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).