I am the author of The King’s Rose (Dutton, 2009) and The Blood Confession (Dutton, 2006). I have my old domain name back thanks to Alex Goldman and his kind colleagues at the podcast Reply All. Good Job, Alex!
It would seem that I’ve taken a creative hiatus, though I’ve been hard at work in the meantime: I got a grip on my mental health, had a baby, moved, and landed a new literary agent. My current work in progress is set in Victorian England and full of my favorite themes: genius, madness, love, and the lies we tell ourselves that will be our ultimate undoing. Also, super creepy automatons.
My Writing Life, a Recap
As a child I wrote with crayons on construction paper. My first office was the pine tree in the backyard; I would climb into the branches with a blank book, pencil, and a Walkman (the old kind that used cassette tapes!) so I could listen to David Bowie while I wrote.
I wrote throughout high school: epic poetry about a girl in love with a vampire. A lot of it rhymed. Pretty embarrassing. But I was in love with poetry and stories: L.M. Montgomery’s Emily of New Moon series, and An Acceptable Time by Madeleine L’Engle, and The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle all shook up my world. Also Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and “The Highwayman” by Alfred Noyes—I remember the moment I read this in fifth grade, it was like a new chamber opened up in my brain. Poetry can do that to you.
I studied writing as an undergrad at Emerson College, where I wrote a novel for my final project. Further reading—Ghosts by Marsha Parker, Endless Love by Scott Spencer—revealed that I had written a terrible novel. I had a lot to learn, and reading was the way I would do it. My first published novel, The Blood Confession, was inspired by the legendary (if perhaps not factual) crimes of the “bloody” Countess Bathory, who bathed in the blood of her victims, believing it would preserve her youth for eternity. This fascinated me, as horrifying things often do, and I wondered, “why did she do it?” I wrote the book in answer to that question.
After my second novel, The King’s Rose, I suffered writer’s block. I don’t know if it was a symptom of depression or the cause, but the two came bundled together like sad friends at my doorstep, and barged their way in. I didn’t know how to get them to leave. I searched online for a magical amulet or potion to banish my block, but found nothing. At my best, I soothed myself with David Bowie’s music and good books and just kept writing whatever I found interesting at the time. At my worst, I wallowed in sadness and woe. I felt like a failure. But I wasn’t. I was just human and at the mercy of my own pain.
Once I finally properly treated my depression and anxiety, the clouds began to part. Writing came back to me, along with joy. My focus and patience—such as it is—returned. Mental health is always a balancing act, but my skills at managing it have improved. I live in Massachusetts with my husband and our very little girl. I am still learning about writing, and working on my next novel.
This welcome page is an entry way to my tumblr, where I’m posting images and notes about what interests me, what I’ve been watching, listening to, reading, and writing, and images that inspire. Feel free to contact me through tumblr or reblog anything I post. When I have book news, you will be the first to know.