Was there anything you had to edit out of the story that you wish you could have kept?
Not in this book, but in my last book ADRENALINE CRUSH there was a lot of character defining backstory that got cut for the sake of pacing and it still stings a bit. I even considered posting excerpts on my website of ‘deleted scenes’ but know that for a story to flow smoothly, it can’t carry too much baggage.
What are some writing rituals you go through before sitting down to write?
All I need is a caffeinated beverage and my two pups by my side. When there’s time I’ll do a partial roll through social media, but have to limit that or I’d never finish another book!
What was the main inspiration for the main character? Did she change over the course of writing the story?
I always knew I wanted Rory to be resilient and she absolutely remained that way, but as I told her story she surprised me with her willingness to open up and be vulnerable. I was proud of how much she managed to grow through the course of the story.
What was the weirdest thing you needed to research for the story?
As research for the book I got insider advice on painting graffiti from my brother as well as my brother-in-law, but neither one of them would take me out tagging! (They’re both too busy raising kids to go out painting graffiti with me!) As a result, I resorted to spray painting wicker furniture as hands-on research. What I discovered is that wicker is a pain to paint and probably not at all similar to going out tagging.
What was the first scene you thought of for LOVE AND VANDALISM and how did you know that the story was worth exploring?
It’s funny because I was writing a scene with Rory driving home from her job as a lifeguard when the character just pulled her car over and took out spray cans that I didn’t even know were in her trunk. She totally took over the book when she started spraying that first graffiti lion and basically led the course of the story from there.
What is your favorite scene and why?
There are a few fun scenes between Rory and Hayes that I really love, particularly ones that take place in her cabin hideout. The teasing banter is a lot of fun for me to write because that back-and-forth insult throwing is basically how my husband and I communicate.
What are some books you’ve faked reading, why?
Ha! Despite being an English major in college and being pretty well-versed in the classics I never actually read MOBY DICK. I know enough about the story to fake it if I needed to, but haven’t really felt compelled to lie about that. People shouldn’t feel insecure about books they haven’t read!
What is one book you are a walking talking advertisement for?
Not a novel, but I think LIVE FROM NEW YORK is one of the most interesting behind-the-scenes books about Saturday Night Live and there are so many life lessons in there! Everyone should read it! But of course, not everyone is as obsessed with SNL as I am. J
What books have you bought for the cover?
It’s not out yet and I would buy this book anyway because the author is awesome, but I think BAD ROMANCE by Heather Demetrios has one of the best covers of all time.
What book would you love to read for the first time again and why?
I’m in the middle of binge-watching 13 REASONS WHY on Netflix and read the book so long ago but am still just floored by it. Jay Asher is an incredible author and experiencing that book for the first time is life-changing as an author and as a member of the human race.
Is there publishing professional (editor, marketer, designer, publicist, etc.) who has influenced your writing life?
Every person I’ve worked with in the book industry has been terrific from publicists to assistant editors to book event coordinators. Most recently I especially loved working on LOVE AND VANDALSIM with my editor Katherine Prosswimmer. We connected and communicated really well and she helped me fine tune the characters in a way that makes the book shine!