Don't even try to talk to me when I'm watching the moon. That's my moon, baby.
Writing is work. It takes a lot of contemplation, concentration, and out-and-out sweat. People tend to romanticize it, that somehow your work appears by benefit of some mystical external force. In reality, to be a writer, you have to sit down and write. It's work, and often it's hard work.
My mission as a writer is to give my readers hope to carry with them, and to promote a belief that they can do anything they set their minds to.
What sort of person you grow into should not be achieved by default, and often that's exactly what happens to kids. I see literature as a method of guidance, information, and contemplation, and consider it the greatest compliment possible when a reader tells me that a book of mine really made him/her think.
Part of my motivation for writing mysteries for young people is that I loved mysteries when I was growing up, and now that I'm on the creative end of things, I'm discovering that they're even more fun to write!
I've run my whole life - for more than exercise, for mental health.
I rewrite my books many times before submitting them, and after my editor takes a look I wind up rewriting some more! It's a good thing I learned at an early age to keep on trying. Stick to it, and eventually you'll get there.
If you are interested in writing, get out and live your life! Do a lot. See a lot. Keep your eyes and ears open. Pay attention to the different ways people speak. Read lots of different kinds of books. And then try writing in different voices and styles - don't be afraid to experiment.
There are certain things I believe we need to keep in our emotional arsenal as we navigate through life. Hope is a big one. The more of that we can carry, the better.
I believe in the paramount importance of entertainment, but I have something to say.
You can't be preachy - kids are allergic to messages.
I write early in the morning at the computer, and people think I'm crazy, but I still use my Mac-Classic even though we have a state-of-the-art PC. There are just less distractions with the simpler machine.