If you were in an elevator with a stranger and had 1 minute or less to describe Her Sister’s Friends before the doors opened, what description would you give?
Did you watch The White Lotus on HBO? It was so good. It reminded me of my new book, Her Sister’s Friends, which is actually not that similar, but you seem like a fun person, and I think you’d like me if you got to know me. What are you doing later? (Pause for response.) Well, maybe while you’re getting that massage that for some reason you’d prefer to get alone, you’d like to read my new book. Here’s a copy. It says on the back that it’s a combination of crime, mystery, and suspense mixed with dark humor, plus characters who are deeply flawed but totally relatable.
What’s your favorite scene from your new release, Her Sister’s Friends?
The scenes I enjoy most are new ones that pop up on the final draft. The bulk of the work is done so I can just have fun with my imaginary friends. I mean my characters. In this book, my favorite scene is the one between the actor, Milo Hart, and his Hollywood agent. The book still works without that scene, so you can skip it if you’re allergic to fun. Personally, I love the weird Hollywood agent, because I love any character who threatens to destroy the entire book.
What’s your favorite thing about writing? What’s your least favorite thing about it?
What I love most about writing is that it gives me something to get worked up about all day, every day. When my mind is idle, it starts picking at itself like a neurotic house pet. But when I’m working on a challenging book, I have a chance to be a winner every single day just by getting words on the page. Did I say winner? I meant wiener.
My least favorite thing about writing is being finished. Then I have to pay people to tell me where it sucks. (This process is called “editing.”) Then I have to let people I don’t even know read it without me there in person to ask them why they’re putting it down to eat or sleep. Then there are the reviews. No matter what people say, I will overreact and freak out because I am human. Humans overreact. It’s what we do. Writers actually have to tone down our characters so they’re believable. If we were to put real people in fiction books, nobody would ever believe it thanks to all the overreacting.
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
I read like I date, which is widely and randomly. I enjoy light science fiction, which I haven’t written yet. I have a hard time finding books I really love, because either (A) I am very refined and I have exquisite taste, or (B) I’m just a regular garbage person with an internet connection.
Which books would we be surprised to find on your shelves?
I own at least 30 books about writing. Most people would be surprised my writing isn’t better, considering how many of those books I have. (That’s a joke! Probably. If you disagree, please leave me a 5-star review and help boost my self-esteem more than expensive therapy has.)
If you had to pick one place to vacation for the rest of your life, where would you choose?
I already live in a popular resort town on the west coast of Canada, so I am truly spoiled for three seasons out of four. Why do you ask? Have I won the Grand Prize? Are you offering to put me up somewhere for free, for the rest of my life? In that case, I pick Yuma, Arizona. I’ve never been there but I hear it’s pretty laid-back and full of old cowboys. That sounds like my sort of town.
What will your next adventure or writing project be?
My husband and I are the new owners of an old sailboat, so my next adventure will be learning how to not fall off the boat. It’s a thirty-foot Catalina from the eighties, made of thick fiberglass. These things are built to last. So, like the titanium cap on my lower-right molar, it should outlive me. Acknowledging that dark fact is my way of reminding myself to live while I’m here, and to dance like I’m the star of my own reality TV series.