I was born in 1968 and grew up in my grandmotherís house in suburban Connecticut, where I was convinced a ghost named Virgil lived in the attic. I wrote my first short story in third grade. I graduated with a BA from Goddard College in 1991 and then studied poetry for a year in the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College. A poem turned into a story, which turned into a novel, and I decided to take some time to think about whether I wanted to write poetry or fiction. After bouncing around the country, I wound up back in Vermont, living in a cabin with no electricity, running water, or phone with my partner, Drea, while we built our own house. Over the years, I have been a house painter, farm worker, paste-up artist, Easter Bunny, pizza delivery person, homeless shelter staff member, and counselor for adults and kids with mental illness -- I quit my last real job in 2000 to work on writing full time. In 2004, I gave birth to our daughter, Zella. These days, we're living in an old Victorian in Montpelier, Vermont. Some neighbors think it looks like the Addams family house, which brings me immense pleasure.
Q: Who are your favorite writers?
A: In no particular order, and probably forgetting a lot of wonderful writers:
Shirley Jackson, John Irving, Anne Sexton, Sara Gran, Denise Mina, Kate Atkinson, Ruth Rendell, Harper Lee, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Katherine Dunn, Tana French, Patricia Highsmith, Sarah Waters, Gillian Flynn, Laura Lippman, Jayne Anne Phillips
Q: Are Dismantled and Girl in the Woods the same book?
A: Yes! I know, crazy. Girl in the Woods is the title my UK publisher decided to give Dismantled when they published it in the UK.
Q: I'm in a book club -- are there discussion questions for your books?
A: You'll find discussion questions for each book on that book's page on this website. Thanks for choosing my book for your club!
Q: Are you going to be reading in my town?
A: Hopefully! If you subscribe to my newsletter here and/or like my author page on Facebook, you will be the first to know!
Q: Will you read/critique my manuscript?
A: I'm sorry, no. There are two really good reasons for this: 1. I truly don't have time and 2. I am terrible at critiquing.
Q: Do you have any advice for beginning/aspiring writers? How do I get published/get an agent?
A: Writing is one thing, and getting published is another (related) thing. Both are complicated, and there are lots of ways to go about them. For advice on the art and craft of writing, I highly recommend the books Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, Zen and the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury, and On Writing by Stephen King. For a primer on the publishing process, you should read Jane Friedman's excellent article. Connecting with other writers is also critical -- look for a writing group or writing class in your community. Try the library, community college, the classifieds of your local paper -- maybe Craig's List? If you can't find one, start one!
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I welcome any and all feedback on my work, inquiries from reading groups, and general chit-chat -- and I love a good ghost story... Don't forget to subscribe to my newsletter for the latest updates, contests, and other tidbits!
My literary agent is Dan Lazar of Writers House. Email him at email@example.com
My publicist at HarperCollins is Andy Dodds. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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