1) What inspired you to write your book "The Mark of the Dragonfly"?
Much of the credit belongs to the 401 steam train, which is loosely based on the real-life 401 Southern, a restored steam locomotive on display at the Monticello Railway Museum in Monticello, Illinois. I have always been fascinated by trains, and when I first encountered the 401 at the museum, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I knew I had to write about this train, that it belonged in a story. Even the steampunk/fantasy world of Solace grew from my fascination with the 401.
2) What books influenced your life the most?
One of my favorite books growing up was A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. Reading that book, I felt like I could step into that world. I wanted to be friends with Meg Murry and Charles Wallace, to go on adventures with them. I’ve always loved fantasy and science fiction and the idea of disappearing into fictional worlds.
3) What is your working (writing) schedule?
When I’m on a deadline, I try to get in at least 1000 words a day. Writing is something that I’ve always had to ‘fit in’ around my day job, housework, time with family, and the general demands of life, but if I can stick to that 1000 words a day, I can finish a draft of a novel in a few months.
4) What would your reaction be if you were also "magically" good with machines?
*grin* Complete shock. Unlike Piper, I’m not at all mechanically gifted, so I’d be very surprised if I woke up one day with that kind of talent. It was a lot of fun writing about someone who does have the power to be able to see a broken machine and know what needs to be done to fix it. She has a bond with machines that makes her unique, and I loved exploring that.
5) What are you working on now? What is your next project?
At the moment I’m working on a companion novel for The Mark of the Dragonfly. It’s set in the same world of Solace, but it follows a new set of characters in a different part of the world. I’m really excited about it!