I like to write either in a chair by the window in my apartment, ideally with a cup of tea and maybe a candle burning, or at a coffee shop in my neighborhood, again with a cup of tea or maybe a cappuccino. I write all my first drafts long-hand in a journal; I feel like I’m much more imaginative writing this way than at a computer. I try to write for about an hour in the early morning each weekday, and again for an hour or a little more on Saturday or Sunday (depending on the week, though, I might write a little more or a little less).
Which fictional character would you like to swap places with for a day and what would you do?
Maybe this is cheating because it’s TV and not books, but I’d trade places with the Doctor and travel through time and space. I’d go back in time and visit Queen Elizabeth I and Shakespeare, and then go to Gallifrey and hang out with the Time Lords.
The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is the story of a brilliant and enigmatic filmmaker, told by the people who loved her most. I had wanted to write about a filmmaker named Sophie Stark for years before I started the book; I even wrote a few pages, but then put them aside. After I finished my first book, America Pacifica, I started trying to write about Sophie again in earnest, and that’s when I got the idea of writing the book from multiple perspectives. Once I realized I could tell Sophie’s story through multiple points of view, the book started to come together.
What’s your favourite word?
I don’t know if I have a favorite word, exactly, but I have some words I use a lot (maybe too much). In America Pacifica I used the word “filthy” a lot — in my defense, the post-apocalyptic world I was describing was really filthy. In The Life and Death of Sophie Stark, my editor pointed out I used the words “mad,” “sad,” “bad,” and “whiskey” more than was strictly necessary, which I guess says something about the mood of the book. I ended up replacing some of them; now the characters occasionally drink wine instead of whiskey, and get angry instead of mad.by