Which came first, the title or the novel?
Definitely the novel! I started out by calling the book “My Best Friend Jane” before finally, about a third of the way into it, thinking of the title According to Jane.
What other art form inspires you as much as writing?
Music, hands down. Playing and listening to music remains one of my most enjoyable and inspirational pastimes. Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Music is the favorite passion of my soul,” and I agree with him.
Which comes easier for you - beginnings or endings?
Endings, also hands down. I tend to struggle with those opening 2-3 chapters--there’s so much that needs to be set up early in every book--but once the story is rolling, it’s much easier for me to continue onward. And, by the time I’m ready to wrap up a novel, I’m usually racing toward the end.
How many drafts until the final draft?
Too many! According to Jane took more drafts than I can remember. I think I lost count somewhere after the 7th or 8th. But, that book was unusual in that it needed to be completely restructured before selling--all the same parts, but the chronology had to be scrambled! So, it took an extraordinary amount of revision. My second novel required much less. I wrote it, revised some scenes after a couple of CPs read it, tweaked a bit more after my agent read it and made the final few changes my editor requested. I greatly prefer that process. J
What are you reading right now?
Some fun Austen-inspired fiction, like Beth Pattillo’s Jane Austen Ruined My Life, and the amazing Shaffer/Barrows novel The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
What's next for you?
I’m getting to promote my debut novel According to Jane--the last leg of a very long publishing journey--while also starting the process all over again for my next women’s fiction project. The book is done, but we’re still working on finding the right title. It’s a modern fairytale about three suburban moms who shake up their marriages and their lives when one woman asks her friends a somewhat shocking question.