Thanks so much for interviewing me!
1. Give us your elevator pitch for EMMA
Publisher's Weekly calls Emma: A Latter-day Tale "a funny, well-paced Mormon-themed take on Austen's often retold classic." Emma is a life coach with a knack for match-making. She meets a lonely nanny and decides she wants to help her out. But the more Emma tries to help, the worse things get. Through the course of the book Emma has to face her own perfectionism and realize that she needs a coach more than anyone else. She also learns that the best match she can make is the one she makes for herself.
2. What’s your favorite snack?
I like Nature Valley oats and chocolate granola bars. They're chocolate, but they're healthy. I also like chocolate Cheerios and mint chocolate Luna bars.
3. What is your most memorable high school experience?
During my senior year, I went to Russia and the Ukraine with some students from my government class. It was 1988, right before the fall of the Soviet Union. I'd never traveled outside North America before, and it gave me such a different perspective. I saw how peace-loving the Russian people were, compared to the way they're portrayed in movies. Similarly, the Russian teens I met felt sorry for me because I lived in such a violent place. (They'd also gotten the wrong idea from Hollywood.)
4. Is there one book or author who changed your life/viewpoint/writing?
I was very blessed to study creative writing at Brigham Young University, so the authors who made the most of a difference in my writing were also my teachers--Leslie Norris and Doug Thayer. They're both excellent writers who use vivid, honest descriptions and dialogue that speaks from the page. What they did most for me, though, was to encourage me to write and share my writing.
5. What was the first book that turned you into a reader?
My mom read me all the Little House on the Prairie books when I was in first grade. I fell asleep every night imagining that my bed was a covered wagon.
6. Are you a night owl or early bird?
I'm a night owl, but I'm learning to be an early bird. I get so much more done when I wake up early to write.
7. What is your favorite meal?
Pizza. I have two sons on a gluten-free diet, so anything with bread in it is bound to please me.
8. What do you never leave home without?
I'm a minimalist. I figure 90% of the time I'll be better off without lugging a bunch of stuff everywhere. But I do like to have my watch, keys, wallet, sunglasses, Burt's Bees tinted lip balm, and Almay mascara.
9. What is one piece of advice you would give aspiring writers?
Read a lot of good books in the genre you're writing.
10. What are you goals for 2013?
I'm kind of like Emma in my book. I make too many goals. This year I started out with a big, long list of goals. Then a series of unfortunate events threw me off balance. I ended up with these:
Help my oldest son get his license and his Eagle scout award.
Help my next son get his Eagle project going.
Read books about organizing and saving money.
Study the topics from BYU Women's Conference and Education Week (since I couldn't go to either one this year.)
Do cardio intervals three days a week and strength training two days a week.
Get a physical.
Write every weekday.
Read bedtime stories to my younger kids.
Go on a date with my husband every week.