I have had this longstanding interest in going back to school to get a Ph.D. in art history. I was especially interested in exploring this idea of the ecstatic impulse in an artist.
I do find the sibling connection endlessly fascinating, as I do all family dynamics. I like how siblings seem to create their own parentless mini-civilization within a family, one that has its own laws, myths, language, humor, its own loyalties and treacheries.
For me, there's nothing better than getting immersed in a sprawling, epic, multi-generational family saga, and 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is the most sprawling, epic, and multi-generational of them all.
I am insanely superstitious. All the woman in my family are, beginning with my grandmother, who would leave red ribbons under the beds and taught us how to find four-leaf clovers.
I do have a tendency to want to go back to school at all times in my life. Maybe I'll do the Ph.D. in art history when I'm 50, or maybe divinity school. I like teaching, too.
I grew up with older brothers, adore them, can't imagine going through life without them, and I definitely think I draw on that love when I'm writing about siblings. It's so powerful, the jump-in-front-of-a-train-to-protect-them kind of love.
I love art, and it plays a huge role in my life. It's definitely one of my greatest joys, and I'm a bit fanatical about certain painters and poets and musicians and sculptors.
I was actually born in New York, and spent some of my childhood in Boston. But my family moved to San Diego when I was 12, and I went to high school here.
Second novels are bears. As are other people's expectations for them. I think taking the time you need with the second book is key. Writers spend years and years on their first novels and then are often expected to turn out a second at warp speed, a recipe for failure.