What is the message of your book? The universal ties of family, and how sharing blood is only a small bit of what connects us. We are all mothers and fathers, doesn’t matter if we ever conceived, and the dandelion seeds that are blown our way and land nearby are ours to nurture (to paraphrase the novel). In addition, in order to deal with our baggage, I am of the belief that when you squeeze yourself physically, all your insides come out. Makes sense, cause if you squeeze an orange, you get orange juice. Psychological issues can be dealt with by beating the body down, and when we take ourselves to our physical limits, we can blast through emotional, mental, and psychological barriers as well.
Do you have a favorite character and why? I love Janice from The Jade Rabbit, Sharleen, the Ghost of Moonlight. I’m also very fond of some of the supporting cast of Stray, like Jason Boston Sr, ‘the ancient heroin wizard’.
What is your greatest joy in writing? When my characters develop their own personality, and handle situations without me. I love each and every one of my characters, and they are still making decisions in my mind long after the novel is over. I hear them and talk to them. And I realize how crazy that sounds. In the thick of writing, I live in both worlds, and usually wish I could stay in the world of the novel.
Who is your favorite author and why? Oh boy, so hard to say. Without having read Jack Kerouac, I don’t know that I would ever have tried to write myself. But writers have always been my heroes. I think Richard Ford writes like he made a mystic deal with the devil, and I’ve recently been reading Dan Simmons. I like smart entertainment, such as Justin Cronin’s The Passage, or existential dark stuff, anything branched out from the roots of Kafka.
What drives you to write? I’m going to sing that one for you…