Writing Questions:Where did the idea for The Madmen’s City come from?
The idea for The Madmen's City originally came from the Hans Christian Andersen story, The Snow Queen. At first, the plan was to write a modern day YA thriller as a retelling of that fairy tale. There are still traces of that in the final version, but as I outlined and wrote the book, it morphed into the vigilante, Batman-style story that it is now when the thought popped into my head, "What if Batman had a daughter?"
Which character from the book do you relate to the most and why?
I probably relate most to Kole, the nerdy friend who holes up inside and tries to get to the bad guys through technology. Kole's idea of a fun night is chilling out on the couch with his laptop, and as lame as it is, I'm the same! I'd love to say I'm most like Gwen, but I don't have the chops to go picking fist fights with mobsters!
What are you working on now?
Right now, I'm working on an Alice in Wonderland inspired short story that will be published in an anthology called Falling for Alice in April. My story follows a teen astronaut Alice aboard an International Space Station called Wonder as she struggles to deal with zero gravity and a breakup with her boyfriend in space.
Some Fun Questions!
What's your favorite book?
My favorite book is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. It's hard to pick a favorite of this series, because I love every single one of these books. The final volume is the one that really stands out to me though because we finally see how all the pieces fall into place and how Harry and his friends make it through. I could read these books again and again--and have--and never get tired of these characters and their stories.
What do you do when you are not writing?
My life for the past few years has been full of academic work. I'm a PhD student, and I've been studying children's and young adult literature (and their authors) over in Wales. I've been able to interview some New York Times bestsellers and some newer authors just starting out and attend some incredible publishing conferences like Book Expo of America and London Book Fair. When I'm not doing PhD work, I like to go to the gym, go for a run, read a book or binge-watch Netflix.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest thing by far was the dual narrative. I've never written from a boy's POV before, so that was a difficult exercise. And I wanted to make sure both characters had a very distinctive voice. I structured the story so that alternating chapters were from each character's POV so it was difficult to nail down timelines as well. I had my work cut out for me, but I wouldn't have had the story any other way.
Please fill in the blank: Keep Calm and Drink Lots of Coffee!