Foto: Heather Overton
I am really glad you’ve accepted my interview. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.
Can you tell us a bit more about how you became a writer?
When I was young, I filled up dozens and dozens of journals with random musings. As I got older, I’d scribble story ideas on the pages of those journals. In high school, I took creative writing classes, and wrote on the high school newspaper, even winning some awards. I loved writing, but it always took a backseat. Acting was my first love, and I was single-minded in that pursuit. I moved to New York City where I attended an acting conservatory and waited tables. In between classes and serving people, I’d find myself scribbling down story ideas or snippets of dialogue. I took a few writing classes as well, but it wasn’t until I moved to LA that writing became my focus. I started out writing films and TV. I got my first big break when I won a spot in the Warner Brothers Writer’s Workshop and landed my first TV writing job. I started writing books a few years later. There were lots of twists and turns along the way, but it all worked out in the end. Now I have two of the best jobs in the world— TV writer and novelist.
Was it difficult for the first book to find a publisher?
Selling Baby Doll wasn’t that difficult, something I feel a bit guilty saying because I know how hard it can be. That’s not to say I didn’t struggle as a writer. I spent almost four years either trying to get a TV writing job or hoping the show I was writing for wouldn’t get canceled. In that time, I experienced an endless amount of rejection. I like to think by the time I finished my book, the writing God’s were like, “let’s give her a break.”
When I finished writing Baby Doll, I told my TV agent at the time that I’d written a book. They weren’t as impressed as I’d hoped, but they did pass the manuscript along to Eve Atterman in their book dept. She liked it a lot, but she had notes. There was no promise of representation, but her notes were smart and I knew they would make the book better. It took me a few months to do these revisions because I was getting married and trying to get a TV writing job. I finally delivered the revised manuscript and she called to say she wanted to rep me.
There’s a lot of talk about being “on submission” which means your book is out to editors. It’s a very tense time, but I was really lucky. We got our first offer from Germany, then the UK and the US. I live in LA so it was this incredible dream to wake up each day to to emails saying “We have an offer. Email me when you’re up!” Sometimes when I’m struggling with a current project or feeling discouraged as a writer, I’ll go back and reread those emails to remind myself that success often comes when you least expect it.
Could you describe literature in three words?
Timeless adventures await.
Is there a book you would never read? Why?
No. I always keep an open mind about books. Some of the books I’ve been reluctant to pick up are the books I love the most.
What’s your favorite book?
I don’t have an all-time favorite, because I love so many different books. One book that I reread every few years is Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man by Fannie Flagg. She’s famous for writing the book Fried Green Tomatoes (also a movie) but Daisy Fay is just as good. Daisy is such a funny, charming mess of a character that you can’t help but fall in love with her.
It’s the quote that’s featured on my website. „When I’m writing, I know I’m doing the thing I was born to do.“ – Anne Sexton
I truly believe that writing is my destiny and my calling, and I feel very lucky that I get to do what I love.
EBooks or paper print?
Paper print. I do so much writing and reading for my TV job, that when I’m reading, for pleasure, I want an actual book that I can hold.
What inspires you?
Heather, my twin sister
David, my husband
Stevie (my dog!)
Great books (of course).
Country music (old school like George Jones, Patsy Cline, Reba McIntyre)
Show tunes, Singer songwriters? Yoga
Imagine you were given the opportunity to meet a book character in real life. Who would that be?
When I read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, I fell head over heels in love with Eleanor. She reminded me so much of myself at that age; an awkward, shy red head who desperately wanted someone to understand and love her. If I were able to, I’d want to have dinner with Eleanor, compare our sad childhood stories, see what she’s been doing since I last saw her, and see if she ever found her way back to Park.
What’s your worst nightmare?
Burning to death a fire, or being buried alive are the more vivid nightmares I have.
On the creative (and not life and death) front, not being able to write or not having any new ideas that I love would also be a total nightmare.
The best decision of your life was?
Moving to LA to follow my dreams.
I can’t wait to read your next book. Are you currently working on a project? Is there any release date to reveal?
I’m finishing up my 3rd novel, THE RUNAWAY. I’m still waiting on a final release date but it looks like it might be Summer 2019.
I’m wrote for TELL ME A STORY, a one hour drama airing in the US on CBS All-Access. Created by Kevin Williamson (writer of Scream/ Dawson’s Creek) Tell Me a Story takes the world’s most beloved fairy tales and reimagines them as a dark and twisted psychological thriller.