Monthly Archives: April 2015

10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About PAPERQUAKE

Continuing on with my list-making!

Here are Ten Things You Probably Don’t Know about PAPERQUAKE:

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1. I read an article about triplets who were born on different dates. The first was born prematurely, and the other two stayed in the womb another month or more. That a kid could be part of a triplet set yet still feel ‘other’ interested me and sparked the creation of Violet, Jasmine and Rose Jackstone.
2. I always wished I were a twin or triplet. Or a quadruplet!
3. Violet and her sisters were 12 years old in my first draft of the book, then 17 in another draft and heading off to college . . . then finally 14 in the finished novel.
4. There was once a subplot about how Violet helped build houses with Habitat for Humanity, one of my favorite charities…
5. Violet is named after my mother-in-law.
6. PAPERQUAKE took ages to write. I painted myself into a corner by making so many mysterious things happen–without having any idea where they were leading! This is the book that taught me the wisdom of making an outline and figuring out an ending for the story before starting to write it. Helps with keeping sane…
7. I didn’t want to move to California because of my fear of earthquakes. And then not long after we arrived, the 1989 Loma Prieta quake struck–registering 7.1 on the Richter Scale. VERY SCARY INDEED! At first I was relieved, thinking we’d survived ‘The Big One,’ but we later learned that was NOT the Big One. So… we wait, I guess.
8. My first visit to the earthquake ‘shake table’ exhibit at the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco was on a field trip with my son’s class. I found it so intriguing, I knew I must set a scene of my book in that museum.
9. My own personal favorite scene in PAPERQUAKE is when Violet claims the attic for her bedroom and convinces her parents that she should have it.
10. Abby Chandler from PALE PHOENIX makes another guest appearance in PAPERQUAKE. Did you find her??

10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About DREADFUL SORRY

On this rainy, windy night, with my pot of (decaf) tea at my side, it feels like a good time to write my next list! This time:

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TEN Things You Probably Don’t Know About DREADFUL SORRY
1. It was actually kind of strange: I sat down at my computer fully intending to write one book (had lots of notes and summaries and an outline, even), but found myself somehow telling the story of a girl named Clementine who came to an untimely end at sea… It seemed to be a story that wanted to be told–though I had not planned it at all.
2. But it wasn’t a long enough story to be a novel… so I had to come up with a larger story to frame it. That’s how I invented Molly to be the girl in the present day who is connected mysteriously to Clementine who lived long before Molly was born…
3. Battleboro Heights, OH is loosely modeled on Brecksville, OH where I went to high school.
4. The house in Maine is one that came to me many times in a recurring dream that started when I was a child and lasted until I was in college. I can still see the big white house perfectly, perched on a headland high above the sea, with laundry pegged to a clothesline outside, flapping in the salty breeze…
5. Molly’s recurring dream was inspired by (but not exactly like) my own recurring nightmare…
6. I was hypnotized by a college boyfriend into remembering why I had the dream . . . and it never came to me again! He used the techniques that Paulette uses to hypnotize Molly . . . I was quite surprised (still am to this day) that IT WORKED.
7. I piled so many children (names all starting with A) into Abner’s family because I always wanted a big family…
8. There was interest in a movie option for DREADFUL SORRY some years back… but nothing ever came of it. Alas!
9.The working title of this book was LABYRINTH for quite a long time because I visited an art installation soon after I started writing it. I learned about Mazes and Labyrinths, and the difference between them. The maze you can be lost in; there are wrong turns. The labyrinth might seem to be a maze, but there are actually no     wrong turns; you will always arrive at the center no matter how circuitous the path.
10. Abby Chandler from PALE PHOENIX makes another guest appearance! (Did you spot her?)

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