1) What could you go to the Olympics for (even if it’s not a traditionally recognized event)? For example, I could medal in sleeping, reading, marathon movie and TV viewing and consumption of crab wontons.
I could compete in the Olympic event: “Most time soaking in a bubble bath with red wine and a good book”. But, I would WIN the gold medal in the event: “Number of books dropped and ruined in bubble baths.”
2) Is there anything you love so much that you would continue doing it even if you could literally die?
This is such a great question. Lately I’ve been paying attention to how many times we say things in passing like: “I’d die without coffee. I’d die without my phone. I’d die without air conditioning.” (We say that in Phoenix a lot!)
But if we knew we would actually die?
Part of me wants to say that I’d die if I couldn’t write because it sounds so passionate and dedicated. But the truth is that the thing I’m most passionate about is living. So the simple answer to your question is no. (But you still might hear me say I’d die for a good apple fritter.)
3) Part of the proceeds will go toward preventing sudden cardiac arrest. Talk about that :)
I learned about Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) when I brought my kids to be heart-tested at a screening event. That’s where I met Sharon Bates who lost her son, Anthony, to HCM. Sharon started a foundation to provide free screenings so other student athletes can be tested and lives can be saved. Her story inspired me—and inspired my book. So when the book sold, I wanted to help support her in any way I could. A donation seemed like a no-brainer. I’m also hoping to make Sharon’s foundation part of my launch event and help her do what she does in any way I can.
4) What are you reading now?
I just finished listening to Orphan Train by Christine Klein. Though the main character is a teen, I think it’s classified as an adult book. Whatever—it’s excellent!
5) What are your five favorite books? You can do authors, if that’s easier.
Five favorite books—that’s just an evil question. Here are four books, one author and why:
JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH by Roald Dahl. This is the book that first inspired me to write.
Judy Blume. I felt like I learned about life and myself in her books.
WATERSHIP DOWN by Richard Adams. I tear up every single time I read it and they’re freaking rabbits!
LORD OF THE RINGS by JRR Tolkien. I read the trilogy every year growing up. I even read all the appendices! Most of the time I think books are too long. This series, well over 1,000 pages, wasn’t nearly long enough.
SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson. I was just blown away. I don’t think I could stand to read it again, but wow.
6) If you could make one book mandatory, what would it be?
If I could make one book mandatory, I’d say every child should have to keep a personal journal. For me, writing about my life was a type of therapy. Journals make you think, make you consider, make you face the things you’re dealing with. Plus, they get kids writing which I’m afraid is turning into a lost art. Every time I do a school visit, I encourage kids to start a journal. I always tell them: be the hero of your own story!
7) What books are you looking forward to in 2015?
You mean my book isn’t the only one coming out? J
Honestly, I don’t read many series so I’m rarely waiting for a “next” book. The one exception to that is GAME OF THRONES. I’ll be waiting for that one the day it releases!! Otherwise, I usually take my cues from savvy bloggers like you, and read the books that strike a chord. Contemporary books are my favorite but any kind of story with strong characters will pull me in.