+ When did you start writing?
I used to write stories about my little sister, Aviva. They were called “Life with The Squirt,” “The Squirt Ate My Homework,” and “Adventures of SuperSquirt.” That one was about a little sister who could fly. Basically Magic in Manhattan is its updated version.
+ Where do you get your ideas?
My ideas come from everyday feelings and experiences. For example, Bras & Broomsticks is about a girl who finds out that her younger sister is a witch. This was based on my little sister Aviva. (Unfortunately, not the witchcraft part.) What inspired the book is the always complicated love, jealousy, and pride involved in a sister relationship. Ever since Aviva was born and took over my role as the center of my family, I’ve been writing stories about her.
+ Where did you get the idea for Whatever After?
As a kid, I had two favorite kinds of bedtime stories. The first were about a little girl named Sarah who lived in Montreal, just like I did, but magic stuff happened to her, like she had a magic umbrella and could fly, or a magic fork that could turn vegetables into chocolate. The second were fractured fairy tales. Since I was not a fan of vegetables, when my mom told me the story of the Princess and the Pea, the queen put M&Ms under the girl’s mattress to see if she was a true princess. When I became a writer I wondered: What if I combined the two? What if a regular girl magically fell into a fairy tale and fractured it?
+ Do you have to wait to be inspired to write?
The thing about being a professional author — when it's no longer a hobby, but your job — is that you can't wait for inspiration. I have to stop myself from hitting the snooze button every morning, and force myself to sit at my desk and get to work. I have to see it as a job, like any other job, or I'd never get any work done!
+ How long does it take to write a book?
It takes me about 3 to 4 months to write a first draft. Then there's lots of editing, of course. The entire process from starting the book to seeing it in print takes about 2 years.
+ Where do you actually write?
I do most of my writing in my apartment, at my desk on the computer. Sometimes, I take my laptop all the way over to the couch. I don't like to write outside of the apartment because I'm easily distracted (Nice coat! Cute dog! There's a bus! Why is my screen still blank?)
+ You didn't answer my question!
I didn't? Did you read the other FAQ pages? (Check out the FAQs about me, about my upcoming books, and about becoming a writer.) You already read all those pages? And I still didn't answer your question? Oops. Sorry about that. You can head to the Contact page for my snail mail address or to get in touch with me via email. I'll do my best to get back with you as soon as possible!