People often ask me why I decided to become a writer, and my answer is simple: I became a writer because I had to do something with all the voices in my head, or I’d go crazy. Fiction writing seemed the most logical—and healthy—outlet for these voices.
What happens is this: I’ll be walking along the street in New York City, where I live, and I will see something that piques my interest—for instance, a sign for the annual Mermaid Parade in Brooklyn. All of a sudden, there’s a fourteen-year-old girl inside my head begging, “I wanna go! I wanna go!” She’ll literally shout ideas and thoughts through my brain until not only do I have to go the Mermaid Parade, but I also have to investigate her story. Who is she, exactly? Where does she live? Who are her family? Why does she want to go to the Mermaid Parade so badly? Trying to figure her out can also cause me to almost be hit by the many people and buses whose paths I cross, because I am too busy transcribing her voice from my head into my iPhone to remember when I finally sit down to write her story that I become neglectful about watching where I’m going. Oops. Working on that.
A lot of people assume that the writer’s life is very glamorous, and I’m not going to lie to you. It is. I have two cats, named Bunk and McNulty, who wake me up early in the morning to be fed and played with. It turns out they also like their thoughts and feelings to be present in my books, so my working day begins immediately with some cozy fur-rubbing to ignite it. There’s no dress code for my job, so I often spend the whole day wearing jammies. I have no set lunch hour, so if I want to nibble M&Ms at my desk all day, who’s to say I can’t? And hey, if no one’s around my desk, why not blast music loudly while working, too? So there you have it, the essence of my writer’s day: characters’ (human and feline) voices in my head demanding their stories be told, while I wear PJs and eat M&Ms, to the beat of very blasted music.
The best part of my job? Readers like you, when I get to meet them and hear how the voices inside my head that got turned into stories that became books that someone actually read . . . and related to! In my opinion, that right there is the real glamour of my job. Though the kitties and pajamas and candy and tunes aren’t so bad, either. Just sayin’.