1. Can you sum your book up in 5 words or less?
Girl goes on an adventure.2. What was it like to write such a culturally diverse book?
I first traveled to interior Mexico when I was a little girl. When I was in my early 20s, I took a bus from Austin to Oaxaca; and I’ve spent a lot of time on the border between Texas and Mexico. So I had a lot of experience to draw from when it came to writing a book about an American girl traveling alone through Mexico.3. What makes this book, "The book every girl should read, and every girl’s
parents hope she’ll never read"?
I think every girl should read this book because: it’s a magical adventure story about a girl who leaves behind the world that she knows to go on a wild adventure all on her own.4. Anything out of the ordinary that you always have in your writing space when
It’s also a book that is very honest and straightforward about a 14 year-old girl’s sexual coming-of-age.
And I think every girl (and many women) could learn a lot from this novel about how to leave behind the expectations that are placed on women and girls because of their gender.
I think many parents would NOT want their daughters to read this book because it has explicit sexual content and some drug use. It also has a girl trying to understand her own spiritual beliefs and questioning the patriarchal Christian church she was brought up in. It’s also a story about a girl running away to interior Mexico by herself; and I think a lot of parents would shudder at that.
you sit down to work?
I usually sit cross-legged on my couch with my laptop in my lap. If it’s daytime, I almost always have coffee in my writing space as I work. (Though I’m not sure that’s unusual?) I live in a tiny studio (it’s only 300 square feet, including closets and bathroom) so my bed, laundry, etc are also in my writing space .5. What has been the biggest obstacle you have faced in your path as an author?
One obstacle was the need to support myself financially while I was also writing books. But I tried to make that fun and an adventure, too. I’ve worked as a forest firefighter, as a construction worker, as an advocate in a domestic violence shelter; I’ve done production work on commercials, anything and everything to pay my bills. I would always wake up to write in the magic hours of the early morning before work.
I also always felt for a long time that I wouldn’t be a “real writer” until I was a published writer. But finally I realized I was a real writer because I was committed to the craft of writing.