Frequently Asked Questions – On Writing

What inspires you to write?
I just love to write, the same way other people love to play golf. Although, just like Tiger Woods, I have my good days and bad days. The challenge is what makes it fun!

Where do you get your ideas?
Ideas come from everywhere…my own experiences, my imagination, newspapers, television. That’s why if you want to be a writer, it’s a good idea to carry around something to write with, so you can jot ideas down as they occur to you! Much of what is in my books is taken directly from my own diaries that I kept when I was in high school…I still have them, though I am the only one who will ever be allowed to read them. I just use the selective bits that won’t incriminate me.

How do you come up with your titles?
Titles are tricky! I don’t usually think of a book’s title until the book is almost finished. Sometimes I can’t think of a title at all, and the publisher will have to come up with one. Sometimes my publisher won’t like my title, or there will already be a book with that same title published recently. Often, my publishers in other countries will come up with their own titles, because the American title doesn’t translate correctly. Even though titles are important, authors can’t be too picky about them. I’ve had book titles change two months before the publication date! I would say of all my book titles, 50% are ones I’ve come up with, and 50% are ones my publishers have come up with. Of my non-US editions, almost 100% of my titles are made up by the publisher!