1) Your debut book is written in verse. Who are some of your favorite poets or poems?
I am a huge Emily Dickinson fan. I also like Robert Frost and E.E. Cummings.
Here's one I love by Emily Dickinson:
Two butterflies went out at noon
And waltzed above a stream,
Then stepped straight through the firmament
And rested on a beam;
And then together bore away
Upon a shining sea,--
Though never yet, in any port
Their coming mentioned be.
If spoken by the distant bird,
If met in ether sea
By frigate or by merchantman,
Report was not to me.
2) How did you get the idea for I Heart You, You Haunt Me? Had you always envisioned it as being done in verse?
This is the only book I've written based on characters I had a dream about. I wish it would happen more often, it was awesome! I had a dream about a girl whose boyfriend died, and their love was so strong, he came back as a ghost. To me, the story ended up being more of a love story than a ghost story, but that's how it started.
I really enjoy reading books written in verse, but at the time I started writing I HEART YOU, I hadn't tried writing one before. To be honest, it just sort-of came out that way. I think stories that are on the sad side lend themselves to this format, because the emotion can really come through the poetry.
3) Will you continue to write in verse, or will you try your hand at prose novels?
My current work-in-progress is another YA novel in verse, but the YA novel I wrote prior to this one is in prose. Not all stories will work in prose. If a ton of dialogue is necessary in the story, it won't work in verse, because it's hard to make dialogue poetic.
4) What projects do you have coming up in the future?
In February, my agent will begin shopping a YA novel tentatively titled DEAR ROMEO. Cross your fingers we can find a fabulous editor for it!!!
5) Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Keep your day job!
But seriously, like anything, the more you do it, the better you'll get at it. Study the craft. Read lots of books in the genre/age group you want to write for. Go to conferences and take workshops on character development, voice, and plot, and worry about writing the best book you can before you start worrying about the publishing industry.
Finally, if you really want to write, then sit down and write. It sounds so easy, but sometimes opening the document and just getting started is the hardest part. Make it a goal to write at least 100 words a day until the book is done. You'll often find you go beyond that 100 words once you get going.