Book Nerd Interview
What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
I have a reading disability. I might actually be the world’s slowest reader. It’s something I’ve struggled with since I was a little kid and it used to make me feel stupid because I would perform poorly on tests—not because I didn’t know the answers, but because I read so slowly that I wouldn’t have time to finish all the questions. However, with help from reading tutors and a lot of persistence, by high school I was an A.P. and honor’s student. Sometimes, I feel like I have to work twice as hard as the people around me to accomplish the same amount, but I try not to let it hold me back.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Haden?
How much I can identify with a disgraced teenaged prince from the Underworld! I think it is Haden’s fish-out-water-ness that really speaks to me--I’ve always felt like a bit of an outsider—but I also identify with his fears about not living up to expectations. I think a lot of creative professionals feel this way.
Where is the best place in the world you’ve been?
That’s a hard question! I’ve been lucky enough to do a lot of traveling so far in my life, but I would have to say New Zealand. My dad was born and raised on the north island of New Zealand before moving to Europe and then eventually the US. His life’s dream was to be able to take all of his children to tour New Zealand, and we all finally went in 2004. We saw so many beautiful things, had so many amazing adventures, and met so many wonderful people. My life’s dream is now to be able to take my own children there.
What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?
I was a florist the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college. I’ve always been interested in flowers and plants (for a short time in college I thought about being a botanists) and I even daydreamed about opening my own little flower shop. The flower shop where Daphne works with her mother in the beginning of THE SHADOW PRINCE was based on the shop I worked in, and Daphne’s “Uncle” Jonathan was based on my boss.
When was the last time you told someone you loved them?
About an hour ago. We spent all morning at a doctor’s appointment and as we were leaving my son just randomly said, “Thank you, mom.” I asked him what he was thanking me for and he said, “For everything you do for me.” Talk about knowing how to melt a mother’s heart! I make it a point to tell my children and my husband that I love them more than once a day.
What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
Can I say 1953 to 1963? There are lots of things I would like to change about the way people treated each other in that era, but besides that, I have always been obsessed with Audrey Hepburn movies. I love her clothes so much, and everything seemed so glamorous back then.
Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.
Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.
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