Hi, Megan, and thanks for inviting me to Reading Away the Days – that sounds like a wonderful way to spend the days. I’m a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, where I live with my family. I studied literature and writing in college, worked for theatre companies and non-profits, and wrote freelance newspaper features and columns. I live in a fog belt and was inspired by the cool gray weather as I wrote my book.
Dark Companion is a young adult gothic that pays homage to Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and follows foster teen Jane Williams to an elite all-girls school that has dark secrets. Like many foster kids, Jane is deeply damaged and desperate for affection – and her vulnerability is precisely why she’s been invited to Birch Grove Academy for Girls. She has to decide what she’s willing to give up in order to get everything she’s always wanted.
How did you come up with the name for the book? Did you have any other names that you thought of that you can share?
I gave up fixating on titles when I learned that editors and marketing departments change them all the time. I initially called the book The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove, and I really couldn’t think of anything else. I even used some crazy title generator trying to find something that worked. Thank heavens, the marketing department at Tor suggested Dark Companion, which perfectly describes themes in the book.
In Dark Companion Jane wins a scholarship to exclusive Birch Grove Academy. If you could have your own exclusive bookclub for you and three other authors which three would make the cut?
Really, that’s as unfair as asking which is my favorite pet! (Psst, it’s Betty von Snoggle, but please don’t tell Bosco because he suffers from SBPS, aka Second-best-pet-syndrome.) However, it would be fun to hang out with Jane Austen and snark about someone’s dull conversation or terrible handwriting.
Can you tell us one thing about you that we wouldn't find about you on the web?
Yes, I’m very protective of my personal life and the lives of my family and friends. I want people to read my fiction for its own sake. I’m not interested in meeting the authors of my favorite books. I want to love the books without any personal bias, pro or con.
If you could work with any other author who would it be and why?
I would work with an author who makes really good coffee, because I like really good coffee. Actually, I am not a team player and I enjoy working in isolation. I have lots of other interaction during the day with authors, bloggers, readers, and others in the writing biz, but I want my stories to be all my own.
Two words to describe your book using your initials M & A??
Mmmmmysterious and atmospheric! Thanks so much for the fun questions!
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