About Me

I am a novelist working in the areas of young adult and literary/contemporary fiction. I was born in Washington DC but live in England, where I’m tutor at the University of Oxford’s Masters Programme in Creative Writing.

A few facts:

My first novel, Dying Young, was a number 5 New York Times Bestseller and made into a film starring Julia Roberts. The book was also once on the TV show, Frasier! I wrote it by hand on notepaper or on one of the terminals in a computer laboratory while I was a master’s student at the University of California, Irvine.

The novel, Daniel Isn’t Talking, is based very loosely on my experience as a young mother with a son with autism. It was a terrifying time during which I mostly taught my son, hour by hour, how to communicate and play. I spent all my money and gave all my time to helping him. Once he was in primary school I returned to writing and along came Daniel Isn’t Talking. I sometimes think I should write a non-fiction follow on book called Daniel Speaks Greek, because my once non-verbal son now speaks many languages, including modern Greek. His favourite thing is travelling.

I began writing Dragonfly Girl  after having a vivid dream about being able to bring back the recently dead and how it changed everything, including our notion of what death is. I became obsessed with its characters and the sequel to Dragonfly Girl is already in manuscript form, months before Dragonfly Girl’s February 2021 release date!

I read just every newspaper article I could dig up about the Vietnam war before beginning the novel, The Man From Saigon. I felt like writing a big fat love story set in wartime and wanted to emphasise what it was like for women journalists during that time. My mother was a journalist but she didn’t cover Vietnam (except as it was protested in the streets of America).

 

3 Comments

  • Reply
    Jay Shachter
    November 25, 2020 at 1:59 am

    I would totally read “Daniel Speaks Greek” if you ever wrote it, so please let me know if you do.

    Unrelated to the above, did you read Joseph Epstein’s essay on fame, in the October “Commentary”?

    • Reply
      Marti
      November 25, 2020 at 3:14 pm

      Dear Jay…I think my son would kill me. He’s very aware of himself these days and I actually have to hide Daniel Isn’t Talking (though my son’s name isn’t Daniel) because he’s not thrilled about it even though it’s an old book now and he’s all grown up! 🙂

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