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Q: Why did you decide to start writing?
A: Writing is an escape for me, just like reading. The first time I considered writing was while running in the fall of 2009. I was thinking about which novel I wanted to read next, which led to contemplating "Anne's ultimate escape novel." What would that look like? I turned that question over while listening to the sounds of my favorite idea-inspiring band, Muse, and by the end of my workout, I had the premise for a book. I strode through the door, sat down in my sweaty running clothes and wrote the first chapter. It wasn't long after that I realized I had found my passion.
Q: When do you find time to write?
A: Whenever I can fit it in! I wish I could say I have a set schedule, but I don't. Like so many authors, I'm juggling—full time work, kids, spouse, all of that. But even if I don't have my computer with me, I always carry a notebook. I have written in parking lots, in waiting rooms, you name it.
Q: When you write a novel, does the story evolve as you write or do you have a basic idea from the beginning of how the story will unfold?
A: Surprisingly, it evolves as I go. I say surprisingly because with my engineering background, you would think I would plan and outline everything. I don't. What often happens is that I will write a scene, the first chapter, for example, and then I'll write a second scene, something that doesn't happen until three quarters of the way through the book. I know that those scenes must be in the novel, so then I go about figuring out how to connect the two.
Q: Away from your computer, do you catch yourself thinking about your characters—almost as though they're real?
A: Yes. Although, I probably shouldn't admit how much time I spend doing so. My brain loves to slip away into the worlds I've created and then I just hang out there.
Q: Do you let your characters guide where you go or do you have a plan for how they'll evolve?
A: Mostly, I let them guide me. It often happens that I'm writing a scene of dialogue and the character says something that I would never have anticipated and it changes their course, just like that. I love it when that happens. I suspect every writer does. It's what makes writing so fun. You just never know what's going to flow out of your brain and through your fingers on the day.
Q: How long did it take you to receive an offer of representation from a literary agent?
A: Eleven months. Like most authors, I had accumulated a healthy pile of rejections prior to being offered representation. In fact, when my agent first contacted me after reading my full manuscript, she did not offer representation. She liked my work, but had a lot of questions. We spoke on the phone, I took several pages of notes, and went back to the drawing board. Two and a half months later, I resubmitted, and finally received that precious "yes."