When did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing since I could hold a pen. I grew up in a strange house with brilliant but crazy parents and writing things down was a way to catch up, and slow down a world that sometimes spun too fast.
What inspired your debut novel?
I’m fascinated by alternate realities and the emerging science of curative medicine. I was working in pharmaceutical sales, married to a software/ game developer and as a society we’re on the brink of so much medical knowledge coming at us so fast – but if it gets into the wrong hands – money and power are so corruptive. I wanted to write something that would expand young minds so that they’d choose a side before they could be persuaded by money and power.
What is your other occupation?
I do marketing and business development for a fertility clinic. Reproductive science is fascinating and we are learning so much from it. Patients going through infertility treatments are some of the bravest and most motivated people in the world. I like that we celebrate the profound but ordinary event of a healthy child being born almost every week.
How do you balance your writing, professional, and personal life?
I don’t. I have twins and I started writing the book when they were three, just to have an hour to hand the kids off to their dad. Then I had a ‘writing group’ to spend an hour drinking wine with grownups. I hired a writing coach because I was working a full-time job and raising kids and my writing coach is the only way I ever finished the book. When the kids were 9, I replaced my husband with a Labradoodle and although I do think he loves me more, he snores and has male-pattern-baldness too and he’s unemployed – so I’m not recommending that to anyone else. I’m constantly finding it a struggle to be human.
Who is your greatest supporter?
My mom. She’s a doctor back when women doctors really weren’t that common. She used to tell me, “Well, you can’t be stupid,” when I got a C on a test — meaning because both she and my dad are so bright.
I think she might be ‘on the spectrum’ and m
Mostly she’s crushingly honest and often hurtful actually, but in the end she always raised the bar for me and she’s willing and able to lend her ‘big brain’ to
my projects. She was the first one to read my book and her criticism was only moderately crushing – but helpful.
Who would you say you look up to as an author?
Rick Roidan. I love the speed and weirdness of his books and mostly that they teach mythology as a byproduct of his narrative.
What is the message you are trying to convey in your novel?
That there’s multiple sides to every story. That kids have the power to save the world. That video games can save lives. Animals and the unconditional love we feel for them have the power to cure any disease. Human bodies and the gobbledygook that’s in them is some of the most fascinating and curative stuff in the universe.
If you could go back in time and meet any famous author, who would you want to meet?
Well, he’s still alive but Daniel Handler who wrote A Series of Unfortunate Events as Lemony Snicket. The last few years I’ve felt like one of his orphan’s under the Trump administration. Trump’s corruption is so painfully obvious but yet there are grownups pretending he’s a ‘stable genius’. It’s like Handler predicted the future. Maybe Daniel Handler can write our way out of this?
What is the best thing you’ve read recently?
Alice Hoffman’s The Dove Keepers. She’s a poet and a fantastic storyteller. I love that there’s a history lessen within the fiction – and multiple perspectives of course.