I got a little chatty with some of these, but you asked for it, right? Thanks for all the fun questions!
Angela said: What did you write about when you were in high school?
HA. High school writing. Thank goodness I knew I wasn’t good enough to get published, because it was pretty silly stuff.
Along with a lot of angsty free poetry, I wrote one story about a girl with blue hair from another planet. She ended up on Earth, and she had to find her seven guardians in order to return home and save her planet from invasion. Oh, and she had wings, because wings are pretty.
Basically, it was every anime I’d seen at that point smashed together into one. Embarrassingly enough, this was my first “serious” project when I decided to start writing again. This kind of makes me want to crawl in a hole and die.
The other project I started in high school was kind of a smash between fantasy and dystopian. It was about a world where everyone is tattooed at birth with the symbol of their profession chosen by the government. My main character cuts his mark off and goes on that whole quest thing to free people.
I had a friend read the first 100 pages, and she (very nicely) said it sucked. I was devastated, and that’s when I stopped writing creatively (probably the beginning of my junior year). (Note to friend if she ever reads this: You were right—it did suck. It’s okay. I’m over it.)
Larissa said: If you did draw a background like this one, what would you put in it?
Ninjas, of course. And probably some more specific things that I like, such as Code Red, books, art supplies, food, inside jokes, etc. The funny thing about line art like that is it’s deceptively simple. Creating such clean lines without it looking cluttered is hard.
CKHB said: Question: octopus, dolphin, or turtle?
I love how you left context completely up to me.
To eat: Octopus
To be: Turtle
To draw: Dolphin
To save: Dolphin
To have as a pet: Turtle
To ride: Dolphin
To be my arch nemesis: Octopus
To shoot at people in a go-kart race: Turtle (preferably red-shelled ones)
inthewritemind said: I'm on a Disney movie kick and I'm curious—what’s your favorite animated Disney film?
As a girl with strong feminist tendencies, I have this weird relationship with Disney. When I was younger, I loved all the princesses. Sleeping Beauty was my absolute favorite—my mom can attest to how many times I watched it. I went as Snow White one Halloween, Jasmine for another. I waited for Disney movies to come out with extreme excitement.
And then I got a little jaded when I realized life isn’t so fairy tale as the princesses made it seem. That boys weren’t knights in shining armor—they were people with their own problems. (This, curiously enough, was also when I started watching more anime.) I stopped believing in the pretty world Disney has an incredible knack for creating.
Ah, disillusionment, I know you well.
That said, I do appreciate Disney, and I know that the older princess films are reflections of the time in which they were created. I don’t blame Disney for feeding me lies and turning me into some helpless drone. Obviously, that didn’t happen at all.
Looking back at all the films, I would have to say that I appreciate Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast the most.
While I still worry about Belle being so determined to change the sometimes violent Beast, she sticks up for herself and she is just cool and independent and all that. The story and characters are fabulous in general—it didn’t get nominated for Best Picture for nothing.
I loved Jasmine even when I was little, how she doesn’t let Aladdin get away with lying. And she’s smart—she sees right through all the guys’ motives. She’s always fighting for what she wants, even when things look hopeless. I love that Aladdin is “a diamond in the rough.” He’s not at all perfect, but he’s got a good heart and ninja-like cleverness.
Caroline Starr Rose said: What childhood book made the biggest impression on you?
Like I can pick just one!
Picture Book: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. That is the one I remember reading over and over again. I loved it so much. It was one of many that instilled a love of reading and drawing in me.
Middle Grade Book: Bridge to Terebithia. I don’t remember all the details of it, but I remember it had a SAD ending. I remember crying—it was the first time a book made me cry. And having lost my grandmother at 8, I could really identify.
Tween Books: Catherine, Called Birdy. Read it in 7th grade for class, LOVED it intensely. I loved how real real was—she said “piss”! I remember laughing out loud about how she liked to sit in the outhouse over the stream because it was airy and didn’t stink. I STILL remember her talking about the boy (her brother?) who’d “piss on ant hills.” She might have been a made up 14th century girl, but I felt like I understood her.
The Giver. Oh man, The Giver just blew me away as a kid. I think it was the first dystopian thing I read, and it really made me think about the world in a new way.
Candice said: If you could make a wish and the perfect pair of shoes appeared out of thin air, what would they look like?
Oh, silly Candice, there’s no one perfect pair of shoes! There are different shoes for every occasion! Thus, I would wish for shoes that would transform into whatever I wanted based on the outfit. That would be awesome, except then I’d never have to shoe shop again. That would be sad.
Amanda J. said: You want to do an interview for me sometime? Huh, huh, do ya? do ya? lol...we'll talk later haha.
I would love to! I think it’s so funny that anyone would want to interview me, but I’m flattered all the same. Shoot me an email.
Umm, When you're writing and you get a Shiny New Idea, what do you do? Do you play with it? Write it down and come back later? How do you handle all the characters? :)
It really depends on how much I like it. Usually I don’t write anything down when I first think of something. If it’s a good, strong idea, it’ll come back. It won’t leave me alone. It’ll force me to write. Then I’ll start messing around with a few basic notes or an experimental writing session.
As for characters, oy. I have so many characters it’s getting ridiculous. I’m running out names I like! But I treat them like I treat that new idea. I don’t write things down. If they stick in my head, talk to me a lot, then I know they’re someone worth pursuing.
Also, favorite kind of pasta and/or rice?
Pasta: Thin spaghetti or linguine.
Rice: Short grain sticky white rice. Mmm.
Anita Saxena said: If you became a famous author, and they asked you to compete on Dancing with the Stars, would you do it?
Maybe. While I’ve always liked to dance, I’m extremely self-conscious about it. Like, I dance in my living room all the time and took a few semesters of standard ballroom and Polynesian dance in college, but performing scares the pants off me. And at school dances I’d rarely dance (if I went at all).
I think it would be really fun, though. My brother was in ballroom dance for a few years and I loved watching him. He was so good!