to discover the series.
Eventually though I came full circle and found my way back to paranormal with Kay Hooper’s Bishop Special Crimes Unit series. When I ran out of my own favorite authors to read, I started raiding my younger sister’s book shelf where I came across Twilight and a myriad of other YA novels. I was hooked from the start and haven’t looked back since! In fact, I’ve got three of her books sitting in my book pile right now!
Q. Talk about the book that most changed or influenced your life (was it a book that turned you from an average to avid reader, did it help you deal with a particularly difficult situation, does it bring you comfort every time you read it?).
I’m marginally embarrassed to admit this, but the series that most recently and most heavily impacted my life is Twilight. Not because I’m ‘Team Edward’ or ‘Team Jacob’ or even because I think they’re the most amazing books I’ve ever read. For me, being handed a copy of Twilight brought me back to the world of YA literature and to a love of writing that I’d put on a shelf. Not only had I shifted away from YA literature to read more ‘adult’ books, I was spending more time attending to practical pursuits like paying the bills.
Twilight brought me back to the genre I enjoy most and has been a refreshing change which has also given me the courage to pursue my own writing further.
Q. Let’s step away from books for a second and get personal. What T-Shirt slogan best describes you?
So many t-shirts so little time! If I have to play by the rules (for once) and choose just one, this is the one that describes me best! When I’m not working or reading, I’m blissfully lost in my writing. Of course, if this were really my t-shirt, I’d spice up that cover with some glitter or some other sort of eye candy!
So much for playing by the rules. I had to include this one too because I’m not much of a cook and in my house the word ‘cereal’ is synonymous with breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Q. Name 3 authors that you would love to sit down and spend an hour or a meal with just talking about either their books or get advice on writing from?
I would love to meet (in no particular order):
1. Veronica Roth (Divergent) because I’m so impressed by her success at such a young age and because I”m dying to know what happens to Tris in book two, Insurgent. (Yes. I know she wouldn’t really tell me.)
2. Kiersten White (Paranormalcy) because she just seems like a really fun and creative person based not only on her published works but on her blog.
3. Cassandra Clare (The Immortal Instruments) because while I’m a fan of her work and she’s got plenty of them, she’s also got a lot of critics. I’d love to know how she deals with the negativity and how she maintains her focus.