I wrote the kind of book I enjoy reading. I don’t remember ever musing, “Hm, should I write a corporate crime thriller? A depressing memoir? ... I know. How about young adult fantasy? Bingo.” There was never a choice. When I opened my creative cupboard, that’s what was sitting on the shelves.
2.) If you could describe your book using only three words which ones would you choose?
Can I list the three words I hope others will choose? “Brilliant, inspired, award-winning?” That last one was a cheat, I suppose. If I must choose my own, how about: “I like fish?” I’m trying here, grasping … Adjectives elude me. Would you settle for ingredients? “Adventure, danger, myth.” (Plus kissing.)
3.) How did you come up with names for all of your characters?
Naming is always fun. Some names in Secondhand Charm have thematic significance, for me at least. Others are simply harvested from lists of names I find online. I look up first names and surnames that existed in England and France during the 18th Century, then trawl through them for the ones I like best.
4.) Are any of your characters based off of people you know?
Not really. There’s a little bit of me in every first-person girl protagonist I write. I hope it won’t spoil things for my readers when I say that every leading guy I write has a bit of my husband in him. But really, girls, you should see my husband. I’m not kidding.
5.) Did you have to do any research for your novel?
I did, and I always do, whenever I’m writing anything set in the past, even if it’s a made-up past. European history fascinates me – social, linguistic, religious, political. Part of the fun of writing each book is the exploration into new historical territory. Researching details for period authenticity helps my settings feel more believable, I think, even if there is no kingdom of Pylander. Although I don’t attempt to use speech patterns that would have been used in the 18th Century – no “thee” and “thou” for me – I do research every word I use to make sure it existed in English during the time period in which my novel is set.
6.) Do you plan on writing more fantasy for young adults in the future?
Absolutely. I’ve only just begun to play. Stay tuned!