Where did you get the idea for Screwing Up Time?
I’d written a young adult novel several years ago, and it won the Tassie Walden “New Voices in Children’s Literature” Honorable Mention award. But I was frustrated by my experience finding a publisher. So the next book I wrote was a literary fiction. That novel had left me exhausted, and my intention was to take a break and write a short story for adults. But Miranda didn’t let that happen.
She waltzed into my life just like she did into Mark’s. I sat at my computer to write and Miranda appeared in my mind. At first I thought she was a ghost. But she wasn’t. She told me in no uncertain terms that she was a time traveler. And, even though Mark was the main character, Miranda told me the story. Mark filled in the details—and corrected the bits where Miranda was wrong.
Will there be a sequel?
I’ve already begun one. But I’m a bit of a slow writer, so I can’t tell you when it will be available. I’ve also had some ideas for short stories involving Mark, Kate, and Granddad. Though I can’t make any promises yet, I suspect I may write some stories to tide my readers over until I finish the new book.
What was your favorite part of the book to write?
That’s a hard question. I loved the chapters with Granddad. But writing Mark’s snarky lines (things I think, but would never say) was such fun. And then there’s the traveling through time. I let my imagination run wild—it was a rush. Above all, writers are addicted to the thrill of creating.
Did you plot out the book before you wrote it?
Usually when I write a book, I know where it’s going, though not always how I’m going to get there. This book was different. This was Miranda’s thrill ride from beginning to end.
Where do you write?
A better question might be where don’t I write. I write at my sons’ piano lessons, at my desk, on my bed, on a scrap of paper, etc. Any time and any place is a good time to write.
If you could travel through time, would you?
Absolutely. In fact, if anyone knows where I could get some unicorn horn, I’d love to give it a try.
Is that really Miranda’s ghost on the tower?
I really want to tell you, but I can’t. You’ll find out more in the next book.
Can I bribe your kids to find out what happens in the next book?
You could try. They are very good at breaking my passwords.